Monday, January 23, 2012

Shall We Kick Cancer's Ass?

August 2006
She is a 37 year old married mother of four. She loves her family, her friends, her dogs. She loves to scrapbook and cross stitch. She could have been an interior designer, with her eye for what looks good, coupled with her ability to decorate on a budget. She has a beautiful heart, a generous spirit, a forgiving nature.  She is my best friend. She has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

In April of 2009, the best friend I have ever had discovered a lump in her left breast. I tried to reassure her that it had to be nothing. In January, she was fine. She’d had a physical and the doctor said everything was okay. Four months later, she found the lump in her left breast by accident. She was 35 years old.

What followed was three years of the worst torture you can imagine. An immediate double mastectomy was followed by five months of powerful, intense chemotherapy. She went into remission and began to go about the business of reconstructive surgery and getting on with her life.

Except there were constant problems. She was in so much pain after the first reconstruction surgery that she took the suggestion of her asshole friend (me) and got a heating pad. I thought she was going to use it on her back. Instead, the area around her surgical site was so excruciatingly painful that she used it on her incision (where she no longer had any feeling) and burned herself so badly that she eventually lost the left reconstruction entirely. This was a devastating setback, but it got worse.

A cancerous cyst on her right ovary was found and surgically removed.  Then there were still more emergency room visits, hospital stays, blood work, CT scans, and biopsies. The breast cancer came back in her lymph nodes in February of 2011. They did radiation, because it was too soon for her to have more chemotherapy. The doctor was cautiously optimistic. We all hoped and prayed. The first scan after the radiation was fine. The second one was not. And now there are twelve lesions in her lungs and they are growing fast; several have tripled in size in the past three months.her doctors say there is nothing more they can do except to try to contain the size of the tumors to extend her life. She says bullshit, I’m not ready to die and there has to be more you can do.

Her doctor says there is nothing more they can do and they and the insurance company have decided to call it quits. But she hasn’t. She found a doctor who is willing to treat her. The problem is, as with everything, he comes at a cost. And even though her other doctor told her to “feel free to find another provider,” you can bet that her insurance company is going to fight every payment every step of the way.

Her name is Malea and she is my best friend. I am not ready to lose her either.

Please help by going to Save Malea and clicking on the donate button. You can donate any amount you can spare. All proceeds from this fund will be applied toward paying for Malea’s medical care by Dr. Joseph Shaw Jones in Fairfax, Virginia.

Cancer is the enemy. Can you help me rally the troops that will allow the doctor to find the cure she deserves? Her youngest child is 12. Please go to her website, read her story, and click on the donate button so that Breauna, Dallas, Justyn, and Marc don't lose their mother. And so that she can meet her first grandchild in July.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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