Hannah’s Story

Site created on April 20, 2021

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Over the last year, Hannah has struggled with her health. Already a difficult year due to COVID-19, she was experiencing abdominal pain and discomfort and was working with local medical staff to understand the source of her symptoms. She changed her diet, exercised, and tried to get good sleeps while also navigating the tricky terrain of raising kids during a global pandemic. Feeling better after going dairy-free, she learned that she has stage 3 colorectal cancer. Planning for aggressive treatment and understanding the full extent of her disease – the cancer has spread to her uterus and lymph nodes – has been extra challenging. 

Hannah is and has always been very active in supporting our local community, non-profit organizations, the Methow Valley School District, and seasonal sports teams. She has devoted countless hours to the Methow Valley Killer Whales and pitched in at book fairs, bake sales, movie nights, school camp outs, art fairs, theatre events, and more. Who hasn’t experienced the good fortune of her shuttling our kid from one venue to another?! She is an amazing parent to Grace and Connor. She is a kind and thoughtful friend to many.

Hannah will be going back and forth between Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the Methow Valley for the next 5-6 months for radiation and chemotherapy. When this treatment is complete, surgery and a lengthy recovery follows. As she moves forward, any/all of this is subject to change as the cancer itself changes. 

We are asking for your financial help so that Hannah can more easily access the treatments she needs. Your donation will not only help cover medical expenses outside of insurance coverage, but also travel, grocery, housing and other expenses necessary to help her get the most effective and efficient treatment possible.

We would be very grateful for any donation of any amount to help with our fundraising efforts on Hannah’s behalf. Thank you for holding Hannah in your thoughts. Please share this GoFundMe page with anyone who might be able to support Hannah, Grace and Connor.

In an effort to not overwhelm Hannah, we have created a CaringBridge site where updates on her health will be posted.

Hannahs CaringBridge Page (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahgonzales

Thank you!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Kim Bondi

Hannah wants to express her sincere gratitude to everyone for their support thus far.  The outpouring of love in the way of financial support through the gofundme site, housing offers near to the Cancer Care Alliance Center (CCAC) in Seattle, offers to help the kids in Mazama with school and transportation, and kind words have helped relieve a burden of stress that is unimaginable to think about. Thank you everyone for helping ease the external worries so she can concentrate on her journey and self-care.

After several weeks of diagnostics, meeting Hannah’s Cancer Care team and deciding on a recommended treatment regime, the insurance company finally gave approval for the doctor’s recommended treatment of chemo-radiation to treat the colorectal cancer and nearby tumors on her uterus and lymph nodes. This was another sigh of relief as treatment started the day after insurance approval – all just 1 ½ weeks ago.

For all you science geeks, the doctor’s recommended radiation therapy is called the Volumetric Modulated Arc Theapy (VMAT), a novel and superior radiation therapy technique that focuses the radiation directly on the tumors and better avoids other organs. Hannah gets this radiation treatment at the CCAC in Seattle 5 times per week (Monday-Friday) in conjunction with chemotherapy pills by mouth, twice a day, morning and evening. Hannah is well on her way and today finished her 8th treatment out of 28. This first round of radiation and chemo will slow and shrink the tumors, reducing the cancer cells spread and possibility of recurrence. This will also prepare her body for the 2nd stage of treatments, bimonthly chemotherapy starting in early June and lasting approximately 4 months. The 3rd stage this fall is surgery to remove any remaining cancer in her body. It’s a marathon journey!

Hannah is feeling some symptoms but nothing unmanageable or unexpected. These symptoms include fatigue/tiredness, irritated bowel, and general nausea. She is taking several forms of medication (both natural and western medicine) to help combat these side effects. Hannah has loving friends and family that have stayed with her in Seattle during the Mon-Fri treatments; they are driving her back and forth to the Methow Valley so she can be home in Mazama with the kids over the weekends. Please feel free to outreach to Hannah through this or her Caring Bridge site. She appreciates your patience if she does not get back to you right away – and she knows your thoughts are with her!

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