Happy Birthday!

On June 7, 2012, I had my first follow up scans post treatment. Those scans showed that the cancer was back and was growing in three different places in my pelvis. Dr. Mutch, my home oncologist, diligently laid out a plan of action but was very optimistic. On June 13, I visited Dr. Shenk out of Northwestern for a second opinion.  He told me that the cancer was very aggressive and that, without treatment, I would have about 10 months to live… that I would not probably live to see my 33rd birthday.

I did chemo in an effort to control the tumor growth until we figured out another plan. During that time, Dr. Mutch worked with me to set up an appointment for my huge radical surgery with Dr. Gostout at the Mayo Clinic.  On our first consultation (which took place on the phone), Dr. Gostout told me that without the surgery, the disease would kill me… with the surgery, it might not.

I had the surgery in October- the one where I was completely gutted and sewn back together. In January, scans showed the cancer was back. So, in February I had another surgery with more radiation and was declared cancer free once again. In May, a PET scan confirmed that my body was, in fact, cancer free.

All I heard was that I was free.

I would like to point out that my 33rd birthday is in less than a week and that I’m still here.  10 months has come and gone, and I’m still here.

Birthdays have always been important to me, but this one is particularly special. I’ve never been so proud to tell people how old I’m going to be.  I feel like a child… the one who holds up the right amount of fingers, glowing… telling the lady at the bank, her parents’ friends, and anyone else who will listen that I am having a birthday and that it is a wonderful, magical thing.

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18 thoughts on “Happy Birthday!

  1. Suki Avery says:

    So awesome to hear! I am not quite through my own journey as of yet but could not be happier for you. I followed you on the Jeff Probst Show and have been inspired and hopeful thru you in regards to my own battle with Advanced Stage Breast Cancer. Stay strong, live well and all the best to you and your family.
    – Suki Avery

  2. Malissa says:

    You’re amazing Kellie! I was honored to see you on the Jeff Probate show and honored to be able to leave you a video message of support! Keep those postive thoughts, live life to the fullest…you are so Strong!

  3. Sue LeGrand says:

    Happy Birthday!! I saw you on the Jeff Probst show and have thought of you often. On Jeff’s last show, I watched the update with you and was so happy to (first) see you, and hear that you were doing OK. You have inspired me, made me cry, and remind me how precious we all are .I saw a post on FB and decided to follow you. I’m so happy I did! I pray for you and ask for health and happiness to be yours. Keep up the good fight and showing us that our will is so much stronger than any ole cancer. God Speed!!
    much love,
    Sue LeGrand

  4. LaDonna DellaGala says:

    You are an inspiration to all that know or have read about you. Happy Birthday (belated) and hope you have 50 more. I wish for you a happy, healthy and why not, wealthy next half of a century.

  5. Diane Gaynor says:

    Happy Birthday Kelly, I’d like to say May God be with you but I think he already is. It seems like your support team (Friends and Family) are your inspiration. so on this Birthday, I wish you more Many more Birthdays to enjoy your Life, your Friends and your Family, My God your Family and your Friends be with you…….. Happy Happy Happy Day for you….

  6. Susan says:

    Happy Birthday and God bless you!! As someone who suffers with a chronic and painful disease…you are an inspiration to me and I’m sure so many others. Thank you for sharing your story with us. xo

  7. Ginger says:

    Congratulations!! It was great seeing you at the “:Panties Across The Bridge” on Saturday. I loved your message!

  8. Jami Savage says:

    Happy Birthday Kelly! Now if only you had 33 fingers to hold up!

    I hope your birthday is filled with beautiful friends, excellent food, a few yummy treats and perhaps an adventure or two.

    All the best on your birthday week!

  9. Leanne says:

    Awesome, just totally, incredibly, joyfully awesome! Happy Birthday!

  10. exiledtyke says:

    Happy Birthday. There is no better present than life and I wish you a long and happy one.

  11. Mary Lynn says:

    Hey Kelly, Happy, Happy, Wonderful Birthday Girl!! From one cancer SURVIVOR to another, keep fighting the good fight, I know you can beat this! 🙂 Praying for more good news from you.

  12. Laura Starks says:

    WOW!! What an experience you have shared with all of us Kelly! A true inspiration! I, too, ‘met’ you after watching the Jeff Probst Show. I was so inspired by you. I have shared your story with friends going through similar situations and you have inspired them too .. i think you are REAL and like a breath of fresh air – you make people feel good – period! I have prayed for you since day of JP – I continue to pray for healthy/healthier tomorrows for you. So happy to see a post from you – so happy to hear your words that truly do catch us all and remind us just how fragile life is ….. Happy Birthday – and dont forget one for good luck!!

  13. Fatin says:

    Happy Birthday Kelly!! You are a true inspiration . An Angel is on your shoulder and God’s arms surround you. I keep you in my prayers.

  14. jules says:

    Happy birthday Kelly! I was so sad reading the last couple of posts (I read your story start to finish) but am SO glad to read this one. It makes me smile and send even stronger prayers up for you! I work in cancer research at the Mayo Clinic and they posted your story on the home page a while back. The best of health to you!!

  15. Kristi says:

    Happy Birthday! God bless you for your strength and determination. You are an inspiration to everyone to never give up hope!

  16. Britt says:

    Happy Birthday Kelly! What a cause for celebration! I hope this year is your best yet! Keep up your love for life, it is contagious!

  17. Heather Von St James says:

    Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! Heather.vonstjames(at)gmail.com Thanks!!

  18. Jami Savage says:


    I just saw your Facebook post and am heartbroken at the news. If anyone can find a way to fight this, it’ll be you.

    I’d love to send you a personal message about how you’ve transformed my life. If you’re able to accept my friend request so I can drop you an email I would really appreciate it. You’re such an amazing inspiration for me everyday.


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