Kay's journey was a difficult one. She was initially diagnosed with colon cancer, but was re-classified as a rectal cancer patient, which had its own unique treatment plan: radiation, surgery, and then chemo for an extended period of time. Throughout her entire ordeal, Kay has been the picture of inspiration. She kept a positive outlook, posted details so we would understand the importance of cancer screenings, and she made it to most of our Tuesday/Thursday 5:45am runs even when most people would have rolled over with the harsh chemo treatments. I speak for hundreds of people who have come in contact with Kay at any point in their lives...she is my hero and I prayed on a daily basis that God would heal her and spare this amazing woman any further pain and suffering!
I was also humbled by the support she received along the way. Not only did she have some of the best doctors she could find in our area, but her network of friends, family, and former students kept her going even on her most trying days. We wore our "No One Fights Alone" blue support bands, sent her daily texts, emails, and Facebook posts, and when things got difficult, she had so many people there to lend support where needed. I know all of this contributed to her healing and ability to stay positive during this long, grueling process, so thank you everyone for your prayers, best wishes, and love you sent Kay's way. I know she will never be able to thank you for the flood of support that came her way throughout this journey.
So it is with a full heart and eyes rimmed with tears of joy that I would like to share that it worked. Last week she was given the all clear--she is cancer-free! So many of us had no doubt that this would be the final outcome, that I was surprised with the emotional impact this result had on me. Even as I write this my throat is choked up with emotion, and the tears are making it difficult to see my blurry screen to finish this blog. Kay fought so hard, kept up a positive attitude even when things were at their worst, and she kicked rectal cancer's @$$! Now, I know she will need to go for regular check-ups to make sure she scared it away for good, but because of her determination and amazing attitude, she was able to kill this thing in one fell swoop.
When Kay called me to tell me the great news, she asked me to cut off my support bracelet and send her photos of my now naked wrist. It feels weird with it gone after almost a year without ever taking it off, but every time I look down I am reminded that Kay is one of the strongest people I know! And this strength will remind me that no matter how tough the next month is on me physically, nothing can be as hard as what Kay went through battling cancer.
I do ask one final thing of you, friends, because I know this would mean the world to Kay. If you know anyone that is at least 50 and has not had their cancer screenings, please bug, plead, and cajole them to make their appointments as soon as possible. Show them this video of Kay, because not everyone will be as lucky as she was to get the clean bill of health after her first series of treatments. This could have ended so poorly, so I am so happy to be able to say to Kay's cancer, "You're out of here!"
Chick Interrupted: The Kay Mueller Story