Article written by Kim Lauseng
When I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in May of 2015 I was terrified, as was my family.
When I found out after my lumpectomy there was too much cancer and they couldn’t get it all out, I was sent to the Twin Cities to discuss a mastectomy. When I went there two and a half years ago on May 12 (which happened to be one of my granddaughter’s birthdays) they told me they were not going to do the mastectomy because the cancer had spread to my bones-even more terrified. (Note: I went to Missouri several years back and spent three weeks watching my brother die of bone cancer).
I remember like it was yesterday sitting on the floor with my grandchildren explaining to them that I have cancer and watching the sad looks on their faces. It was heartbreaking to say the least. They wanted to know if their Grandma was going to die.
My youngest daughter’s wedding was set for June 13. 1 wondered if I was going to be alive to see her walk down the aisle with her dad. I also wondered if I would be around to see her have babies or if I was going to spend another Christmas with my family.
You know what I did? I said to myself (after several days of mourning), I don’t have time for this. I have a job that I truly love working with amazing people, lots of friends and a fantastic family and I want to be around to enjoy my life for as long as I can.
I had an amazing cancer doctor, Dr. Sonda Mahrer, that told me a new pill had just came out shortly before I was diagnosed. She wanted to try it on me instead of the heavy chemo and radiation that most people that you know are going through or have gone through. After several PET scans my cancer scarred over and as of two months ago my cancer is gone.
My advice to everyone out there that has any kind of cancer is stay positive. What truly amazed me when I was diagnosed was how fast this news gets around and just how many people really care about me and were there for me through the good and the bad. I got cards, lots of hugs, small gifts and (most of all) prayers from so many people. People I barely knew asked if they could put me on their prayer chains.
People still ask me how I am doing. I am thrilled to tell them I am in remission and cancer free.
I have now seen my daughter get married (so now I have two amazing son-in-laws), and we have welcomed two more beautiful grandchildren to our family, Koltyn James Kafer and Chelsey Lynn Sibell.
I can’t say enough about how keeping a positive attitude and realizing how as a survivor each and every day is a true gift that you get to share with everyone around you that truly care about you is more is totally amazing. Thank you to everyone that supported me, and continues to support me. Let’s give cancer the boot and let’s continue the fight to help others that we know and love beat this.
Isanti County Relay for Life is Sept. 9.
Part of this, if you have never been to one, includes purchasing a luminary bag and decorating it for the people that you have lost or people you know that have cancer and are survivors (like me) if you are interested. What a beautiful display it is when this is lit up at dusk. I currently have one for my brother, Tom Wright; my sister-in-law, Judy Adler; a dear friend, Mike Ammend; and the daughter, Maddy Nelson, of one my friends in our County Attorney’s office. All of these very special people and so many more have lost their battle with cancer.
Please come and join us to help support the important people in your life that have gone through this terrible disease and let’s make sure that we can help more and more people to survive. While the money that is donated by all of us does not all stay in Isanti County, all of our survivors receive many more benefits from the ongoing research, new drugs, etc., than what we could ever think of raising.