Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cancer Sucks

I hate cancer. It is an unbiased evil that will attack and seek to destroy anyone. It has attacked my aunt and my grandmother. It killed my great-grandma, and took my grandpa away from me. The process of battling it weakened my mom-in-law's heart to the point we lost her too. It's ugly and it's awful.

Right now if I think about it, I know of a little girl not much older than my Victoria who has been battling brain cancer for years. I get regular email updates about a horrible difficult battle this little girl faces and so Victoria and I pray for her.

I have a friend who I knew in high school but connected and built a friendship in the last year or so on Facebook. She's my age, just 40, and she had to have a huge cancerous tumor removed and she is still fighting for the victory over the disease.

This summer, two amazing women of God that I know both lost their battles to cancer. The first was a woman I have known for many years, she was the mom to one of the "kids" in youth group when Neal and I worked in the ministry back in the 90s. She lost her second battle to cancer. A breast cancer survivor from many years ago, she was struck with the disease a 2nd time a couple of years ago. Her battle was long and painful, and she fought to the end, but in the end, cancer ended her life.

The second lady, Becky, was spared the long battle, but was also not afforded the luxury of time. More importantly, he friends and loved ones were not afforded time. It was too quick.

I don't know exactly how long ago I met Becky, I would say two years ago at the longest, but I think even more recent than that. Becky and her sister Debbie were the kind of people that when you met them, you just knew you wanted to get to know them better.

Their love for God, and their passion for ministry and prayer were infectious. Debbie struck me as the nurturer, the one who would hug you and cry with you and Becky seemed liked the Sword bearer. She was a woman of the Word, and she would speak it with authority, not only to you, but into you and your life. They were this amazing team. They have been best friends for along time, and somewhere along the line, in her adult life, Debbie was formally adopted by Becky's family. Single moms, they loved together since the early 80s raising their children together. They were prayer partners, ministry partners and even business partners, sisters in every sense of the word.

I saw them in the parking lot of my church back in June. Becky hadn't been feeling well and had had some medical issues going on, but the reality of what was happening to her was completely hidden at that time. I'll let Debbie tell you more specifics:

"Becky really struggled with feeling tired alot for a long time but since we both have been going through menopause we just thought that was what it was from. We both went to a holistic doctor/chiropractor and were given different supplements and patches but they didn't seem to work for her. In March she complained of her back hurting and was in pain but thought she was out of alignment. We went to the holistic guy and he diagnosed her with kidney stones. She started drinking alot of water which made the pain worse. Our brother told her of a kidney stone breaker called Renevive. We ordered it off the internet and she started taking that. She took that for 3 weeks and was in such pain all the time, but (she) did pass some kidney stones.

We then heard of another kidney stone breaker called Chanca Piedra and (so) she took that. That also broke up the stones and she did pass more. (But) it seemed the pain never gave up. She also started having stomach problems and couldn't eat and had pain with that. The holistic guy said she had an ulcer. (So) he treated her for that and she seemed to get worse.

This went on into July. After July 4th she started to fill up with fluid in her stomach area. On July 15th we went to an MD. He had a hunch it may be cancer. He ordered tests and by the 23rd we were in St Joesph's ER and (found) she had a lesion on the pancreas and her liver was "compromised". She was in the hospital for 5 days and although they drained the fluid from her stomach and it tested negative of any cancer cells they suggested more tests. We went to visit the doctor in the doctor's office and they gave a number to a doctor who would do a biopsy. That appointment was 2 weeks out from that day that Becky called for an appointment."
(I will refrain from climbing on a soap box here about where medical care will be headed when the government takes it over. Diana)

"In the meantime we were referred to a (doctor in) Virginia Beach who works with cancer patients naturally. He worked with Becky but she just could not eat and I believe her body just couldn't fight because it was malnourished. Her sodium level dropped so much that she could not (even) get up on her own... I had to help her. She (also) wasn't getting much sleep and always took the pain pills which was not like Becky.

On Sunday morning August 15th Becky tried to get up to go to the bathroom without me and I heard a thud and found her flat on her face on the floor. It took me 30 minutes to get her up because she was so limp. All I did was hold her and cry.
I called our brother and he came and helped me take her to the ER at St Joesph's. She was in the ICU for 2 days and met with kidney doctors, the doc who wanted to do the biopsy and the cancer doctor."

Eventually the diagnosis was made, it was pancreatic cancer. As cruel as all cancer seems to be, this cancer seems to be the most cruel of all, it's labeled as a death sentence, the stories of victory over it are rare. It took Michael Landon, it took Patrick Swayze, and then it took Becky Bailey, and for me, that was one person too many, and it's made me want to do something about it.

On November 13th, along with Becky's sister Debbie, and 23 other people she hopes to recruit, we will be walking in a 5K fundraiser to raise money for research for a cure for pancreatic cancer and money to help those suffering from the disease. This is where you come in.

Would you be willing to support me or the team as we raise money? My challenge to my friends and family, and now to you is this, skip a trip or two to Starbucks, or a lunch out, and take that $5-10 (or however much you might have on your heart) and donate it to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

I set an original goal of just $100, but with it met, I have now raised it to $300, and you can help me reach that goal. But I have to warn you, if I do, I plan to up it again.

This is a horrible awful disease, and I want to be part of the fight against it. Won't you help?

Click below or on the "thermometer" to the left on this page, and make a donation to help.

Click Here to Donate

Thanks in advance for your help!

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