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“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

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Status updates New 4-24-13
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Happy New Year, here is to hoping 2013 is awesome.

This is my story about my family and our fight against cancer.  It all began July 2010 when the first doctor said those dreaded words, "You have cancer."  

The doctors were all positive and upbeat.
It had all started in my right tonsil.  I was assured it would be beatable.  It was stage 4 and had spread to my lymph nodes in my neck.  

We started with an aggressive chemo attack.  After several weeks we were seeing progress and it was time to start radiation treatment and reduce the chemo.  33 radiation treatments later and I was done.  It was the end of December 2010.  

On April 1, 2011 I got the news "cancer free."  I had lost most of my saliva glands to radiation but I was glad to trade it to be cancer free.  

There was some concern later in the year so I had another PET scan on Nov. 11, 2011.  It came back clear.  Nothing to be concerned about.

(Except for all the bills.  Tons of medical bills on top of those we already had and 6 months on disability pay had wiped us out.)  

Fast Forward a bit, things are looking up, work is going well and we had begun to plan a family vacation. April 1, 2012 had come and marked a year cancer free.

June 18, 2012 came and I got up feeling bad but decided to go to work.  I made the hour plus drive through all the construction going from Grapevine to Addison.

I got out of my truck and made the 25 yard walk to the door and could barely breathe. I called my wife and let her know I was coming home and we needed to go to the hospital.  X-rays lead to CT scans and the removal of 3.5 liters of fluid from the area around my right lung.  The top four conditions that cause this sort of fluid build up are infection, heart failure, kidney failure and cancer.

Infection was ruled out fairly quickly, lab work showed that my heart and kidneys were ok. There were no conclusive results from the lab work on the fluid.

Time for some poking around with a camera in my chest, so on June 29 I got some holes poked in my side and they went digging around. They took samples for testing.

Results come from my Oncologist which means cancer.  No smiles or positive words now, my chest wall is covered in nodules and a PET scan confirms that it is in my lung too.  The 5 year survival rate for this is 15% and the average lifespan is 11 months. There is little hope for a medical solution.

I have never smoked, rarely ever drank, never abused chemicals so I don't know where it came from.

In my favor I am relatively young (45), strong and healthy.  I have to beat this.  I have made many promises to my wife and my seven year old daughter.  I intend to keep them.
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Copyright Kelly Ballard 2012