After experiencing symptoms for just 5 days, my wife Eunice was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. Eunice’s longtime and trusted doctor told us he could set up an appointment for her at just about any medical center in the country. However, he told us the finest care in the country was available right here at the Markey Cancer Center.
The following day we met Dr. Chris DeSimone who would become Eunice’s trusted ally as she fought for her life the next 31 months. Only 15% of Stage 4 Ovarian patients make it 5 years or more and those numbers have barely changed in 70 years. The average life expectancy for this diagnosis is 17 months. Eunice lived for just over 31 months. In my opinion there are 3 key factors that worked together to not only extend Eunice’s life but to make it a very good quality of life.
First of all from day one Eunice had an iron will to live. Not just to breathe and have a pulse, but to LIVE! She was determined that cancer was not going to become the center of her life. That she was going to get as much enjoyment out of each day as she possibly could. Secondly that resolve was bolstered in large part by a deep and abiding faith in God. Eunice never once said, “Why me?” When I would say it for her, her response was always the same, “Why not me? As a child of God I don’t always have to understand my circumstance, I just have to remain faithful and see what God has in store.”
The third pillar Eunice stood on was the care and treatment she received at Markey. That treatment included 2 major surgeries, several outpatient surgeries, numerous procedures, 68 chemo infusions, 15 radiation treatments, blood transfusions, scans, fluid infusions and Jin Shin Jyutusu therapy. I can not say enough to praise the doctors, nurses and staff that provided Eunice’s care. It was second to none and she became very close to many of the Markey staff, especially in the chemo lab where we spent a great deal of time.
Through the 31 months Eunice battled ovarian cancer, shooting sporting clays was our escape from cancer. Even if just for an hour or two we would take our dogs and head out to BGSL to “bust a few targets.” For that short time our unwanted and unwelcome invader was shoved out of our minds.
I hope you will join us for the third annual Big Blue Cancer Blast to benefit the Markey Cancer Foundation. It will be a great day for a great cause. Sign up today and start getting your team together.
- With more than 10,000 cancer-related deaths annually, Kentucky has the highest rates of caner incidence and mortality in the country.
- Markey Cancer Center is Kentucky’s ONLY National Cancer Institute-designated center, giving them access to cutting edge clinical trials, research and therapies not available anywhere else in the state.
- In 2017 and 2018 Markey was named one of the Top 50 cancer centers in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
- There are now 20 Markey Affiliate Network hospitals throughout the state, allowing cancer patients in Kentucky and the surrounding states access to excellent cancer care.