A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
And There Is One

Tell Me Your Story

November 18, 2015

Tell Me Your Story #5 (Update 2)

Robin

Robin Dawson with her children, Lindsey and Joey

September 3, 2015

Heaven gained an amazing angel today. My mom went to be with Jesus! Thank you all for your prayers and support.

–Lindsey

It has been almost three months since Robin “went to be with Jesus.”
The day after Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer, she came to visit me. She wanted to know what to expect. We talked for over three hours. We laughed, we cried, and we talked about Jesus.
If I can say one particular thing about Robin, it was that she had an unwavering belief in God and His will for her life. And it was His will to call her home on September 3.
I miss her and wish her family all the best as they continue to mourn her loss.

–Marie deHaan

By |November 2015|Tell Me Your Story|

November 17, 2015

Tell Me Your Story #2 (Update 2)

Cancer BookDear Marie,

Attached is my latest “My Story” update.  Also attached is the cover of my latest book, which I refer to in the piece.  Love your blog and would love to contribute to it again!

Steve

Endings as Beginnings

When I last updated “My Story” (March 2014), I had recently “beaten” cancer only to learn that chemo had caused me congestive heart failure (CHF).
While cancer had been a full-blown battle, CHF would become a truce, a stalemate, a kissing-one’s-sister diplomatic compromise; on doctor’s orders, and by commonsensical dictate, I would need to exercise moderation in most things—food, drink, moods, physical activities. No problem—except that I had always purposefully lived life to the fullest! How might one live fully in a moderate way without slipping into a quicksand pit of sticky contradictions? This problem inspired the tongue-in-cheek title of my most recent book—“I’d Rather Have Cancer.”
One way in which I did “battle” CHF was by walking. It is a moderate exercise generally, but I did not walk in a moderate way—three to five fairly brisk miles daily. Intuitively I sensed that this could be the way to ease my heart back to health despite the “irreversible damage” wrought by chemo. As a bonus, the mood-calming, idea-sparking, slow-motion-sightseeing qualities of walking soon made this my favorite activity irrespective of health benefits. My CHF symptoms (such as labored breathing while supine) steadily faded. Then, four months ago, an echocardiogram revealed that my heart now functions somewhat normally. I walk on…
However, several weeks after that, a routine CT-scan evidenced that cancer had snuck back into my picture, having reestablished itself in two tiny lung nodules. To my self-prescribed immoderate walks I now added immoderate amounts of vitamin C—my heart condition, even improved as it is, severely limits my traditional treatment options, so I would have to fight it largely on my own.
Then last week I had a follow-up CT-scan: in three months, the smaller of the two nodules has not grown and the larger has shrunk in half!
Perhaps I ought to title my next book, “I’d Rather Be Alive.” Meanwhile, I’ll keep on writing, keep on walking, and keep on wolfing down vitamin C.

By |November 2015|Tell Me Your Story|

April 13, 2015

Tell Me Your Story #5 (Update 1)

Here I am with my best friend, Sandy, in January 2015.

Here I am with my best friend, Sandy, in January 2015.

Dear Marie,

My oncologist called with the reports of my pelvis, abdomen, and chest scans and she said the spots on my lungs are still there and there are a few more. We are changing from chemo pills to IV chemo. I will have chemo once a week for three months.

I’m waiting for a phone call to see when they want to schedule to put the port in but I won’t receive chemo until after May 3 so I can enjoy my kids’ visit. The doctor said that was fine.

I have an appointment on Tuesday the 14th with the radiologist oncologist to discuss the gamma knife to the two new spots on the right side of my brain.

Still believing in a miracle and know that God is still in control.

Robin Dawson
Missouri

Read more of Robin’s story by clicking here.

By |April 2015|Tell Me Your Story|

April 11, 2015

Tell Me Your Story #5

Hanging out with my friend, Roberta, in March 2015.

Hanging out with my friend, Roberta, in March 2015.

Dear Marie,

On March 28, 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I did chemotherapy. On June 12, 2013, I had a bilateral mastectomy. Even though the cancer was in my right breast, I felt that doing a bilateral would keep the cancer away.

I did seven weeks of radiation and finished the day before Thanksgiving. I would go in every two months to have a brain MRI. A CAT scan of my pelvis and abdomen and stomach showed I was cancer free for five months.

In April of 2014, they found a spot in my brain on the left side. After finding the spot, I had the gamma knife which is radiation only to the spot. Every two months I went in and they would find another spot. The first two spots looked like they were shrinking so the radiation seemed to be working.

I had a CAT scan done of my pelvis, stomach, and abdomen and they said that I had spots in my lungs and that I had a nodule on the curvature of my stomach. On December 15, 2014, they removed the nodule on the outside of the curvature of my stomach that turned out to be cancer. With being diagnosed with cancer for the second time, I packed up my things and moved to Missouri where my mom, stepdad, brother, sister, nieces, nephews, and cousins live so they could help me with this.

In January of 2015, I saw my oncologist and he put me on chemo pills. I took three pills twice daily for two weeks and then a week off. My new oncologist had me do a brain MRI. He said that I had a new spot on the right side of my brain and wanted to do another MRI on my brain in six weeks to check on the spot and there was a second spot on the right side of my brain.

Because my oncologist was slow on returning my calls and he would give me conflicting reports I found a new oncologist that I saw on Monday, March 30. She ordered a CAT scan of my abdomen and pelvis and tested to see how the spots on my lungs are doing. I also saw a radiologist oncologist on Monday, March 30, and he wants to set me up for radiation to the brain. I told him I wasn’t ready for that yet and he said he would give me two weeks to make a decision. He gave me three options. One is to do nothing at all and let nature take its course. The second option is to do radiation only to those spots. The third option is to do radiation to the entire brain. But if I do radiation to the entire brain it will affect my cognitive skills. I told him that option number three was not an option. I have an appointment with him on April 14 to discuss treatment. I’m also filling out paperwork for the Mayo Clinic.

I am relying on God to get me through this difficult time in my life.

Robin Dawson
Missouri

By |April 2015|Tell Me Your Story|

April 11, 2015

Tell Me Your Story #4

LupineDear Marie,

Hello! I was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer on 11-11-11 (how’s that for a date to remember?!). I was 35 years old at the time. My mother passed from breast cancer at 36. It probably goes without saying that she passed it on to me, most likely. I went aggressive. Double mastectomy, radiation, and a total hysterectomy. I pushed through like a bull, working full time all the while. I am very happy to say that I am almost 4 years cancer free!! It has been said that those that have been through hell and survived find that nothing much bothers them after that. That is me.

This is not a very funny story, but I thought I would share. Keep the faith. You are not alone in this battle!!!

Jamie Bredstrand

By |April 2015|Tell Me Your Story|