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The question was heart-breakingly blunt. ‘Am I going to die Mummy?’ Ellie Othick, then aged 12, asked her mother.

Heather took a deep breath and replied: “Some people die of cancer, but lots of people survive it. Would it make any difference to you if someone was to say you only have 18 months or 18 years to live or you will live to be 100?’

Ellie simply smiled at her mother and said: ‘I just want to be happy.’

In fact, Heather knew her daughter’s brain tumour was terminal. But she decided to hide the truth from her – a decision, she is convinced, that helped prolong Ellie’s life.

Difficult decision:

Heather chose not to tell her daughter Ellie, who died aged 14, that her condition was terminal
‘Ellie defied all expectations, surviving nearly three years after her initial diagnosis,’ says Heather. ‘The doctors were astonished and said it was extremely rare for patients with this type of tumour to live longer than six months.

‘I’d like to think the reason for this was Ellie’s incredible joy for life and because we did not extinguish this by telling her she was dying.

‘Ellie packed more into those precious three years than many people do in a lifetime,’ she adds. ‘We made her life as wonderful as possible and there was lots of fun and laughter and good times.’

None of that seemed possible when the family was first told Ellie was dying, a moment Heather recalls in desperate detail. At the time, Ellie was recovering from a seven-and-a-half-hour operation to remove what doctors suspected was a benign brain tumour, the cause of her recent seizures.

Heather and her second husband, Jason, were awaiting the results of the biopsy. With them were Ellie’s father Paul and his wife.

‘We were not going to take away her childhood; we were going to make her remaining time as carefree and wonderful as possible’
‘The consultant said Ellie had an inoperable malignant tumour and it was terminal. It came as a complete bolt out of the blue,’ recalls Heather. ‘I heard a terrible, anguished cry; and it was several moments before I realised it was coming from me.

‘We were devastated. The hardest part was Ellie and her siblings were waiting for us in a nearby room. We spent a long time crying and then, somehow, managed to pull ourselves together to face the children. But we all agreed there was no way Ellie should know she was dying.

‘We felt if she knew her condition was terminal, she’d give up hope and become scared, angry and upset. We were not going to take away her childhood; we were going to make her remaining time as carefree and wonderful as possible.

‘The drive home that day was the longest journey of my life. Thankfully, I was at the front and Ellie, sat in the back, couldn’t see my face.

‘When she asked if she had cancer I told her the truth – that, yes, she did have cancer. But then I explained that if there was anything she wanted to know, just to ask me. I was blessed because this answer satisfied her and she didn’t need to know any more.’

Sitting in her sunny living room in a village near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, it is clear Heather, who has two other children, Phil, 17, and Phoebe, four, is struggling to come to terms with Ellie’s death earlier this year.

‘Ellie was wise beyond her years, mischievous, full of fun and laughter. We were very close – she was my little helper, my little friend,’ says Heather, with tears in her eyes.

The first sign of a problem came in February 2007, when Ellie was 11. Heather’s husband, a self-employed roofer, was working away from home.

‘Ellie said she wanted to sleep with me. Normally I would have said “no”, but for some reason I let her. During the night, she woke up feeling hot and unwell, but went back to sleep. At 5am, I awoke to find her jerking in spasms.

‘I was terrified and called the emergency services, but when they arrived Ellie’s fit had ended. They said it was likely to have been caused by her body overheating. I wasn’t convinced and insisted she was checked out at hospital.

‘Ellie had another fit as we arrived. I was beside myself with worry, but the doctors reassured me it was probably epilepsy.’

Ellie was discharged within 24 hours and sent for scans. Several days later, the consultant broke the news that she had a brain tumour and would need surgery.

‘He told us it was likely she’d had it from birth, but there was every indication they could remove it. Ellie took it all in her stride,’ says Heather. ‘I explained to her as lightly as possible that she had a lump in her head which they were going to remove.’

