WalkOn Support
Next Meeting: Sep 11, 2018

About Us

C.Kay StreightC.Kay’s Story

My journey as a survivor and a caregiver.
By C.Kay Streight.

On a beautiful sunny day in Colorado, I was working as usual in my office looking out at the great divide. I began to have a pain in my side; this was highly unusual for me. So, I called my sister to find out what she thought it might be.

Unlike my sister, I was hardly ever sick. I described the pain to her and she informed me that it sounded like the pain she had experienced when she had to have her gallbladder removed. My husband and I were so busy in our store design company and I didn’t have time to be sick. I immediately called the doctor’s office and was scheduled to have a sonogram.

While laying on the table the technician would call out the organs as she performed the test. Then she got to an area and didn’t speak, so I asked “what is that”?

She responded with a “well, that shouldn’t be there”. At that point I knew in my heart it was cancer. But, my doctor insisted that it was pancreatitis and sent me home to go into “pain”. I waited for six weeks to go into pain. My pain increased but never to the extent of pancreatitis. Finally, I insisted on a second opinion. He referred me to a doctor in Denver and I had a biopsy of the inflamed area. We had to wait two weeks for the test results so my husband and I decided to try to continue on with our lives as normal. Well that lasted for about one week. We were in North Carolina for a family reunion two days after the biopsy when I began to get sick. By the end of that week we were in Colorado Springs for a booksellers conference and I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. At the next doctor’s appointment I was informed that I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Then I was referred to an oncologist. Up until this point it seemed that everything had moved so slowly, now it was all in hyper mode. My oncologist immediately admitted me to the hospital. The doctor informed us that there was a tumor cocooning my pancreas and it was angry. It seems when the biopsy was performed, the tumor was small but the needle made it angry and caused it to start growing. At that point the tumor was the size of a grapefruit.

After spending 10 days in the hospital and finally getting chemotherapy I returned home. It took me a couple of weeks to recover from being so sick and the first chemotherapy. I was very lucky to have such wonderful support of my family and friends. I am still thankful for it every day.

Chemotherapy is not easy, but it is doable and a necessity in most cancer diagnosis. I had 8 chemo treatments with very few side effects. I lost my hair and suffered a blood clot, but because of my age (45) and very good health, the side effects were minimal. After my second chemo the tumor had shrunk by 75%. Today all that remains of the tumor is some scar tissue.

Never having dealt with a life threatening disease before, I came out of the challenge a different person. Without cancer I would never have known inner courage. I relate to people differently and truly appreciate my family. I am “living with cancer” and I am not afraid of it. I have celebrated 18 years being cancer free. I will try to never forget that cancer is a part of my past, but hopefully not my future. (As of 2018)

No matter when I die, I hope I can hear the LORD say, “well done my child”.

My husband and I have since retired and live in sunny Palm Coast, Florida.

We started The Walk On Cancer Support Group in June 2011. We wanted to help people that were newly diagnosed as well as those already on their cancer journey. I still remember what it felt like to hear the words “you have cancer”. Cancer has no boundaries; it creates the same emotion in everyone it touches. If we can be a positive presence in some way to these people, then we are accomplishing what we prayed for.

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SURVIVE: to live or last through; endure to live longer than; outlive; outlast
CANCER SURVIVOR: a person that has outlived, outlasted, endured through their disease.
The definition of survivor also includes family, friends and voluntary caregivers who are affected by the diagnosis in any way.