Kristine Matheny

I was diagnosed on 1/22/2016, I’ll never forget the day I thought my life was over. I am 37 year old mother of 5 ages 19 to 3. I have 4 children home with me, 1 is incarcerated and family is 1200 miles away. I thought having a troubled child was the toughest thing to face, that was until my diagnosis. I am married, but my husband chose to walk out on me and the kids shortly after my diagnosis. 2/22/2016 I had a lymph node removed, that came back positive, so from my initial diagnosis to this point I went from stage 1, grade 1 to stage 3, grade 3. I had a double mastectomy and DIEP surgery on 3/9/2016, a 4 day hospital stay turned in to a 14 day stay with 3 additional surgeries due to complications.

I don’t recall much from the hospital stay as the drugs they had me on had me pretty out of it. I had several wound healing complications and developed a blood clot, that continually delayed chemo, I also met with 4 oncologists to find one to best suit my needs. on May 19th I began chemotherapy. I had an immediate reaction to round 1, but rounds 2 through 4 were much less exciting. on June 22, I completed the last chemo session with my 17 year old by my side. it’s highly suggested that I begin radiation next.

Thanks to the politics of medical insurance I’ve been declined a PET scan and hope that the CT scan this week is clear. I’ve not yet decided if I can make radiation work, being a single working mom makes additional appointments a challenge. This journey has been filled with the highest of highs, the lowest of lows. Struggling to keep the house and groceries paid for, the medical bills are piling up. the surgeries gone bad, wondering why the doctors only removed 1 node, the side effects of treatment. Finding out who matters and who doesn’t, having friends turn their back, family stop checking in on you, it takes an emotional toll more than I could have ever prepared for. I chose to shave my head on May 2nd, it was the only thing I had control of, chemo couldn’t take it. now I am more than ready to have my hair back.

That the most priceless people in my world are my kids. that I am stronger than cancer, and that although my spirit is broken, I am alive, I am a survivor. I will continue the fight.