Ellie’s operation was expected to take four hours, but lasted nearly twice as long. And then came the devastating news – a biopsy revealed it wasn’t a benign tumour: she had grade 4 malignant glioblastoma, a fast-growing terminal cancer. She’d need radiotherapy and chemotherapy to contain it and increase her life-expectancy.

‘There were times when I struggled to keep the terrible truth from her and sometimes I still question whether I was right’

‘Right from the start, I was determined that her illness would never take control. I thought “this illness cannot be our life – this just has to be something that is happening in our life”,’ says Heather.

But while this meant keeping the prognosis from her daughter, Heather made the difficult decision to tell Phil, then 14, that his sister was dying.

‘I didn’t want him to have any regrets, she says. ‘Ellie and Phil fought like cat and dog at that time, as siblings do – and I wanted her final months to be happy and carefree. His biggest fear was that Ellie would suffer.’

A few weeks later, Ellie started a gruelling six weeks of radiotherapy, involving a 140-mile round trip from her home in Scarborough to Leeds five days a week. She also started on a course of chemotherapy, which was to last 26 months.

Because she was able to take the chemotherapy orally at home, she continued to go to school.

‘We were so proud of her,’ says Heather. ‘Each morning she had radiotherapy and each afternoon she joined her classes; she even took her Year 6 SATs and passed them all.

Always thinking of others:

Even though she was having chemotherapy, Ellie led 70 cyclists on a seven-mile ride for charity

‘Although Ellie was seriously ill, the hospital managed to get her medication just right; enabling her to enjoy a good quality of life,’ says Heather. ‘While there were occasional bad days when she suffered seizures, we had learned to handle them by then.

‘For more than two years, Ellie was blessed with mostly good days and we really made the most of them – Ellie realised many dreams, including becoming a godmother to my friend’s baby and walking down the aisle with my sister as a bridesmaid.’

There was also a two-week holiday to EuroDisney paid for by fundraising from people in Scarborough. Throughout, Ellie had no idea she was dying, says Heather.

‘Not telling her was difficult,’ she admits. ‘There were times when I struggled to keep the terrible truth from her and sometimes I still question whether I was right.

‘Perhaps I should have given Ellie the opportunity to put her affairs in order, but I didn’t want her to be frightened. Family and friends supported our decision. Everyone pulled together to make the most of the precious time left.’

And there were good times, too. Photographs of Ellie’s cheerful, smiling face are scattered around the house – memories of happy days spent enjoying West End shows and shopping trips to London’s Oxford Street. But in May last year, Ellie started suffering excruciating headaches.

‘Ellie battled her brain tumour with such grace and dignity and was always so willing to help others’
A scan showed the cancer had grown.

‘When the consultant gently explained this to Ellie, she cried on her dad’s shoulder for five minutes. A few days later she told me: “Mummy, I’m going to live to 101, I’m going to open a nursery and run a business looking after little children.”

‘I was so grateful we had not extinguished that ray of light and hope.’

A few weeks later, Ellie expressed a wish to ‘give something back’ to the Scarborough community.

‘Even though she was having chemotherapy, Ellie led 70 cyclists on a seven-mile ride and in the afternoon she shaved 17 men’s heads at a sponsored head-shave. Two days later, she and her friends started baking cakes and, assisted by a local baker, made and sold 3,000. She helped raise £10,000 in just three days – she was over the moon.

‘People ask me how we managed to all stay so strong during this time,’ says Heather.

‘But the illness wasn’t about us. How could we fall apart when Ellie was battling her brain tumour with such grace and dignity, always so willing to help others?’

By July 2009, Ellie’s health was deteriorating. She had no energy and the pressure on her brain was making it difficult for her to read and write. She also developed facial seizures, says Heather.

But Ellie never complained, she took it all in her stride and spent many happy hours with friends craft-making.

