Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Damn cancer

My friend Tanya visited me for the weekend. I met Tanya online through my search for writers for The Next Family. I loved her writing and her enthusiasm for her family. Here was a gay woman who had married three times (twice to the same man), had two sons from those marriages and now was married to the love of her life Erikka. Erikka was pregnant with a baby girl and I followed their adventure. We became friends and when I decided to make the journey to visit our writers Tanya was on my list. I went to Texas, a state I vowed I would not ever go to, but I made the exception for Tanya and her family. Life was good for Tanya and her family. While there I stayed in a hotel and Noah, Tanya's son, stayed with me for one night. I was thrilled that this 11 year old would so willingly stay with a stranger. The visit was wonderful as we toured Dallas and visited all the sights to see. We ate, shopped and just hung out. When I returned home we continued the friendship which was now a real one and not just online. And then one day life changed for Tanya and me by being friends with her. She developed a lump in her breast and with no insurance had passed on mammography's for a few years. Her family history was positive for breast cancer and when she felt the lump, insurance or not (not) she needed to have this looked at. As we all know now it was positive for breast cancer. All the tests were done with medicaid and soon she was under the knife having a double mastectomy. She was stage 3 as 9 out of 15 lymph nodes were positive. I was scared and saddened for my friend. But when I get anxious I go into "do something mode" and thought of everything I could do. Since Tanya was going to be unable to work I started a fund to raise money. As of today I am short of my $10,000 goal but getting closer every day. As the last few months have come and gone, I worried for my friend as she started her chemo and then will follow it up with radiation. She is on a path to healing. She is doing everything right, but as we know with cancer it can sometimes have a mind of its own. Only time will tell but if positivity can cure, Tanya will easily survive. She is a fighter and has mounted her own campaign to wellness with her wife Erikka. She is raising a daughter who at 20 months needs her Mama. Tanya is the main caregiver and it hurt her to have to put Harrison in day care but as everything changes when someone has cancer, Harrison is thriving in her new school. Also she is a new grandmother and with all the new life around her, she is in the fight of her life. This past weekend rather than flying to Texas, I flew Tanya to Los Angeles for a long weekend. She loves the beach and what better place to view the ocean than in the cool climate of Los Angeles. Just to be in the 70's weather and sit on a beach was her dream. We were busy from morning to night. We visited Hollywood, Venice Beach, Malibu, Topanga and Hermosa Beach. She had swimming therapy, manicures and a massage for her. We had meals with other writers from the Next Family and when the four days ended I was so sad she had to leave but glad to have had her here. Tanya will survive, that I am sure of. She is a fighter and has so many people fighting and praying for her.  I am so happy I found Tanya and that we connected in real time. Some people diss Facebook but for me, it has been a real adventure in finding friendship. And to Tanya's family, thanks for sharing Tanya and to Erikka for making this visit easy by just saying go. If you want to help Tanya and contribute to my fund for her click on this link. http://www.gofundme.com/2cbo6k

4 comments:

  1. Madge, you are such a compassionate, beautiful soul! Whether we know you in real life, or only through the internet, your beautiful spirit shines through in your actions and words. I pray for Tanya and her lovely family. I hope the Universe allows her many many many more years with her beautiful family!!

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  2. Thank you so much Carol for your lovely comments. O hope to meet you sooner than later too.

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  3. I initially thought this post was about Stacie Lewis but I was wrong. I'm going through chemo myself. How far along is Tanya?

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  4. Tanya had done 5 treatments, 4 with the "red devil" and now has finished one with Taxol. She has three more and then 33 radiation. She is stage three with 9 our of 15 nodes positive with no estrogen related cancer. Two lymph nodes were behind her chest wall so hopefully, they will be gone when this is done as they can't operate to take them out.

    How are you doing? I was so happy to hear Stacie was in remission. Hope it stays that way forever.

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