Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I hope my story will help ALL women feel empowered to get a pap smear every year.
Monday, January 20, 2014
I was diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer in May of 2012.I did chemo and radiation and have had a full hysterectomy. I am now dealing with very painful side effects. I have had 2 rounds of hyberbaric oxygen therapy to help repair internal damage from the radiation. I have not had a PET scan yet due to the likely chance of having a ton of false positives. I have had ct scans and MRI's and exams that show no cancer has returned.I have two wonderful outcomes of the chemotherapy. Dead cancer cells at the time of my hysterectomy and curly hair!!Thank you,Phyllis C.Northeastern PAPhyllis shared her story with us in July 2013 before our Panties Across the Bridge event while sending us her picture to hang on the Purple People Bridge for Awareness. Thanks Phyllis!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
I am Aimee's mother and I will try to tell her story.
Our lives changed in March of 2011. Aimee decided to go to see a doctor, her period would not stop. I think her last visit to see a Gynecologist was about two years before this visit. Aimee was supposed to go back for some type of ablation. She told me it had nothing to do with her cervix. I remember her telling me that she had been bleeding for about a month!!! I told her then she needed to get in to see a doctor because that isn't normal. Aimee visited a clinic, she had quit her job to do her clinicals to be a surgical technician . What a time not to have insurance!! Aimee was referred to see Dr. Pavelka, a gynecologist. Aimee said as soon as they seen her cervix she could tell by the way they talked it wasn't good. They drew her a picture to show her what the cervix looked like. The cervix was covered by a tumor, a biopsy was taken that day. Aimee had to go back to get the results and find out what the plan of action would be. I remember that day clearly....it was CANCER, a rare cancer that is usually found in the lungs!!! Small cell cervical cancer!!! Aimee would start chemo on May the 7th, 2011. Aimee would endure chemo 3 days straight once a month for six months then have a PET scan. Those treatments did a number on her body to say the least. We ended up in the ER several times because she was passing out and having other issues with the kind of chemo she was getting. When Aimee was feeling good, between treatments,we stayed busy doing things together. We had Kings Island passes so we stayed at that park, she loved it. We went to festivals and walked and walked....she rarely complained. We started taking her a wheelchair so she could sit when she was hurting. At the end of the 6 months we were so happy, chemo would be over, have a hysterectomy and the cancer would be all gone. At least that's what we were praying for. The scan showed the tumor was pretty much gone but......the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in her chest and pelvic area. The chemo did not kill the cancer so more chemo. Aimee had one more treatment and decided she had had enough. She started having severe pain and was hospitalized several times. The pain doctor decided in order to stop her pain they would have to insert an epidural and do radiation. The pain got better but never went away. Aimee got to spend Thanksgiving with the family but ended up at the ER a couple of days later. One of her legs had tripled in size and I noticed she wasn't urinating. The day she was being dismissed from the hospital she talked to the doctor and ask how long she had. That was the first time any doctor had told us it was stage four cancer. That was on Monday, the doctor told her she had about 18 months. Aimee died four days later, surrounded by lots of people that loved her dearly.
Aimee complained of low back pain and said she couldn't sleep on her side, she complained of the side pain for a couple of years. Aimee did visit her family doctor for the low back pain. He told her to have breast reduction!!!! Aimee fought it hard, but just couldn't beat it. Aimee was 33 years old when she died. She was the mother of one child, a daughter named Devin who was 12 years old. Aimee was going to school and was months away from graduating and loved what she was doing. Listen to your body if something doesn't seem right it probably isn't. Early detection is the key.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
If anyone desires a wish to come TRUE, they must first capture a BUTTERFLY and WHISPER that WISH to it.
I had my Butterfly, January 30, 1985, her name is Katrina Danielle Fisher. Free spirited, stubborn, loving, giving, caring, feisty, and a person who believed in BUTTERFLIES, Hope, Faith and Love and the FUTURE…
As we traveled through life together there was always a lot of LOVE, and Laughter, and Happiness, and the occasional time when mom and daughter butted heads, got angry with each other….But it never lasted long with my Feisty, BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY, who loved life and who celebrated her life by marching to the beat of a different drum.
