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7/3/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Hey everyone. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my site and read my story. I am from LaGrange, KY and I went to South Oldham High School. My mom, Cathy Hays, has been with me since diagnosis. My family have rallied around me. I have been a teacher for 8 years. I coached cheerleading for many years and am actively involved in my community. I served for 10+ years in women's ministry and love the Lord.
My original/first diagnosis day was April 20, 2009. Stage 4 GIST. A very, very rare form of stomach cancer. I had surgery and it was successfully resected. My first time being a survivor! But because it was so aggressive, I did chemo 7 days per week for 6 years!
The cancer came back again in October of 2013. Again, chemo everyday. And my second time being a survivor. After a long, in-depth study of my case, they decided I'm in the 1% that don't respond to chemo treatment and that it wasn't working. We are looking at surgery, experimental drugs, clinical trials, etc. The chemo wreaked havoc on my body and caused a lot of serious damage. But God is good!
The chemo made me so sick and caused me to lose a lot of unnecessary weight. People constantly told me I was too thin. When the cancer came back in 2013 they switched me to a different type of chemo. It unknowingly caused my thyroid to stop working and I gained 60lbs in 3 months. People were constantly telling me I "used to be so pretty." And telling me to lose weight. I've been called everything from anorexic to obese. I did chemo 7 days a week for 6 years. Now, as I'm getting ready to face cancer again for the third time othe chemo will once again make me "anorexic". I want to become the healthiest version of myself that I possibly can. I've struggled to lose the weight I've put on.
The pain and damage the chemo has caused is extreme. As I struggle to go through this, your comments are such an encouragement to me.
The chemo has caused permanent damage to my taste buds as well. So I really struggle with eating. I'm working hard on this part and am drinking green protein smoothies as well. Hopefully I can improve this too. I appreciate you all taking the time to read this. I'm so excited to become a better me!
Now, as of today, I'm getting ready to fight the good fight for the third time. Please pray for complete healing again. It's in my stomach, abdomen and liver. They say I can't afford to wait to start chemo and we will do whatever course of action my original GIST oncologist wants to do. They want me to get in a clinical trial ASAP. No matter where we have to travel for it.
With the diagnosis, treatment and trials come extensive expenses. The medical expenses are astronomical and have become so overwhelming. Oftentimes, cancer patients are referred to as "million dollar patients". But I know God will provide.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope, and a future." Jeremiah 29:11