‘One morning, I woke early and got into Ellie’s bed. She was sleeping so peacefully, I cuddled up to her and held her tight. I am not a religious person, but I prayed to all the people I knew who’d died to take care of my precious little girl. I needed to know she would be looked after and I would see her again one day.’

Despite her best efforts, Heather is convinced that towards the end Ellie knew she was dying.

‘Five days before she died, I told Ellie off for eating crisps at breakfast, to which she replied: “What are they going to do? Kill me?” I thought then: “She knows”.

‘I tried to encourage her to open up, but she just didn’t want to talk about it. I think she was just being strong for me, and that breaks my heart. I told her I was going to write a book about her and tell millions of people how brave she was and how she managed to raise thousands of pounds for charity. Ellie was touched that people would want to read about her life.’

On Valentine’s Day in the early hours of the morning, Heather tenderly kissed her daughter as she passed away at a children’s hospice.

‘Ellie always wanted to help others. Her last wish was for her organs to be donated, but because of her cancer that wasn’t possible.’

Heather is determined to keep the memory of her daughter alive, setting up a website to fundraise in her daughter’s name, with all proceeds going to a charity for childhood brain tumours.

‘Brain tumours have overtaken leukaemia as the leading cause of cancer death in children. Yet despite these statistics, brain tumour research is seriously under-funded,’ she says.

Heather draws comfort from Ellie’s school, Scalby School, where pupils and teachers have recorded a performance of Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World with images of the happy teenager (you can watch it on YouTube). All money from the sale of the song – which can be downloaded from Amazon and iTunes – will go to childhood brain tumour charities.

‘Nothing will ever bring Ellie back – or make it OK,’ says her mother. ‘But at least we are doing something about helping to fund research into this terrible illness. It makes the incredibly painful loss of Ellie slightly easier to bear.’

http://www.elliesfund.com, http://www.braintumourresearch.org

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1303641/Would-tell-YOUR-child-dying-cancer.html#ixzz0wsTddGv3

Some information on my type of Breast cancer, complicated because it is the first case of it’s kind. Breast cancer has not only bypassed my lymph nodes, but has bypassed also my breasts .

Having read this, I have no idea what the future holds for me.

When breast cancer spreads beyond the breast, it is said to be ?metastatic?, meaning that it has traveled from the breast to another part of the body.

Cancer cells can travel through either the lymphatic system or the blood vessels.

There are two types of metastatic breast cancer. When the cancer cells travel from the breast to the under arm (axillary) lymph nodes, it is still considered an ?early? or potentially curable breast cancer. With proper surgery and systemic treatments, there is still a good chance that all cancer can be removed from the body.

If the cancer has traveled past the lymph nodes to another part of the body, a woman is said to have ?distant metastasis?. The most common places that breast cancer spreads to are the bones, the liver, and the lungs. Many treatments are available for breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, but unfortunately once cancer has escaped from the breast and under arm lymph nodes, it is no longer curable.

The goal of treatment in this case is to prevent the cancer from spreading further while at the same time minimizing side effects from the treatment.

A woman may be found to have a distant metastasis of her breast cancer at the time when her initial breast cancer is found, or months to years later.

This occurs because breast cancer cells can escape from the breast before surgery and may take a long time to form a tumor in another part of the body.

When breast cancer comes back months to years after it was originally found, it is called a breast cancer recurrence.

Treatment for Breast Cancer Metastasis

Once breast cancer has spread beyond the breast and under arm lymph nodes, it is considered a ?systemic? disease, meaning that it is necessary to treat the whole body rather than just one particular spot.

This is because, once the cancer has traveled through the blood stream or lymphatic system, there are likely to be breast cancer cells in many different parts of the body, even if scans only show a few spots.

For this reason, treatments that reach all parts of the body, such as chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, are used to treat metastatic breast cancer instead of treatments that just treat one part of the body, such as surgery.

