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I wanted to take a moment and thank the Helping Hands of Cincinnati for all of their kindness and the support that they have shown my family in the last few months. I had never had to reach out for help in any way from anyone until my world shattered in October 2016. My daughter Elizabeth crossed paths with Alicia thru her work and Alicia encouraged her to inform us that the organization was there for those in their time of crisis.
In September 2016 I started to have pain in my right shoulder. I thought I did something to it. In October my shoulder pain was getting unbearable so I went to see my doctor. He referred me to an orthopedic doctor and he sent me to get an MRI. I was at home when the doctor called to let me know he couldn’t help me and he referred me to an orthopedic specialist surgeon. I went to see him and he also sent back for another MRI and biopsy. By December I had 3 MRI, 1 CT scan and a biopsy. I found out in late December that I had SARCOMA. I had to stop working because I could not use my hand anymore. I could not shower myself, I could not go to the bathroom by myself or dress myself. I felt as if my world was crumbling around me. It was at stage 3. The doctor said it was an aggressive cancer therefore it was recommended to do radiation for five weeks to shrink it and then I would have surgery two weeks later. I started radiation in January 2017 but by the second week the pain was so intense I had to have surgery a few days later.
In September 2015, our family was forever changed. Our toddler, Huxley, was diagnosed with a DIPG brain tumor – the same kind of brain cancer that Lauren Hill fought, that is 100% terminal. Because of the aggressive nature of DIPG, and where it resides deep in the brain stem, our son Huxley quickly deteriorated to the point where we were forced to put our jobs on hold, send our other two children to friends’ and family’s houses, and spend every waking moment in the ICU at Children’s Hospital with him. My husband’s employer was compassionate and worked with him during our son’s illness. I, however, lost my position as a Director of Marketing, which would have been a blow to our household during normal circumstances…and these were anything but normal circumstances.