Katherine’s Fight with Stage Four Cancer Story
Cancer is a battle that a whole community fights. When a loved one is diagnosed, everyone who loves and cares for them is fighting that cancer. Katherine was diagnosed with stage four cancer, with an unknown source, and her community is in it with her. Christiana, a close friend and neighbor of Katherine, shared the impact of Katherine and Scott’s love on others, and how an abundance of love is being returned to them as they fight Katherine’s cancer. In addition, she shared the hope and strength Katherine and the rest of their community have through Katherine’s stage four cancer story.
“My husband and I have known Scott since college and we met Katherine when she and Scott and their four girls moved down the street from us several years ago. Katherine and I bonded instantly. I think most people bond with Katherine instantly. We both understood the crazy life we live with four kids. In one of our early conversations together, we came to realize that both of us, out of pure desperation, had gathered stale gold fish or popcorn off the floor of our vans to appease fussy kids – on more than one occasion. We knew at that moment, our friendship would be free of judgment, filled with mercy and of course a hearty amount of laughing at ourselves.
Both Scott and Katherine have great smiles. They smile with their whole face – it shines from their eyes. One of my favorite memories is Scott taking our kids to school for us one day. He pulls in our drive way with a van already full with their four girls and then a couple more of my kids pile in with Scott just smiling and waving. I later told Katherine that was a true man right there!
This summer Scott and Katherine have had people staying in their home almost every week. Their home is modest. People don’t come because of a great game room or luxury guest bedroom. They come because they are drawn to the love, fun and often craziness. But that is the beauty of it. Scott and Katherine don’t pretend to be something they are not. They invite people into their lives and are completely authentic and real. People know they are safe and loved in their presence. Whatever they have, they offer it up freely. Looking back, I see what a blessing it was for people to be there this summer.
This story began about three weeks ago, so everything is still so raw. Let me back up a little. Katherine had been in pain for quite a few months. She had gone to several doctors and different test were done, but nothing was found. One of the last doctors she went to told her it was stress. I remember seeing Katherine shortly after that appointment and could see the pain etched on her face. Even in pain, Katherine kept going and did not complain – but something was wrong. Then finally in so much pain, she drove herself to the ER and emergency surgery was performed to remove her gallbladder. This is where the doctors saw “strange cells” on the wall of her stomach.
These “strange cells” sounded scary, but surely they were not cancer. Then a few days later, a meeting with the surgeon confirmed they were cancer but they did not yet know the source. There was hope that maybe the cancer started in the gallbladder and they got it during surgery. Chemo could be done for the other cells – it would be hard to go through, but there was hope of being cured. The meeting with the oncologist a few days later took that hope away. Scott and Katherine learned she had an aggressive form of cancer and the source was still unknown. They also learned the cancer was not curable and treatment would only be focused on prolonging life.
So in the matter of two weeks, this dear sweet family went from being told the source of Katherine’s pain was stress to learning she had incurable cancer. Did I mention they have four amazing adopted daughters – all under the age of twelve? This story is incredibly painful. It has been a nosedive. There has hardly been anytime for leveling out. The bottom fell out rapidly again and again. So here we are.
You might wonder where the hope is in this story? I will say that in the middle of this devastation, it takes a true fight to see the hope. I am tempted to dwell on the ugly question of “why”. Why Katherine? Why this precious, selfless family? That is where I want to place my anger, hurt and fear. And I can pummel this “why” question with a million “if only’s”. But at the end of the day, focusing on the “why” never gives me any answers and gives me absolutely no peace. It only consumes my time and my energy. So I have decided to use my time and energy to fight hard for something, not against it. I have decided to fight hard for hope and not give in to complete despair. And I am only a bystander. I am not within the four walls of the epicenter of destruction in the Broadway home. I cannot speak of the devastation there. But I can speak to the hope for which I am fighting. I can speak to the hope I know is being spoken within the four walls of their home, not because I was there, but because I know who they are. Strongly rooted. Rooted in a something much bigger than their circumstances. A hope only God can give.
I have seen hope in the form of love being poured out on this dear family. Remember all the company staying with them over the course of the summer? At the time Katherine was diagnosed, a mom with four teenagers was staying with them. These friends were there to help with the kids and were a welcome distraction. Money has been given, time given. Sentinels of prayers offered up on their behalf are surrounding their life and family. Extended family members are moving to Nashville to be present. A photographer is coming to capture the beauty of now. All because this family is loved and they are loved because they have loved so well.
So hope comes from a God who is enough. Yes, I want more. We all are on our knees begging for more. But in the end, however this plays out, God has surrounded this family. He has not, and will not, abandon them. All of this is only possible because I believe, Scott and Katherine believe, and many people holding them up believe in more than now. Believe in more than this world.
So how does the rest of this story go? One day at a time. One moment at a time. All I know is that Scott, Katherine and the girls will not walk through this alone. And there in lies the hope,” Christiana shared.
Katherine and Scott are well loved and supported. Support and love are vital when facing a battle this huge battle, so opening up to others and sharing your story is important.