In general, surgery is not a part of the treatment of metastatic disease because treating only one area allows cancer to grow in other places.

t is unfortunately not possible to remove all of the parts of the body where the cancer has spread because it is impossible to measure the individual cancer cells that will grow into a tumor without chemotherapy or hormonal treatment.

Breast cancer often responds to many different kinds of treatments, and most patients can live for months to several years with metastatic breast cancer.

Recent research has shown that there are many different types of breast cancer, and the best treatment plan for a particular patient needs to be decided by a woman and her medical oncologist.

In general, a woman might be treated with a hormonal therapy if she has a hormone responsive (estrogen or progesterone receptor positive) tumor and does not have a large amount of cancer in her liver or lungs.

Women with tumors that are not responsive to hormonal therapies or who have a large amount of disease in their bodies are usually treated with chemotherapy.

There are many different types of chemotherapy that are used for breast cancer. In general, it is important to remember that the goal of treatment is to stop the cancer from growing while still allowing the patient to live a normal life.

Many times the chemotherapy that is chosen in this setting is less toxic than the chemotherapy given after breast cancer surgery.

In recent years, there has been much interest in developing new types of medicines that kill breast cancer cells in new and different ways.

Some of these medicines, such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), are designed to work against a specific type of breast cancer. Others, such as becizamab (Avastin), may work well in combination with chemotherapy to increase the likelihood that a treatment will stop the tumor from growing for a longer period of time.

In general, most women with metastatic breast cancer will be treated with several different types of therapy over the course of their disease.

Over time, cancer cells become resistant to a treatment, and will begin to grow. When this happens, a change in treatment is needed.

Unlike many other types of cancer, breast cancer cells can be controlled by many different types of chemotherapy, and women with metastatic breast cancer are living longer and longer.

Hopefully with further research, women will no longer die of this disease in the future.

https://powersteph65.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/more-on-metastic-breast-cancer/

More information on Metastic Breast Cancer. Please read it may save your life.

http://blog.cancer101tips.info/neoplasms/krukenberg-metastases/

Krukenberg: METASTASIS Ovarian Tumours

VIDEO: Living with METASTATIC Breast Cancer at 40 years of age.

https://powersteph65.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/living-with-metastatic-breast-cancer-age-40/

MACMILLANCANCER:    MYOCET is used to treat Breast Cancer Metastasis.

This is a new much ‘softer’ chemotherapy to treat advanced Breast Cancer. I have been in touch with Macmillan and they are very helpful with any questions one may have.  They have a good online service and information to help you through the side effects of chemotherapy. MYOCET is the chemotherapy I have been prescribed…SIX sessions , the minimum and after that we shall have to wait and see if I need  more.  I need not say ‘I hope not’.

 My fourth session will be  on Wednesday and I would rather be any place anywhere than in THAT hospital.

I have lost my hair all but a few tufts which are hanging on in there, they shall remain ,I refuse to shave them off as to me this is my body showing defiance to my cancer.

https://powersteph65.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/liposomal-doxuribicin-myocet/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/803/076/214

Dr Vince Touhey has a vaccine for breast cancer that has 100% cure rate in mice, he wants to save lives NOW not yrs from now, he is in need of funding to get the human trials going. While these trials are going lives are going to be saved. i have Stage IV breast cancer which means I’m going to die we just don’t know when. This vaccine will save my life and thousands of others. Do the right thing and get behind it 100% you may not have this dreadful disease but one in 8 women get it and someone you love will get it. I didn’t do anything wrong, i was 100 % healthy until i found a lump in aug 08 and my life has been ripped apart ever since. Breast cancer steals pieces of your life until it takes your life. I am a nurse and recording artist I cowrote a song for breast cancer so my sisters wouldn’t give up on life. Treatment for this disease is god awful!!! Please sign the petition and end the suffering!!!!!!
http://www.rockpink.com/micheleann.html //

Cancer Miracles

A cancer patient, given just months to live, stages a miraculous recovery. Doctors dismiss it as a fluke. Yet the mystery may offer crucial clues to fighting cancer.

