Palmer's Cancer Journey
$25 Raised
0% of $25k goal
1 contributor
2 Years running

Our cancer journey began 4 years ago in 2010. Like most young couples we had been married for a few years and were trying to work on a family. My heart was set on a girl, always was. We stayed up late talking about what our kids would look like and names we liked but nothing came of our efforts. I began experiencing terrible pain and saw the dr who referred me to a gynecologist. I received an abnormal pap so they ended up doing an endometrial biopsy. Being a nervous wreck I did my internet research on all their medical terms and the following day I received a call at work. She asked if I was alone, if I was able to sit down and talk. I knew right away it wasn't good news and the words endometrial cancer washed over me as my heart sunk and the tears flowed from my eyes. I was trying to stay strong on the phone and said its ok, it was what I was expecting to hear. A customer walked by my office and I rushed to shut the door and blinds. I hung up the phone and broke down. After a few minutes, I locked the office and sent a text to my boss who was out. It said "I just found out i have cancer, im going home." In the car, I called my husband at work and could barely get the words out. He came right home to be with me. It was a long sad night. I met with a gynecological oncologist, a leader in his field. He told me it looked like a grade 1, stage 1 cancer. He said I would need a full hysterectomy but after that I would be fine. He did the surgery and confirmed afterwards the tumor was fully contained and they got it all out. I was devastated that we weren't going to get the family we wanted. It took a few weeks to heal but for a very long time I just felt lost. I felt I no longer had a purpose in life. Months passed by, I began to consider options. Could we adopt, should we be foster parents? I was a foster child, afterall...I could do that. We carried on working, then we bought a house. Our lab was of breeding age and we thought we might try our hand at raising labradors. I found the stud dog, a very big muscular handsome guy to breed with our female, Kyra. Then we got a huge surprise...Martins parents were going to come visit us from New Zealand! I had never met his family but I loved talking to them. They came in the summer of 2011. It was an exciting time, Kyra was carrying pups, his parents were going to be there for the whelping. We had a great time. There was just one problem. I was having abdominable pain. Everyday, I was popping ibuprofen every four hours but it did the trick and I felt better. Kyra had 8 beautiful puppies and we had a joy raising them. I fell in love with one particular puppy. The biggest one, he was pure white and had these humongous paws. He slept a lot and I said it was because he was growing so much. There was one pup that started to slide but we handfed her with a bottle and nursed her back to health. They all thrived and soon they all had homes. We kept our big guy and named him Goliath. Summer was now over. It was a tremendous joy raising him and the months passed quickly. In December my stomach pain became too much to bear. I went to urgent care and the dr told me I probably had an ulcer. I asked him if it was possible I had stomach cancer and he laughed and asked why I would think such a thing at 38 years old. I told him I had cancer last year and had a hysterectomy. He thought for five seconds and said no you dont have cancer. He referred me to a gastrointestinal dr who spent five minutes with me asking questions before telling me he wanted a ct scan. A couple weeks later I got the bombshell news. They found three tumors in my abdomen. A biopsy of the largest mass confirmed it was indeed the same endometrial cancer I had before. One big change this time....once it escapes the confines of your uterus and enters your abdominable cavity you are now stage 4 terminal. The cancer cells are like dandelion seeds once they turn into that white puffball, you touch them and they scatter. I was in so much pain, I could barely walk, I could hardly get out of bed. Everytime I got up I was throwing up. I met with the same surgeon again who said he would do a debulking surgery to remove the masses. Time was of the essence, by the time the surgery was scheduled I couldnt keep a sip of water down. He completed the surgery and told me it was one mass and two areas of swollen tissue. The mass however was 7 inches and was entangled in my intestines and bowels, growing through them. He had to do some resectioning. I dont think even he realized it was that bad after just a year and a half. I began chemo ahead of surgery in an attempt to shrink the mass however both attempts landed me in the hospital as I didnt tolerate them at all. After surgery they put me on weekly treatments of carbo and taxol. Neuropathy soon took over and I lost feeling from my toes to my knees and from my fingertips to my elbows. I couldnt even feel to take my earrings out. The fifth month of treatment I started to get pretty sick and started falling down. Once in my backyard face first into the gravel, I injured my leg and face. I also fell at the doctors office on my way to pick up a prescription. The sixth and final treatment left me with terrible vertigo. I was extremely pale and weak. I had to use a cane. I could drive to where I needed to be but I nearly passed out everytime I stood up. I fell all the time. I broke my ribs and almost broke my nose. My ct scan however after six months was clear and I took hormone pills to keep my estrogen levels down. Three months later, the ct scan showed a really small spot in my lungs. They couldn't conclude anything at that point but three months later another one showed up. Followed by a pelvic mass, another abdominal mass and a liver mass.  Chemo after chemo, they all failed. A few months ago the ct scan showed masses had begun to invade my hip and I was having trouble walking. The radiation oncologist said I had a mass in every corner of my pelvic with one of them going through the leg joint and into my femur bone. I did daily radiation treatments for a month and recently started chemo again. So far the masses have not responded to the radiation and I don't know if they will. The next step is consulting with a dr to inject Samarium radiation into my body to target the bone pain. The average survival rate for stage 4 endometrial cancer is 2 years. I guess I am lucky I am young still at 41 and maybe that is why I was able to pass the two year mark, however once it's in your bones the outlook is very grim, 12-15 months. I've had the leg pain for about 6 months so I fear my time is just about up and this will be my last summer. I am fulfilling my dream to go to New Zealand in 3 months if fate allows. I am going to meet all of Martin's family there and it will be a time to say my final goodbyes in person to his parents who have been so emotionally supportive to me. I have done all the conventional chemos and am doing experimental chemo now. I get the chemo on Mondays and have to get white blood cell booster shots for the next three days each week. I originally called this my cancer journey but realized its not just mine. It affects everyone around me. My husband who will soon be a widow in his young 40s, my friends who will go on without me, my pets, especially Goliath who has so much love in one big puppy body. He rests his head on me all the time and it melts my heart. He is truely so loving and such a character. I will miss being here, I am jealous everyone gets to go on with life, I am saddened by the thought of them grieving over me when I am gone. I dont know how Martin will get by. I feel I am to blame for his impending sadness and I cry at night when I am alone. He is the one who will go on without me and I wont be able to be by his side to make things better. Until that time comes I want to spend quality time making good memories for him. I dont want everything to be about bills, debts, forms and appointments. Right now is the time we have until this journey ends. Right now is what matters. Please help share our journey. If you have the means to help us make a few more memories together we would be blessed. If not, please just share our story. We wish you good health, a long happy life and love. The Palmers.

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