In April 2012, Trina’s belly had swelled. This started back in November 2011. She would have an appetite, then not have an appetite. She had excruciating pain, trouble with BM’s, feeling full faster than usual, back pain that would keep her in the bed ,her weight went up and up, she was tired all the time, and had to urinate everytime we turned around. Then all the sudden she did not have to go as frequently. She was throwing up, and fatigue- OH MY GOSH, she was always tired. She has big dark circles under her eyes. Everything about the way she looked and acted had me SCARED. A MOMMA knows when something is WRONG WITHTHEIR BABY…….
Now mind you, she had just given birth to her 3rd child, a son Kamron Lee, on May 18, 2011. We visited Katrina and Kamron and Kevin all the time, but something was not right with my baby girl, I could tell. She had went for her 6 week checkup, and had been to the hospital several times for this bleeding- ONLY TO BE TOLD SHE WAS FINE!
In May, I took Katrina to a private OB- he tried to reset her period, he did a couple of other things, and we would go back and see him- she was getting no relief. And in between seeing him, she was in and out of the ER a total of 36 times! They always did blood work, CT Scans and internal exams, ultrasounds, only for them to tell her she was fine, the pain was in her head. All the while she was getting worse and worse.
Finally, the OB said we have to do a hysterectomy. So, on Aug. 8, 2012 she went in for the hysterectomy. They took my BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER back and said, "she will see you in a couple of hours". Next thing I knew I was in the waiting room with my husband and the nurse called my name. I turned to my husband and said, “This isn’t good she has only been back there about 40 minutes!”
The nurse took David and I to a surgical consultation room (a private room). When I looked up here came in the Dr. – you could tell he was crying as a tear was rolling down his cheek, probably as he remembered he had delivered all of her children.Calli Hope age 4, Daniel Lee( who passed away at birth), and finally Kamron Lee about 1 ¾. He started out with, "I am so sorry to have to tell you this Kari, we are dealing with CANCER." I went numb, my mind spinning, my heart hitting the floor, everything swirling around me. Finally, I got a grip on things, and he explained once he got her to sleep, and totally relaxed and he internally checked, her cervix was like WOOD as he knocked on the desk. Through my tears and numbness and broken heartedness I asked him, "WHAT DO WE DO? IF THIS WAS YOUR WIFE, YOUR DAUGHTER, YOUR MOTHER WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” He said “I would get them to Birmingham UAB, WIC Hospital ASAP." I said, "Fine that’s what we will do." HE said, "I will get her an appointment up there ASAP, as I want her there ASAP. " The Dr. and I walked back to the recovery room, arm in arm, my head resting on his shoulder, and I saw my BEAUTIFUL KATRINA. She was smiling and happy, she thought she had had the surgery, and it was over. He walked to one side of her bed, me to the other. He started to cry as he told her what he found. What had to be done, what to expect to be done in Birmingham. HE hugged her and held her, and said I will get everything setup ASAP Katrina, don’t worry about a thing.
We came home in shock and disbelief and numb and needless to say a million tears, but true to his WORD he had an appointment set up for August 15, 2012 at UAB WIC (Women’s and Infants Cancer Center). So, the day arrived and we drove up there. Katrina so full of life, and hopeful. I have pictures of her from that day where she looked gorgeous.
We arrived at WIC to meet Dr. Alvarez. What a wonderful man. And his staff were top notch. He confirmed our fears, it was CANCER. The Dr. said the day of surgery, the Dr. from our home town was saying she was stage C2, but in a matter of a week she went from a C2 to a 4B. She went through PET SCANS, CT SCANS, BLOODWORK, X-RAYS, you name it, every test imaginable she went through and they concluded “The OUTBACK” was the TREATMENT for her. We were sent home after meeting her OB -ONOCOLOGIST and Radiologist, and had a plan set up. THEY NEVER TOLD US KATRINA WAS GOING TO DIE. They had us so built up with HOPE; that that was not even in the realm of our possibilities. We came home started packing our things and were waiting for the one week mark to get there.