Charles Burrows was given two months to live in 2005. Then, with no treatment, his liver tumor vanished. ‘I won a lottery,’ he says.

Charles Burrows noticed a strange lump on his stomach in the summer of 2005. By November the pain was so bad it felt like a knife was stabbing him in the stomach. A ct scan and a biopsy confirmed Burrows’ worst fears: He had inoperable liver cancer.

Few cancers have a worse prognosis. His tumor, the size of a baseball, was already starting to strangle the portal vein going into the liver. Doctors at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System told Burrows, then 56 years old, there was nothing they could do. “They said, ‘Get your affairs in order because you have 30 days to live, maybe 60,'” recalls Burrows, who is divorced with three grown kids.

Buzz Burrows quit his carpentry job and spent the next two months in a fog. Then things got very strange. In February 2006 Burrows developed abdominal bloating, shaking, chills and nausea. Soon after that he noticed that the lump on his stomach was gone. By then his daughter had found a doctor in private practice willing to consider treating him. But the doctor couldn’t find a tumor. He went back to the VA, where gastroenterologist Nooman Gilani was flabbergasted when computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans showed no sign of cancer. Where the tumor had once been, there was “literally empty space,” Gilani says.

Burrows remains free of cancer three years later and still seems dazed by the turn of events. “I won a lottery, and I don’t understand why,” he says. “I would like someone to explain to me what the heck happened.”

Ole Nielsen Schou also looked like a goner. In 2002 the Danish pharmaceutical production manager (now 69 and retired) found out that his melanoma had spread to his liver, abdomen, lungs, bones and ten spots in his brain. The abdominal tumor was surgically removed, but doctors at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen had no treatment for his other tumors. He took a strange cocktail of 17 vitamins and supplements, including shark cartilage pills, and imagined the metastases were rats and he was chasing them with a club. In Depth: 6 Miracle Cancer Survivors.

Four months later he went back for a new scan and found that 90% of his tumors had melted away. Soon they were gone. Co-workers hugged and kissed him when they heard the news. Plastic surgeon Vennegaard Kalialis, who detailed his case last year in Melanoma Research, doubts it was the vitamins. “It is a complete mystery,” she says. “Nobody has seen anything like this.”

Spontaneous tumor regressions are among the rarest and most mysterious events in medicine, with only several hundred cases in the literature that can be considered well documented. Regressions have most often been reported in melanoma and in kidney cancer. But the phenomenon may, in fact, be an everyday one, taking place beyond doctors’ eyes. A recent study suggests that as many as 1 in 3 breast tumors may vanish on their own before being detected by a doctor.

Why do some patients get lucky?

Scientists are finding tantalizing evidence that the immune system, the body’s defense against disease-causing microbes, kicks in to play a critical role in combating cancer. If that’s the case, then Schou and Burrows are more than just lucky patients. They are clues to how doctors may someday save thousands of lives.

The evidence includes the fact that some unexplained remissions have occurred after infections, which may propel the immune system into high gear–possibly attacking the cancer tumor as well as the infection. Burrows’ remission seemed to begin after his strange illness. Schou’s abdominal tumor when removed was swarming with white blood cells, the lead weapon in the body’s immune system. It’s also possible that ordinary cancer survivors, people who beat the disease after getting radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, get an assist from their own immune systems.

Big drug companies, including Pfizer Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis are doggedly pursuing drugs that aim to boost the immune system to fight cancer. GlaxoSmithkline is in final-stage tests of a vaccine to prevent lung cancer from coming back after surgery. In an early trial it slashed the probability of cancer recurrence by 27%. “It is all about educating the patients’ natural defenses against cancer,” says GlaxoSmithkline’s Vincent Brichard. Easier said than done, of course. Some patients, apparently, need only a small trigger to propel a massive anticancer attack. With nearly all others, however, the cancer cells fight back successfully and even co-opt immune cells to aid their growth. Why some patients respond better than others to certain drugs is a focus of furious scrutiny.

