My journey started in August of 2007 with what was supposed to be a routine sinus infection. Within a week, I was in the hospital with pneumonia and a chest tube. I spent weeks in the hospital and the doctors weren’t ever able to determine what caused me to be so sick. There was a spot on my CT that wasn’t quite normal, but they weren’t too worried about it. My doctor wanted to do a follow-up CT in six months. It took a couple of months but life gradually returned to normal. I did continue to experience shortness of breath though. A visit to a chest medicine specialist didn’t turn up any causes or concerns.
My health worries gradually took a back seat to my excitement over our upcoming February vacation. Marty and I had recently purchased our dream property in Oklahoma. I was extremely excited to visit family and to see our newly acquired property. I envision Marty and I retiring here and building our dream home among all of the cedar, pecan and oak trees. When we returned from vacation, I immediately contacted my doctor. The shortness of breath was worse. My life turned into a whirlwind. The initial x-rays, turned into a CT scan the next day and that led to referral to see a surgeon the next day. Fluid was accumulating in my lungs again. I was quickly scheduled for surgery, another chest tube and a biopsy of the “mystery area”. My nightmare had begun.
On March 13th, 2008 with Marty by my side, I was finally given a diagnosis. My doctor told me that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that I didn’t have lung cancer. The bad news was that I had mesothelioma. I didn’t know what this meant except that it was cancer. My family, friends and coworkers quickly rallied around me. Together, we learned about this terrifying disease and I learned how to “hurry up and wait”. I also learned that I didn't just have co-workers. As they have united around me to support me, we have turned into a family. It has been incredibly frustrating waiting while all pieces fell into place. I’m relieved to finally be heading to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. My first appointment is April 7th. Please pray that God will work thru my doctor. His name is Dr. John Heymach. I am impressed with his credentials and that he’s involved in the latest research and treatments.
My life brightened on March 21, 2008. Surrounded by family and friends, Marty and I were married. Whatever lays ahead, we will face together. I know that I have quite a challenge ahead of me. I am comforted by my faith. I know that everything is in God’s hands. I truly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers.
As you continue to pray for me, I have another request of you. Please take time every day to cherish your loved ones and to make every day count.
It is with sadness and sorrow that we tell you that we lost our precious Vicki. She passed away peacefully Thursday morning (4/26/09) at home in the presence of her family.
Recently in our conversations with Vicki, she expressed her desire to assist the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in their fight against mesothelioma. This organization offers patient/family education, advocates and sponsors research in an effort to cure this horrible disease. A tribute page has been set up with the Foundation and there is a link to make a donation in Vicki’s memory if you wish. http://www.curemeso.org/site/c.duIWJfNQKiL8G/b.9541163/k.903B/Donate_Online.htm
In her honor, we provide links to available mesothelioma resources. We hope you never need them, but provide them in case you do.
First Baptist Church is honored to be listed as a spiritual resource on the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center website for families suffering through this terrible disease. Mesothelioma is a nearly always fatal cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos. Persons diagnosed with mesothelioma face an extremely difficult battle and the very real prospect of death. At this critical point in one's life, many people turn towards religion to help them cope with their suffering and to assist them in answering life's most important questions. FBC is poised to be able to provide them the Good News of Jesus Christ, the hope of eternity with Him, and the answer to the most important question of all...what happens to me when I die?
"Thank you, First Baptist Church, for "the support and helping us raise awareness about Pleural Mesothelioma. As you may know Pleural mesothelioma has affected thousands of people around the world. Many people are not aware they have contracted the disease until many years later. This is due to the long latency period of mesothelioma cancer developing after a case of asbestos exposure. This latency period can be up to 20 to 50 years. Mesothelioma symptoms do not develop until this period. Symptoms often resemble illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia, and in the case of pericardial mesothelioma, symptoms can resemble other cardiac conditions. This can make diagnosis difficult though informing a doctor of prior asbestos exposure can alert them of the possibility of an asbestos-related disease. Our organization provides free informational books, packets and a Patient Advocacy program that works 1-on-1 with individuals to help them find local doctors, treatment centers and support groups.
Our mission is to guide mesothelioma patients and their loved ones toward answers, care options, and free health solutions that improve their lives.
It's a frightening situation. You've been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you're worried about your health, your family, and your future. You need a specialist and we can help.
Hope. Faith. Action.
Connecting Patients and Caregivers