Update as of 1/20/17
Friends, family, and supporters,
Words can’t begin to describe the gratitude Sara (and those who love her) feels for all the love and support you’ve all been sending. So, we’ll keep it simple…thank you, thank you, thank you. A lot has happened since we started this page so an update is overdue.
We left off with the sad news that Sara’s breast cancer had spread to her liver, giving her the diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer with liver mets. While there is no cure for Sara’s disease, it is not the end of the story.
Sara underwent six months of intravenous (IV) chemotherapy (Taxol) to shrink the two cancerous spots that had been discovered in each lobe of her liver. She responded well to this treatment and scans revealed the liver mets shrank small enough to be surgically removed.
November 11, 2016, Sara checked into the hospital to have her surgery, but once the surgeons got a closer look at her liver, they found 10 tiny clusters of cancer that were not detected in her recent scans. After consulting with her oncologist, they decided not to remove any of the cancer from her liver. Needless to say, Sara (as we all were) was absolutely devastated.
But, in true Sara form, she shook it off and met with her medical team to regroup and come up with an alternative plan of action. Because her breast cancer is estrogen and progesterone positive/Her2 negative, she has been receiving monthly shots and taking Femara daily to induce early menopause to rid her body of these hormones. She also started a brand new targeted therapy called Ibrance. It was just FDA approved last year and was made specifically for her type of breast cancer. Unfortunately, one of the side effects is a decrease in white blood cells, which compromises her immune system.
In addition to her liver surgery, Sara had the completion of her breast reconstruction scheduled December 21, 2016. She was thrilled to learn that her new plan still allowed her to finish the reconstruction. But, her pre-surgery labs showed that her white blood cell count was too low meaning her immune system was not stable enough for the surgery and to Sara’s disappointment, it was cancelled.
To boost her immunity, she took a little break from Ibrance and was able to have her surgery on January 11, 2017!!! She will start taking the Ibrance and Femara again to keep her cancer at bay.
Sara’s life is not defined by, but is forever changed with her stage 4 cancer diagnosis. She will continue on with whatever medication or treatment is working...until it isn’t. Then, she will try another treatment. Scan-treat-repeat. There is no cure.
Hope, Prayers and Gratitude
Sara is as stubborn and determined as they come. She prays every day for more time with her adorable daughter and for more days to feel GOOD and enjoy life. She refuses to let her diagnosis or statistics define her (according to the stats, she has 2-3 years). She will continue to live life with grace and gratitude and embrace every day as if it were a gift. And, she will advocate for stage 4 breast cancer because it is so misunderstood and neglected due to the fear and poor mortality statistics it brings along with it.
Show Your Support
Please continue sending your well wishes and words of encouragement. It means the world to Sara. She is such an inspiration to us all. It’s hard to know how to help, but there is something we can all do whether we’re near of far that can take a burden off of Sara and help her focus on enjoying family, friends and life to its fullest…we can donate to help with her medical expenses. Medical expenses that will never go away. If you’re able, please take a couple minutes and contribute. THANK YOU!
How it all Began
Last fall our dear friend, Sara, got the news none of us ever want to hear..."you have cancer." That day, she learned she had breast cancer and so began a whirlwind of doctor appointments, additional tests and the processing of unimaginable news. But, with the love and support of her family, friends and most importantly her beautiful, 9 year old daughter, Taylor, Sara tackled the fight head on.
Sara had a double mastectomy February 3rd of this year. The doctors were optimistic, as were we all, that they had removed all the cancer. There were still more battles to fight to win the war on her cancer though. Chemotherapy. Potentially radiation therapy. Additional tests and scans to officially determine if the cancer had spread. And still follow-up procedures from her mastectomy. A lot to take on, but she was up for the challenge.
She discussed treatment plans with her team and had a PET scan to see if the cancer had spread. That's when the news got worse. The cancer had, in fact, metastasized to her liver.
Sara has stage IV breast cancer. There is no cure for stage IV breast cancer. But, that does not mean there is no hope. It means Sara is going to fight like hell. It means she is going to manage her illness with lifelong treatments, routine doctor appointments and expensive diagnostic tests, such as CT scans. It means in addition to our love and support, we can ease the burden on her and Taylor by providing financial assistance.
All of us who know her, know what a positive, care-free person Sara is so in the spirit of that, we prefer to think of our donations as a way of celebrating her. Join us in helping Sara celebrate every day by chipping in to help with her expenses so she can focus on what's really important...Taylor and taking care of herself.
Thank you so much. Sara is grateful beyond words for all the love, well wishes and support you all give.