As we waited Katrina’s father and step-mom; (Ray and Tammy) got Calli, and our best friend from Florida came racing up here. Thank God she came rushing from Florida, the day she got here there was something wrong, terribly wrong with Katrina. Patty and I rushed her to our local ER, told them she was recently just diagnosed with cervical cancer. Katrina could hardly breathe. The next thing I know they are telling me they are flying her to Birmingham. Then the Dr. in the ER came in and said no it’s too risky, too unsafe, we will be sending her by ambulance. I asked why what the heck was going on? He said to Patty and I, “Katrina is in full blown RENAL FAILURE!” Before I knew it they were there to get her, I held her hand, kissed her , and held her for a moment and said “I Love YOU Butterfly, Aunt Patty and I will be coming up behind the ambulance, but we are going to run home real quick and get our luggage.” She replied PLEASE hurry and don’t make me wait on you too long. LOL that was my Trina.
When Patty and I got to Birmingham Katrina was in surgery her kidneys were not working. She was drowning in her own fluid. They rushed her in to surgery without me being there. THANK GOD THEY DID!
As Patty and I sat and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally the Dr. came out and said everything went fine. HE mentioned the word Nepstronmy Tubes and something about her kidneys, and they had pulled 8 gallons of water off of her. My head was dizzy from everything he was saying, he said she coded once she got there, but everything was OK now. And she would be able to start her Treatments as scheduled.
As they came to get Patty and I, we both wondered what we were about to see as we entered Katrina’s room. There was my BEAUTIFUL GIRL; groggy, looking a lot less swollen, and smiling at us. After a while another Dr. came in, and was showing and explaining to us about the “TUBES” coming out of her kidneys. My God it looked like the Alaskan Pipeline. It looked uncomfortable, but she would never KNOW LIFE AGAIN WITHOUT THESE TUBES THAT SAVED HER LIFE. SHE WOULD DIE WITH THEM IN PLACE.
After that she started her Chemotherapy and Radiation- everyday 7a.m. Sometimes Chemo would take 2 hrs. Sometimes it would take all day, depending if she needed blood, or they could get the needle in to start it. I was screaming put in a PORT, put in a PICC LINE, but no one was listening. This just made us feel more and more like guinea pigs. One Dr. would come in and tell you one thing, and another Dr.would tell you something else. And sometimes you were bombarded with 20-30 Drs. at one time. One day Trina was at chemo, and as we got there she said “Mommy I am cold, can you run and get my blanket that you have your apartment?” I said “OK, I will be back in a few minutes”. As I was coming out of the apartment, my phone rings. It's my Katrina on the other end screaming and crying, “Mommy, just get here, just get here, I can’t take this anymore!” I flew, and ran into the Chemo room, and she was crying hysterically, blood running down her arms, the nurse telling her we got to get this in Katrina, she said matter of factly. I said “How many times have you all stuck her?" Trina piped up "32 times momma they can’t find anymore veins”. I said ”WHOA that is enough, I want see the Dr. now!" They got him, and I said “Why have you not put in a port or PICC Line in yet?” He said "ok we are directly admitting her right now for surgery to put in a PICC LINE, and a PICC LINE will be in place in just a little bit!”Sure enough the sweetest PICC LINE Nurse I ever met came to do Katrina’s PICC LINE…… I got to gown up and watch the entire procedure- AMAZING- First shot in PLACE……WOW…. And my Katrina, my HERO, went through that, the CHEMO, RADIATION, Brachy Therapy with such HOPE, FAITH, STRENGTH, DIGNITY and GRACE and a SENSE OF HUMOR.
Her brother RJ came from IL in October for a weekend visit to see his sister. On the day he was leaving he said, “I can’t leave her Mom, she is to sick, I need to be here and she needs me and you need me to take the load off!” He NEVER left her side. He was there caring for her when I was totally worn out. He held her hair back as she was throwing up, made sure her ice pitcher was constantly full, and she had water, he held her as she cried, he made her laugh, he never ever let her go through anything ALONE. One night she got a pass from the hospital, and RJ said “Katrina what do you want to do?" She said, lI want a Daiquiri”. He said "ok fine, I will push you over to the Doubletree and we will get you a Daiquiri," and off they went! Soon they were back. She thought she was buzzed from the Daiquiri, but what she did not know was her brother got her a “VIRGIN DAIQUIRI"! We didn’t want to take any chances with all the medicines she was on, so he ordered her the VIRGIN. She was so Happy, and Excited she got out for just a little bit…SHE HAD SO MUCH FUN!!!!
