Veronica


Veronica’s Story of Hope…

So Tina asked me to share my story of hope. HOPE. How can four little letters mean so much. To start with, my name is Veronica, and I am not a breast cancer survivor. I’ve never had cancer, and you are probably wondering why I’ve been asked to share a story. Because dear reader, I can share HOPE. Cancer has touched my family. Cancer is a bitch that has no mercy; all we can do is brace ourselves for the impact. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, but my daddy lost his fight to pancreatic cancer this year. Again, I can see you scratching your head wondering, what is this lady rambling on about?! I was asked to share a story of hope, and here it is…

In June of 1998, my high school sweetheart and I were getting ready to celebrate our 3rd year wedding anniversary. Oh to be young and in love! Is there a better feeling? To just be starting out in life with a bright future! But fate can be cruel and on June 24, 1998, we were sitting in an emergency room being told that my husband was in full renal failure and would most likely need a transplant.

veronica-WVHow could this happen? He’s the picture of health! We only went to the ER because we thought he had a terrible stomach virus. I’m at a loss. We have just moved to this area and have no friends or family close. We only have each other. So rather than sit and bemoan our fate, I get on the phone to my brother-in-law that is a doctor, and get his advice. We are going to battle whatever is causing this illness head on!

I’m going to fast-forward through several months of chemo, dialysis, plasmapheresis, and days of hospital stays related to various illnesses and surgeries associated with his renal failure. We’d wake up at 5:00 a.m. I’d take him to hospital for treatment, go to work, pick him up in the evening. Such was our life for months. The diagnosis was bad…he has a rare kidney disease, Goodpasture Syndrome, and at the time, it usually came with a death sentence. We were told we should begin making final arrangements. A transplant is not an option at this time because this disease would just attack a new kidney. So at the age of 26 years old, we are looking death in the eye…and giving it the finger! Over time, his readings start to stabilize to a point that dialysis will no longer be needed. Also, the disease is not attacking his lungs, so the prognosis has changed. We have HOPE!

Kevin and I have spent the last 19 years fighting and continuing to fight his kidney disease. It’s not going away, it’s just slowly progressing. We have met with specialists at UNC who have told us we should be thankful for every day we have, and we are. We continue to fight, and will never stop. We will count our blessings, and make the most of every day. Memories are everything!

I always tell people if we all tossed our problems in a pile and looked at them, we’d quickly snatch ours back up. No matter how bad you may have it, there is someone out there fighting their own demons. My husband and I have weathered many a storm in our life together. The worst was the death of our daughter, Heather Lynn. But we did not lose hope, and was blessed with a healthy son, who is our world. So to you dear reader, it’s ok to have bad days, to rant and to cry, but always get up! Stay positive, and fight! Even when all hope seems lost, make the most of your time. But most importantly, never give up HOPE!

Veronica from West Virginia