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  November  2010


  October        Gwen /Robin        December

Gwen's Story


Gwen lost her battle with cancer on Nov 22, 2011. Our deepest sympathies to her family!

A Story of Hope:  A Recipe for Recovery

I have always been blessed with good health. In my lifetime, I have had four or five major surgeries, but have always bounced right back, usually working at home while recuperating.  Breast cancer had never run in my family.
While standing in my bathroom in May of 2006, at age 71 -- five months after my yearly mammogram -- I found a very large lump in my left breast.  I immediately made an appointment with my doctor, and he confirmed that I had "The Big C."  My battle with cancer began with a mastectomy the following month.  I was informed that, due to the large size of the tumor and the number of lymph nodes that were to be removed, I was in stage-3 breast cancer.
Shortly after surgery, I started aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. I gathered lots of strength from my family and friends and relied upon the power of prayer as I went through the treatments.
Just a few days before I completed radiation treatments, my mother passed away from natural causes at age 92.
The next six months proved to be a trying period for me. The doctors found that the cancer was in multiple locations in my lymph nodes, and I began a daily regimen of Xeloda (chemo pills,) 3,000 mg daily, for two and a half years.
Follow-up tests revealed that cancer had spread to both of my lungs and was inoperable.   I was also told that I had thyroid cancer, and had a thyroidectomy.  At this point, I was diagnosed at stage 4 -- I had lesions behind the aorta, liver, lungs, pancreas and kidneys.  After undergoing many tests, the chemotherapy pills stopped, and I began taking two different types of chemotherapy drugs intravenously.  I am currently receiving chemotherapy treatments on three consecutive Friday afternoons, with one-week intervals between treatment cycles.  This will be my ongoing routine.  I have now completed three months of this type of chemotherapy.
My most-recent CT scan, conducted November 10, 2010, showed positive internal response to therapy, with nearly-complete resolution of the bilateral pulmonary and left supraclavicular lymph node nodules and unchanged appearance of low-attenuation lesions in my kidneys.  Praise the Lord for a good report!
This rigid schedule of chemotherapy has caused my blood levels to become extremely low, and I'm sure that I will be receiving blood transfusions in order to be able to continue my treatments.
I am enjoying the daily experiences that are enlightening me with laughter and encouragement.  I am simply amazed with the outpouring of support from my family, friends, and complete strangers from all over the world.  My daughter, Melissa, created a website for me: "A Daughter's Love: 1,000 Cards for Cancer," located online at http://tokeepyourhopealive.webs.com, where visitors are asked to send a card of hope and inspiration.  To date, I have received 782 cards - and counting - from all over the world.  These uplifting cards bring a smile to my face and brighten my days.
Sometimes, we feel helpless in situations such as this.  We have to remember that the power of prayer is stronger than we simple humans are able to comprehend.  I am just grateful that there is treatment available.  Please continue to pray for me - and for my family. 
This is my story of hope and my recipe for recovery:  Find strength in the power of prayer, enjoy the little things in life, and hold your family and friends close to your heart.
-- Gwen
November 15, 2010

Comments: Hobbies: loves flowers (roses & hibiscus, gardenias)
Reading inspirational books
the love of angels, hummingbirds, animals
favorite colors (baby blue, green, pink)
Scents of lavender, Vanilla



November  2010 Feature



Name: Gwen

Birthday: October 14th

Diagnosis: Breast Cancer Stage IV

Interests/Likes: Flowers/ Reading/Hummingbirds/ Angels/ 


Mailing Address:


Gwen's family would like to thank everyone for the cards and gifts over the past year!





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