Kaitlynne is a phenomenal young woman who has walked along side her mother every step, with such incredible strength and grace. Kaitlynne’s good friend Hannah nominated her for this Beauty Revived session stating that Kaitlynne is “so incredibly loving and encouraging to everyone around her. She is so hilarious and happy! She has such a beautiful joyful light that everyone notices. Most of all, she is so inspirational, as she has stayed so strong and faithful to God even though a difficult past few years. After meeting Kaitlynne and spending the afternoon getting to know her, I can understand why everyone who knows her loves her. She has a quite confident and encouraging spirit. She is a giver and a caretaker. When I asked Kaitlynne where she wanted to go to school, she said she had made the decision not only to pursue nursing but also to stay close to home to help take care of and care for her mother. Kaitlynne’s mom has cancer. You can read more about Kaitlynne’s mom’s fight in her words below:
“The first time something seemed off, mom was picking up a little girl she was babysitting when she thought she pulled a muscle in her abdomen. After two weeks of it feeling increasingly painful, she decided it would be wise to see a physician. Many tests were taken and the doctor finally realized that there was a tumor in my mom’s liver. He scheduled her for another test to see the stage that the tumor was at. Weeks went by with no news and then all at once, it seemed we got the worst news. The test showed that mom’s liver was encased in cancer and that there was not much healthy liver tissue present, which translated over to two years if my mom was lucky. My mom’s doctor tried a chemo that led to her remission and my mom was feeling much more energetic and like herself. But after a couple months, my mom went back for a routine checkup and the cancer was back. However this time, the cancer was much more aggressive and spread to the lower lung. Again, the doctor gave her chemo, but because her body was adapting to the drug, her tumor markers were not decreasing as was hoped for. So they started two different chemo’s, which had side effect my mom sometimes joked, were worse than the cancer.
She had sores in her mouth, was loosing hair, was constantly bloated, her hands and feet turned dark and black in some parts, she had painful acne, and no matter how much lotion she put on, her hands and feet would crack to the point where she would bleed on occasion. After two years she again went into remission.
Last year, my mom’s cancer came back, and was identified as both breast cancer and liver. My moms doctor was running out of ideas and so he sent samples to UW for a study which tests hundreds of chemo therapies against an individual’s cancer until one match is found that terminates the cancer cells. In the mean time, it spread to her hip, spine, and lungs. After the results of the UW test came back, they found a match out of more than a hundred chemos. God has been so good during this time because although January 2014, had the highest tumor markers that my mom had ever had (which was unbelievable and frightening) her doctor (dr. Keeche) called two days before Christmas telling her that the chemotherapy she was on was the most effective one yet. Although experts in their field have told my mom numerous times that her cancer would only allow her to live two years, or one year, God had a very different plan.
My mom is so strong and courageous and walks with grace through her battle. I’ve never met a woman I’ve wanted to imitate more than my mom. I know many people say that they are blessed to have the mother they do, but I am who I am because my mom has always been there to guide and shape me. Walking along side my mom through her fight made it clear to me that I want to help those who are going through what my mom is going through. I plan on going into nursing school so that I can become a registered nurse and eventually an oncology nurse.
Knowing my mom is sick has really opened my eyes to appreciate not only her, but the time I have with her too. The memories we make together are so precious and real. My mom is my rock and I hope that I can emulate that for her.”