Kate - A Story of Hope

by Mary Lou
(Upstate New York)

Last May I learned that my best friend, and co-worker of 20 years, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Kate had an attempted whipple, but it was stopped when cancer was found in her liver. I was so scared for her future and felt that, in the middle of the night, God had led me to this site filled with hope - so that I could carry that hope forward!
Kate has had treatment over these past 10 months consisting of a trial - gemzar, abraxane, and a hedgehog inhibitor (she had to exit the trial when a purple rash appeared and spread rapidly.) She continued on gemzar and abraxane, which was discontinued because of serious neuropathy in her feet. It was then gemzar alone until the next scan showed no liver lesions and the pancreatic tumor reduced in size. Kate then had radiation - 6 weeks of it, combined with Xeloda - an oral chemo. She has not been on any pain medication, nor chemo, for the last month. She feels as if "she has her life back" at least until her next scan in April. Meanwhile, in August last year, her husband, a family court judge, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He's had surgery, radiation, chemo and is now on a second chemo, as the tumor has started to grow again. Through it all, Kate and her husband and their four adult children have NEVER lost hope. They refuse to let negativity slip into their lives from any direction. Right now, Kate is spending the week with their daughters and Peter is at the Mets Spring Training Camp with their sons and grandson. Quality time, making memories, ever hopeful and faith-filled! We've all been praying for a miracle for them - and regardless of what the days ahead bring, we believe that they ARE a miracle!
Last May, I came across this website and contacted Jane. Thank you, Jane for your kind and calming words. Thank you for allowing me to be filled with YOUR hope in sharing your journey. And now - thanks for sharing all these hopeful journies, as well! I will always be grateful that the Lord put you in my path!

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Nov 22, 2013
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An update on Kate - A Story of Hope
by: Mary Lou

I felt moved this evening (prompted by Kate) to share what has been happening since I originally wrote this tribute.
Kate continues to have no new growth in the pancreas - and - the liver lesions are no longer visible! She had a scan in May, and another in August...Praise God! She is back to work - and is having her port removed next week! She has another scan in early December and of course we are all praying that the results continue to show No Evidence of Disease!
Kate's husband, who was battling a grade 4 glioblastoma (a cancerous brain tumor) passed away in July of this year...11 months after his diagnosis. What a difficult year for that family! Kate and her children miss him terribly, but are so grateful that they did not have to endure the loss of both parents...and they move forward in faith and hope in their compassionate Father in heaven.
Thank you again, Jane for offering HOPE through this site. I wanted to add the continuation of Kate's story to encourage others who are struggling with this terrible disease. There truly IS hope...and I pray for God's blessings on you and all who come here, seeking it!

Aug 01, 2013
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Spreading Hope
by: Jane

Dear Mary Lou,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are exactly the kind of friend we all need. Kate is indeed blessed to have you walking alongside her and her family during this time...

And your words are an encouragement for all who are struggling hard with this disease. Pancreatic cancer is such a formidable cancer. It is an inspiration to hear of battles being won, not only physically but also in faith-living.

Kate (and you!) are spreading Hope to all who read her journey. Praying God's sweetest blessings on you both,

Grace Always, Jane

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