Monday, March 1, 2010

The Story

Aleisha is a 41 year old mother of 2 that was diagnosed 6 years ago with malignant melanoma. Her diagnosis came from a small mole on her foot that turned color and started to have episodes of bleeding.
That was the beginning of her hell. Urgently after her initial diagnosis(which consisted of PET scans, then biopsies, then surgery to remove the mole, then skin grafting to cover the crater)she endured one year of IV Interfuron treatments. Good news came after the interfuron was completed and it appeared the disease had gone into a state of remission .

Aleisha and her husband continued to live their life. They were a happy couple married 15 years and started their family by having their first son, William. Life seemed good and the check ups were often but it appeared as though the disease was under control. Always wanting more than one child, they decided to expand their family (with the blessing of all their doctors) and in March of 2009 they had their second child, Zachary. But by April Aleisha noticed a nodule and knew this was not good.

She and her husband followed up with scans, a surgeon and an oncologist who gave them the news..the cancer was back. Aleisha underwent another surgery in attempt to remove the lesion and control the cancer. She would then follow with another regimen of chemo. The scans, surgeries, chemo, iv's,
nausea, vomiting, lymphodema and hair loss had returned. This was supposed to be a time to rejoice with a new baby and a youing son, instead it became a time of docotrs appointments, hospitalizations, Swelling, emptying drains and more meds. This continued over months. Then another lesion appeared. Worse yet, the chemo regimen had to be changed because the cancer had now spread to the brain.

A different chemo will be started, MRI's every 2 months and gamma knife radiation was introduced to them. She would be scanned and fitted for a halo that would be fastened to her skull and placed in a machine that would give off radiation to miniscule sections of her brain where the lesions appeared.
Although the news was not good, the number of lesions put her in a position to undergo the gamma knife, not once, but twice within a 5 month period. Chemo one week a month, MRIs, Dermatologist appoiuntments, labs, low immune system and the never ending word cancer.

Aleisha's husband (Buddy) has been a saint through all this. He is a wonderful man who has taken over the cooking, most of the cleaning and daily activities when she is not feeling so well. He has taken a leave of absence since the birth of their second son, Zach because Aleisha has been so ill and hospitalized with the surgeries. Life has taken a toll on this family. Many friends, coworkers, family and even the local fire department has showed their kindness and generosity to help out this family.
But the fight continues, the cancer has not gone. MRI's continue every 2 months, gamma knife will continue as long as she meets the requirements (if not whole brain radiation is the next resort with many more side effects). But the time has run out for her husband and arrangements are being made for him to return to work and the children to attend care. Some days she is able to handle the baby, but a 3 year old is alot more active and she tires easily. The struggle for this family is not over.

The battle continues...Aleisha's faith and will is abundant. To see her Joy with her sons and smile with her husband is worth the battle. She is a woman with great faith and instead of allowing others to feel for her, she looks at her joys and is humbled to be able to have her home, her children and her husband. She is very unselfish and will call others and offer assistance, even when she can barely do something for herself. Her inner strength can lift mountains. Her relationship with God is a bond like no other. She sets an example to all of how we need to live our daily lives with appreciation, love, kindness and understanding.

Thank you for becoming a part of this site. If you follow you will see the strength of a woman that will enlighten you and bring you to tears. This site will humble you, yet give you strength. It may make you cry, but allow you to smile and sometimes even laugh.