Thursday, January 22, 2015

A SURVIVOR sharing the gift of HOPE!

I am Katherine Kilcullen, & known online as #TEAMNANNY, created by my grandson Isaac who when just 6yrs old put our LIVESTRONG wristbands together & had me promise that we would always be a "team".  Little did he know that his dream of our team would help to inspire so many more to join us on this journey.  This is my story.......

We *ALL*  know somebody affected by this disease!  I had it, my mother had it, my father, my niece, my BEST friends..... too many to keep count anymore!  Cancer has already taken too many of our loved ones from us too soon!
My story has been shared online on my blog, you-tube channel and Facebook – because I believe that knowledge is power and had I been diagnosed earlier I would have had a different outcome. The fact that I even survived surpassed all statistics and my prognosis was grim, outcome I was told was dismal.  I feel that sharing this hope, that if you don't give up on your dreams because of cancer, then you will be stronger for the journey it brings you on.  I am me.  I am not my cancer.  And cancer cannot destroy love and hope.  I respect those who want to keep their cancer story private.  It is a difficult journey and it is not easy to wear your heart out on your sleeve.  But I have learned from other survivors stories that by sharing my story, I will help reduce the stigma associated with cancer, add my face to the 32 million people worldwide, and let people know that you are a not a statistic.  Each person’s treatment plan is personalized, and that we all have the right to patient centered care.  And every survivor needs #HOPE!
In January 2006 I was diagnosed with stage IIICUterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma: a rare and highly malignant form of endometrial adenocarcinoma.  My treatment began with a radical hysterectomy, a bilateral aslpingo-oophorectomy, debulking as much tumor as possible, followed my adjuctive therapy which consisted of six cycles of chemotherapy treatments with combined drugs carboplatin (Paraplatin) with paclitaxel (Taxol), followed by thirty five abdo-pelvic radiation treatments, and brachytherapy.  I remember the whole time wondering just how bad this was when everyone treating me was in hazmat suits, protecting themselves from the poison they were administering to me to kill my cancer cells. 
If only it killed just the cancer cells...... I have since had major lupus flares following my cancer treatment, and have life long side effects, the collateral damage post cancer  including but not limited to.....
·Enteric NS Neuropathy – 2 o chemo (2008) ·  Celiac Disease (dx biopsy 2008) ·  Right leg AK amputation surgery ( September 16, 2010) ·  Right leg AK amputation revision surgery (March 30, 2011) ·  Radiation Colitis – (June 2011) ·  Moderate radiation proctitis with vascular ectasia & fibrotic area (October 2011) · Argon plasma coagulation – October 2011, December 2011 and March 2012 ·  Left leg AK amputation surgery (September 17, 2012) ·  Left leg AK amputation revision surgery (April 27, 2013) ·  Argon plasma coagulation – February 2014.  
I made educated choices in my treatment plan.  I got the facts on what was the best treatment plan for the type of cancer I had.  I feel that because the support I received from LIVESTRONG empowered me to be my own advocate, it made a huge difference in my outcome.  I was inspired by other survivor stories, found out what worked for them, and took what I needed from that information and applied it to my own fight. It was a crash course in survival skills 101.  Thank God for the support I received from LIVESTRONG.  You just reach out to them and suddenly you have an army of people who are wanting to help. 
I continue to fight the collateral damage of cancer treatments every single day.  But I am still alive to make a difference! Too many of our loved ones have ran out of time!  Through these heartbreaks we should be inspired to honor the memory of those we have lost and those warriors still fighting by our volunteer work and fundraising efforts!  The LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION was there the moment I was diagnosed until this very day..... I say “Let the yellow shine” on those affected by cancer!  And YOU can help me pay it forward to our loved ones diagnosed today.
*Unity is strength*
 *Knowledge is power*
 *Attitude is everything*
The LIVESTRONG Foundation serves people affected by cancer NOW from the minute of diagnosis and empowers them to take action against this disease that is now the world's leading cause of death. LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world.  
It was my dream to survive the cancer and gain enough health, and do what I could to become a LIVESTRONG leader.  In 2014 my dream became reality!  "UNITY IS STRENGTH" is the truth. Please, join me and #TEAMNANNY, united and help me support the LIVESTRONG Foundation.   I am #STILLSTRONG......  Thanks to my loved ones, and my "yellow family" @LIVESTRONG!  My motto is "Never Live A Life Less Than You Are Capable Of"

Follow us online! We are sharing hope online! Just use the hashtag #teamnanny.  


*Love* & *Light* has been my signature for the past 20 years, and may it continue to help lead you when darkness comes.



@teamnanny on Twitter

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