I can’t begin to tell you how many surgeries she went through, she developed DVT’s in both legs. First the Left one, her leg swelled to 88 cm and larger at times. Then the right one started in, and then they were putting stints in to make sure they (the blood clots) did not break off and travel to the heart, lungs or brain. She developed heart problems. Everything you can imagine, my Butterfly went through.
Friends and family came from near and far. Ray and Tammy( her father and step-mother) were here when we brought her home, as was her Uncle Robert Ellingsen, and her Brother Bradley, and Uncle Toby and Aunt Kari, Charity Heilman and of course her daughter, Calli Hope.Shortly after arriving home, Katy Ling our Hospice Nurse, said it has gone to the bones……… TALK ABOUT PAIN…. And then a couple of weeks later she had some test done, and it was now in her brain. That cervical cancer had now spread to her blood, bones and brain and every vital organ. DEVESTATED is all I can say. My nights and days were filled with making sure she had the correct dosage of meds, emptying her urine bags, keeping her fed and clean, changing bandages to the PICC Line and her TUBES. ALL I could do was focus on her- and I was PROUD of her and she is MY HERO.
Bobby and Leanne Kidd, Melanie Garner, Tiffany Popwell, Charlotte Pevehouse, Wade Young, Tiffany Caswell, Brother Billy Berry and his wife Gayle, Sandra Popwell, Pastor Gene Bridgeman and his wife Julie, and all my FACEBOOK FRIENDS were following Trina’s progress on my page under Katrina’s Journey. Bobby and Leanne held a benefit to help cover her funeral cost. The community all came together in our time of need. Everyone in our lives who was suppose to be here during that time- was here- whether physically here or in spirit.
At the Benefit Singing with the Gospel Group "Anointed Harmony" that Bobby Kidd sings with, we were unsure on April 6th if Katrina would be able to make it that day. The family showed so we could thank everyone. My phone rang. It was Trina. She said "Momma, please send my brothers to get me, I may only be able to stay a few minutes cause I am sick." I said," if you are not feeling well people understand." She said "Send them, I need to be with everyone, and in God’s house today." I never told anyone Trina was on her way!
Bobby had made sure there was a chair, a big overstuffed chair if Trina should come. The group was singing, and the back doors opened up, it was my sons bringing Trina in by wheelchair. Everything STOPPED, Bobby Kidd up there singing, just cried, and said,"MY HERO just came through the door." And he came down and hugged her like he never wanted to let go. And then Susanne Coleman, one of the singers, had sung at Trina’s wedding, MY GOD IS ABLE and that was Trina’s song all through this JOURNEY- SANG THAT FOR TRINA RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Not a dry eye in the house, and Bobby sang ,I Can’t Even Walk Without Holding Your Hand! So many emotions that day. And Trina was in her glory. She LOVED EVERY MINUTE
OF IT –and felt up to staying for the entire Benefit. A young man walked up to Trina, he wanted to hug her, but was afraid he would hurt her, she told him “Get down here so I can HUG YOU SAM THOMAS!” And Tiffany Caswell hugged Trina, and Trina told me afterward “Momma, I think I was hugged by angel."
On April 17th Katrina went into in- patient Hospice Care at Gentvia Hospice in Columbus, GA. We all gathered. Everyone came. We fell in love with her nurses and staff. You could tell they loved Katrina. They did not treat her as a patient, but like a member of their own family. Thenway they touched her, talked to her, tenderly cared for her, help her, and were just not there for her, but us her family as well. We are forever grateful for THOSE BEAUTIFUL ANGELS.
And for all my friends that were there every minute they could be to help me through it. I LOVE YOU GUYS.
Sadly, on May 3, 2013 at 6:15p.m. our BUTTERFLY ANGEL TOOK FLIGHT TO HER ETERNAL HOME. Katrina Danielle was just 28 years old and she left behind a husband, Kevin, a daughter Calli Hope 4 ½ and a son Kamron Lee who would have been Two 15 days later, and her FAMILY WHO LOVED AND ADORED HER.
By making a WISH and GIVING the
BUTTERFLY its FREEDOM
The WISH will be taken to
The HEAVENS to be GRANTED!