The role of the immune system in controlling cancer has been hotly debated for decades–and indeed many scientists remain unconvinced. But Jedd D. Wolchok, an oncologist at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, thinks there is a connection. A spontaneous remission, he says, is “either divine intervention or the immune system.” While few researchers directly study such cases–they are far too rare–they provide hints of what the immune system might be able to do if we could harness it.

The immune system work is part of a new twist on the war on cancer. For decades cancer researchers have focused mostly on killing cancer cells with drugs and radiation, or removing them with surgery. But this is often impossible to accomplish. So scientists are studying the environment around tumors in order to invent drugs that will halt their spread. Such drugs, like Genentech ‘s Avastin, would be the medical equivalent of cutting terrorist-cell supply lines or putting up security checkpoints to stop them from getting into vital areas.

One of the first scientists to try to trigger the immune system to attack cancer was the New York surgeon William Coley. He was inspired by a patient with sarcoma who recovered after suffering an acute bacterial infection. In the 1890s Coley started vaccinating other patients with killed bacteria. He claimed that his toxins spurred the immune system to destroy tumors in a minority of cases.

In the 1980s the natural immune protein interleukin-2 was touted as a breakthrough. But it turned out to help only a small minority of cancer patients and to sport an array of nasty side effects. Over the years numerous trials of anticancer vaccines designed to train the immune system to recognize cancer have shown mostly lackluster results. None of these new therapeutic vaccines is approved in the U.S.

But intriguing data suggest that the immune system can combat cancer sometimes. “To the body, a tumor looks like the biggest bacteria it has ever seen,” says Robert Schreiber, an immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He has found that mice lacking key components of their immune system are far more likely to develop cancers. In one experiment 60% of mice missing something called the gamma interferon receptor on their cells got tumors after being exposed to a carcinogen, versus only 15% of normal mice.

A pair of identical twin sisters who grew up together and faced the same terrible battle against breast cancer have been given some heartbreaking news.
Only one of them will survive.

Judith Brownhill and Heather Mole, 54, were diagnosed with the same form of the killer disease within two months of each other.

Identical twins Heather Mole and Judith Brownhill have both beaten breast cancer in the past. But Heather is now terminally ill while Judith has been given the all clear after they both developed it again

They started treatment at almost the same time, under the care of the same consultant.

But now tragically their paths have split. While Judith has got the all-clear Heather has been told she is terminally ill.
Heather, a retired nurse from Mossley, said she was relieved when she heard her sister was in remission – because she would be able to ‘watch out’ for her only son, Robert Pullan, 30.

She said: ‘It was wonderful news when she told me she was OK, even though I knew it would be tough for her to tell me.

‘It’s strange, but it felt like a relief as much as anything, as I knew she would be there for my son when I’m gone. Cancer is a cruel disease, but it is the best news ever that Judith is recovering – I wouldn’t want it any other way.’

The sisters, who are originally from Ashton under Lyne, Greater Manchester, have always had a close bond, but say that their relationship has been strengthened by their desperate fight for life.

Both had fought breast cancer before and won – Heather 20 years ago and Judith a decade ago.

Then Judith felt something wasn’t right when she was on holiday in Bermuda with husband Roger, 70, in September 2008.

When she returned home, she went to her GP and tests confirmed she had breast cancer again.

Her diagnosis convinced her twin to get checked out and just weeks later she discovered she also had the disease a second time. Sadly, Heather’s cancer was more advanced and had spread to her liver.

Heather said she was glad her sister will survive as she can look out for her son
Judith, who lives in Prestbury, Cheshire, was given an aggressive dose of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has just finished a course of the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Last week, she got the all-clear from doctors, but described the news as ‘bittersweet’.

She said: ‘As identical twins we’ve done everything together. We even had the same childhood illnesses, so in a strange way it does not surprise me that we both have the same illness now.

