Hello Underdogs, and welcome to Fan Friday. Normally, this would be a blog where I talk about things that I am a great fan of in movies, TV, comics, music, and pop culture. Instead of that, I am going to tell you why I am my best friend, Amy’s biggest fan. Amy has been battling cancer for 3 years now. In the last 3 years, Amy’s cancer has come back 3 different times. Her cancer is not only aggressive, but so medically unusually that she has a case study, and a team of doctors who meet every single Monday to discuss her case. Fighting cancer is always hard, but this particular fight seems like if they tell us it’s statistically impossible, that means that it will happen to Amy.
Amy was diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer, better known as uterine 3 years ago. Even though uterine cancer is the third leading cause of death of women in the United States, it is very rare for someone in their 30’s to get this type of cancer. In the last year, however, I have personally met so many very young women and girls suffering from uterine cancer, so it is becoming more common. Amy’s first diagnosis was stage 1, grade 1, which meant they would do surgery to remove the cancer and decided if chemo or radiation would be the next steps. What was supposed to be a 3 hour surgery turned into almost 12, and all of us in the waiting room were left in silence and great fear. We finally heard some news and it was devastating. In a few months time, the cancer had moved from stage 1 to stage 3. It had spread outside of the uterus, and went into her tubes, and both ovaries. The surgery had become an emergency situation to save her life.
Amy started chemo that lasted over 100 days. It was very harsh chemo, and she was also going through the early on set menopause due to the life saving hysterectomy that she had to have. and the side effects were awful. She was hospitalized more often than not. After chemo was over, and she got the news that she was going into remission, the real work began. She had many complications from the chemo, and the surgery including permanent leg damage, lymphedema, and more. She had many surgeries including having a drain pump put into her side, months of intense physical therapy. Amy had to have her legs constantly wrapped, and was constantly sick. She also was battling a severe depression due to all of the horrible things that happened to her, and dealing with all the personal loss of having a full hysterectomy as a young woman.
A short time into this remission, Amy started feeling more pain in her side. She did tell her doctors, but they told her it was probably scar tissue. Amy pushed for a CT, and we found out that her cancer had come back again. She was told on a Tuesday, and had emergency surgery on the same week on Thursday to remove the tumor. Amy then had over months of radiation treatments every single day. Amy just had her last radiation, when she started having intense pain in her side, yet again. A trip to the ER revealed that 4 new tumors had popped up. Surgery was not an option at this point, so Amy started chemo yet again.
Today marks her last day of the planned chemo, but her pain has come back in the last few weeks. She will have a CT in the next few weeks to see if the cancer has come back, but nothing is surprising us any longer. While the news has been bleak, we have to take the good news when we can. I want to celebrate and acknowledge the fact she has made it this far, and has made it through more chemo than she has ever had before. At 9 rounds, she is at approximately 189 days of treatment. This is so much on the human body, and it has been awful. However, Amy fights on. She fights with more dignity, grace, and class than I have ever seen. Her strength is inspirational. Giving up is not an option and she lives each day with this mantra.
You see, I am her caregiver, so I see it all. I see the very worst, and the very best. I have seen her be so sick that she could hardly stand, yet give her time to help someone else who was afraid, or needed the help. Amy found that her passion in life is helping, and she is going to be taking steps towards helping cancer patients deal with living with this disease and the aftermath. There are many reasons that Amy is an inspiration, but her level of commitment to fighting, and to helping others even at her weakest makes her truly remarkable. There a million reasons that she is my hero, and one day, I hope to have a percentage of her love, compassion, and fight. So today, let’s all take a moment to celebrate this victory of being able to say that she has completed this planned 9 rounds of chemo. We don’t know what the next steps will be, but for now, we are happy to say that she has got through this part of the fight. It is a huge accomplishment, and we all are very proud of her. Here is to Amy, my best friend, and my hero, the fighter, the warrior, the person who looks at the impossible and figures the way around it! You are amazing! You are strong. You are#Burchstrong.
For more information about Amy, please visit her website here: Burchstrong Website
If you would like to contribute to her Go Fund Me Account please follow this link: Go Fund Me
To purchase the book: “What to Expect When Your Loved One Has Cancer,” Please follow the link: What to Expect When your Loved one has Cancer: A Caregiver’s Guide
If you would like to purchase anything from my Thirty One Website, a portion of each sale goes to #Burchstrong to help with the medical costs. If you want to purchase this customized bag, please reach out to me to help you with your order! Lisa’s Thirty One Page