I met Michelle on Saturday at the “Operation Homefront Star Spangled Babies” Shower. I can’t stop thinking about her. I was meant to be there that day and meet her. The first thing that so impressed me about Michelle was she was at the event VOLUNTEERING. She is such an inspiration. And in the brief time talking with her I knew we had a bond. Here she is, amazing Strong Chick, Army Wife and survivor in so many ways.
It was truly wonderful meeting you at the OHOK baby shower on Saturday. I feel so honored that you wanted my story so here it is. It is going to be a little all over the place so I apologize. Since my husband deployed my brain no longer works lol.
In 1998 I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy. Trevor weighed 9 lbs 5 ozs and was as strong as a 3 month old! For almost 2 and a half years Trevor was the healthiest toughest little boy that many had ever met.
One day he started to complain about a sore throat so I made a doctors appt and was told he had a simple sore throat and handed an antibiotic. Trevor continued to get weaker by the day. He didn’t want to eat slept way too much and just didn’t look right. I took him back to the doctor and was told he “may” have strep. No blood work was done, nothing more than a throat swab and more antibiotics. Two days later I noticed the glands in his neck seemed to be swollen. At this point I was no longer content with the antibiotics and took him to Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA.
Within thirty minutes they had blood work done and iv fluids started for dehydration. We were admitted and I was so happy something was being done. The next morning I was woken up by the pediatrician to earth shattering news. My son had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and they needed to start treatment immediately.
I couldn’t begin to grasp what I was just told. How could this be true? I was a good mom! Sadly what I found out was this disease had nothing to do with how he was raised or what I could do for him.
The next year was a complete nightmare between chemo and radiation Trevor was so weak. We couldn’t leave the hospital because he literally had no immune system left. Everyone who visited had to wear a sterile suit and mask so they didn’t bring outside germs in. 13 months after he was diagnosed we received the best news possible…
Trevor was in remission!
Life resumed for 8 months until a random blood test revealed that Trevor’s Leukemia was back. We all settled in for another long hard fight but knew we would beat it again. Sadly the chemotherapy and radiation wasn’t helping this time and the only thing that could help would be a bone marrow transplant. To our horror we discovered than none of the family was a match. We went to the registry and couldn’t find a suitable match that was available to us.
We did what we could and basically just had to make and keep him as comfortable as possible. On November 15th, 2003 Trevor passed away in my arms.
Shortly before my 30th birthday I went in for my yearly gyno appt and within a week I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent a lumpectomy and 2 rounds of chemo and after 8 months I was cancer free!
It made me really take a look at my life and realize how unhappy I was with my marriage. I had been married to my children’s father for almost 10 years and couldn’t imagine being a single mom. However my husband was a very abusive man and I knew if I didn’t leave soon I never would. So one night after an “episode” I grabbed up my 2 boys and we left with nothing. i got us a little apartment an we started life over slowly.
Just one month after my divorce was finalized I noticed an all too familiar feeling in my right breast. I made a doctors appt and once again I was told I had breast cancer. This time I was a single mom and didn’t know anyone since I was new to Oklahoma. I put on my big girl panties and started the fight. A few months later I met a man online through a cancer support group and we started to talk everyday. He was a CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia) survivor and understood when I said things like “Im having a cancer day”. Months went by and we continued to chat online then moved to the phone and he was just amazing. I learned he had always wanted kids but wasnt able due to his chemo earlier in life. Then the good news came, he was being stationed in Oklahoma! So I took a chance and flew to Virginia to road trip with him back to Oklahoma. The connection was instant and I knew I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life. When we got back to Oklahoma we started dating officially. I thought he was insane for wanting to date a single mom with stage 2 cancer but I was super glad! 6 months later he proposed to me and I excitedly agreed. With one clause, I wouldn’t marry him till I was cancer free. He still stuck around!
On April 17th, 2013 I celebrated my 2 year cancer free date. On May 26th, 2013 I also celebrate my 2 year wedding anniversary.
I found out recently I am a carrier fo the BRCA2 gene and so I have opted for a double mastectomy. the way I look at it is I would rather hold a grandbaby someday than have boobs.
I know this is all over the place and I do apologize. If there is anything else I can answer for you I will.
A quick background
I am a very proud Army wife with 2 little boys ages 8 & 9. I am a stay at home wife and mom but keep myself very busy with lots of volunteer work.
Thank you again for the opportunity and interest in my story.