‘I should have been punching the air when I finished my treatment and got the all-clear, but instead I was tearful at the thought of losing my sister.

‘It’s the worst blow you could be dealt, but seeing Heather so happy for me makes me appreciate life and want to live every moment for her and make the most of my chance at life.’

The sisters have a family history of breast cancer. Their mum Sheila Pendlebury, 81, was hit by the disease 13 years ago and their aunt was struck down at 37.

Heather said: ‘We feel like our case is one in a million. We are unlucky but feel philosophical – I’ve had a good 20 years of life and have seen my son grow up. I am grateful for every day I get with my wonderful family.

‘In a weird way, Judith getting cancer the second time probably prolonged my life as it persuaded me to get checked out. It was a huge bombshell but I’m just grateful one of us has got through it.’

The twins are both undergoing treatment at The Christie and St Ann’s Hospice’s Neil Cliffe Centre, in Wythenshawe.

Their consultant, Dr Sacha Howell from The Christie, said their story was ‘incredibly rare’.

Experts say the risk of women getting breast cancer is one in nine. But for identical twins of women already diagnosed with breast cancer the risk rises to one in three.

The twins praised their treatment and are now set to take centre stage on the catwalk for a charity event for the St Ann’s Hospice in Manchester.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1302406/Agony-breast-cancer-twins-sister-given-clear-told-terminal.html?ITO=socialnet-twitter-mailonline#ixzz0wPcTGbK0

Hundreds of charitable people have been duped into donating money to a woman who allegedly faked a cancer diagnosis—but some people on Facebook are saying she should be forgiven.

Ashley Anne Kirilow, 23, of Burlington, Ont., who will appear in court today on fraud charges, reportedly claimed that she had breast cancer, brain cancer, liver cancer stomach cancer and ovarian cancer in various combinations, even going so far as to shave her head and pluck her eyebrows and eyelashes to appear as though she’d been through chemo.

Friends and family held benefits to raise money to help her through her illness and she started a charity on Facebook called “Change for a Cure,” claiming she was raising money for cancer research. But Kirilow has admitted to the Toronto Star that she did not have cancer at all and that she has spent the money she raised. Volunteers for her charity say that she raised about $20,000, but Kirilow says it was no more than $4,000, reports the Star.

Kirilow told the Star that she is sorry for what she has done and blames a difficult childhood for her behaviour. Indeed she should be very sorry. But should we view this scheme as a cry for help or a straight-up con? Members on the “Change for a Cure” Facebook page have opened up discussions about what Kirlow has done—some are outraged, calling Kirilow “useless waist [sic] of space.” But others are surprisingly compassionate. “I feel all she wanted was attention, and did what she thought was right to gain it… let’s not let hate and anger eat at our souls,” says member Moustafa Sayegh in a post on the group’s discussion board.

What do you think? Was this a cry for help from a troubled girl or a scam by a clever grifter?

There is No Cure

Today, Stephan and I had a long talk with my Oncologist, Stephan needed to know if this time the cancer will be killed for good.

The reply was not what Stephan wanted to hear but came as no surprise to me.

The chemo ,is short term and within possibly a year the cancer will return somewhere else, I will be treated once more with chemo and this cycle will continue until my body can take no more.

In other words my case is Terminal.

Stephan has said we must change our lifestyle, travel, go for long drives , go out everynight for dinner. Stephan, once again is in denial and wants to make lots and lots of wonderful memories.

A close and dear friend sent me a video , a song…. entitled ‘ Live like you are dying’….to me at the moment it is a very stupid song…when you are dying it is hard to find the energy to live.

I now need some space for Stephan and I to absorb this devastating news, plus ,I will have a brutal week from side effects of chemo., I ask therefore, if you will forgive me if I do not post until such time I feel strong enough to carry on and return to some kind of ‘Normal’ life what ever that may be.