This post is close to my heart. My Auntie Dottie was diagnosed Stage 3 Squamous Cell Carcinoma the first week of December. After a few more tests, her diagnosis only got worse. Doctors confirmed it was actually Stage 4 (involving more than 2 lymph nodes in her neck) and that the cancer actually originated behind her tonsil. An emergency tonsillectomy followed on January 2, 2015. And this is just the start to my Aunt's journey.
She will begin her road to recovery with 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments and 7 weeks of Chemo-Therapy. During this time, my Aunt will have to have a feeding tube placed in her abdomen because the radiation will burn her throat and as weeks go on she will not be able to swallow. This will be followed by surgery to remove any remaining cancer or dead cells in her neck.
In preparation for this treatment course, my Auntie Dottie has had to have several CT scans, PET scans, day-surgeries, and dental procedures, including seeing an oral surgeon who has removed 3 of her teeth. She now has to replace one of her front teeth with a partial bridge.
Throughout this time, she has continued working not only a full time job in Medical Records at Kindred Hospital but also a part-time job in the evening at Ana Jacques Hospital. My Aunt works extremely hard to provide for her family, including making monthly college tuition payments for her 20 year old son Sean, and 18 year old daughter Holly. As you can imagine, working through this diagnosis is extremely trying and my Auntie Dottie has already had to leave her part-time job at Ana Jacques due to the time constraints that preparing for treatment has caused.
Along with this loss of income, she is now financially responsible for several costly co-payments from procedures, diagnostic tests and office visits, owes money to the oral surgeon and still has to worry about where the college tuition money will come from. In a few weeks she will be too sick from chemo and radiation to continue working and she will have leave Kindred as well. This added stress will only make her journey unnecessarily bumpy. And now, our family and her friends are working to smooth everything out by sharing her story.
So, if you could find it in your hearts to support this brave woman, we ask that you make a donation to her GoFundMe page. Every penny helps in reaching her 15K goal. We are also hoping to host a fundraiser in her honor sometime this spring. My family and aunt's friends also ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers. All positive vibes throughout this time will help!
Not only will my Aunt kick cancer's butt, she will also devour the details of this journey one strong step at a time! We love you Auntie Dottie!