This is Leslie, I am the younger sister of Monika. This campaign is to help raise some funds for her.
In early February of this year, our family was faced with devastating news, Monika had cancer. Monika told me she had been diagnosed with a cancer called, "adenocarcinoma". Monika has the cervical version of this type of cancer. It is a more aggressive and rare type of cervical cancer, found in approximately 10% of all cervical cancer patients.
The first step in her treatment was surgery, where they planned on doing a hysterectomy. During surgery, they discovered her cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. The pathology tests showed that she tested positive for cancer in 6 of the 30 nodes that were removed. For this reason, the doctors decided NOT to do the hysterectomy. Instead, she was told that she should immediately begin a fairly intensive series of chemotherapy and radiation. She has just completed 5 chemo treatments (once a week) and external radiation (5 days per week) for six weeks. The docs also added a series of 5 treatments of an internal "high dose" type of radiation, where Monika was "put under" anesthesia and a small piece of radiation was implanted close to her cervical tumor. So, the very week after surgery, she began her treatments.
Monika has had pretty severe reactions to all that poison in her body. She has had everything from the expected chemo nausea, to stabbing headaches, severe hip pain, uncontrollable shaking, dizziness and lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, strange rashes, and very high fevers. We are blessed to have the best Mom on the planet, who gave up much of her free time to selflessly care for my sister during this time. Monika's best friend, Maria, also cared for her several times. She has been coming from Chicago and staying with her through ER visits and chemotherapy. She has also been a huge help and strong emotional support for my sister these past few months.
Before this whole nightmare began, Monika and her partner, Nate, decided to make a bigger commitment in their relationship. Late last Fall, they decided to co-habitate and bought a new house in Oregon, WI. Nate and his two teenage children (Grant and Grace) along with my sister and her 9-year old son, Jaren, all moved into their new house. My sister told me that life was good and that she had finally found the love of her life in Nate. Nate has not only been patient and nurturing in his care for Monika, but also for her young son. In January of this year, my sister had also gotten a new job. Unfortunately, due to that job switch, and not knowing what lie ahead, she lost really good health insurance. She also lost out on any chance for sick-time or disability pay. On top of everything else, she just found out that they decided to eliminate her position at work...So, while trying to battle cancer, she has now lost her job.
We are grateful that she has Federal Marketplace insurance, but anyone who has it (me) knows that it isn't the best. Monika has already accrued thousands of dollars in medical bills, and it is only just the beginning. The house she and Nate purchased was based on BOTH of their incomes, of which, my sister now has none. The amount we are hoping to raise should (hopefully) cover much of her medical expenses and give her more time to heal before she begins her SECOND round of chemo treatment in about a month. So, we are ultimately relying on the kindness of others to help carry her through.
It is imperative that everyone understand that we do NOT expect donations. Many of you have shown huge support with continued positive thoughts, prayers, meals, cards, gifts, visits, and hugs. Give if you can, and keep sending out healing thoughts and prayers for my big Sis.
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