By Nancy Wilson
I am writing on behalf of my daughter, Joan Kunicki. Joan has two children, Alayna 11 and Alex 8. Joan has a wonderful and supporting husband named John. Joan’s story was previously published in the ”Survivors Stories” in 2009. Read Joan’s story here.
Joan was diagnosed in 2007 with stage IV colon cancer and is still undergoing treatment. We have no family history of colon cancer. Back in 2007 Joan noticed changes in her bowels, which were loose, more frequent, mucous, and a small amount of blood. After a visit to her family doctor she was immediately sent for a colonoscopy.
A colon resection was immediately performed followed by six months of chemotherapy. Joan was informed not only did she have cancer in her colon, but also her lymph nodes were invaded and she had cancerous lesions in her lungs.
Within the last six years, the cancer spread to an ovary, brain, spine and the lesions in her lungs have come, gone, and came again. Over the past six years, Joan has had a colon resection, two thoracic surgeries (one in each lung), an ovary removed, brain surgery to remove a tumor, gamma knife radiation in the removed brain tumor bed, whole head brain radiation, radiation on her spine, four full rounds of chemotherapy and is currently receiving a new kind of chemotherapy. Joan was recently diagnosed with a mass in her pelvic area and a blood clot in her lung.
At one point, Joan developed an allergic reaction to her original chemotherapy and a new kind was started. Unfortunately, when brain lesions were discovered, only one chemo treatment was received, and then put it on hold until the completion of whole head radiation. Once again the new kind of chemo was started, but again put on hold when tumors in the spine were discovered and it was necessary for whole spine radiation. Chemo has recently been resumed and we are praying there will be no obstacles to prevent Joan from receiving the full round.
There have been many challenges for my daughter, but she is here with us and enjoying life. Joan lives everyday thankful for her beautiful children, her loving husband, and for the six years (and many more to come) enjoying them. Joan does everything a healthy mother does and loves every precious second of it. She has such special family and friends in her life. Dinners are always being dropped off along with many other heartfelt kindnesses.
These overwhelming acts of kindness and her loving family and friends are her inspiration to continue her fight against this horrible disease.
Joan, family and friends ran and walked in the 2013 Get Your Rear In Gear event in Philadelphia. We are proud to say that this is our fifth year participating! There were over eighty of us this year, all so proud of our super woman, hero, survivor and our inspiration!
Please keep my beautiful, strong daughter in your thoughts and prayers, encouraging her in her long journey to good health!