Presley here! It is hard to even know where to start. I think the first and most important thing I need to communicate is how appreciative I am for the love and support I have received. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! The outpour of love, support, encouragement and the donations is overwhelming in the best way. You all have played a major role in my fight thus far, knowing I have so many people willing to help in their own unique way lifts my spirits daily. A question I often find myself pondering is, “How will I ever express my gratitude?” I still haven’t found the answer to that question, but I will continue to give thanks to the Lord for all the helpers he has placed in my path.
September 19, 2022 will be a day I will never forget, receiving that dreaded phone call and hearing the words, “Presley you have cancer” was one I will never forget. If you have walked in my shoes, my heart is with you. Over the past 51 days I have come to see the world through a refreshed lens and my perspective on so much will never be the same, and for that I am thankful. It’s strange how in the midst of the hardest moments of my life I feel gratitude, but I have quickly learned how precious life is – to not take loved ones for granted, what are the priorities of the day, and learning how to live in the present moment. Waking up and being genuinely grateful for the day is simply refreshing – I highly recommend it. In conclusion, my diagnosis has brought me back to the basics and forced me to consider what is really important in life. So far I can say with certainty family, friends, nutritious food, my relationship with God… and a good vegan dessert! Simple enough, right?
On October 6 I received excellent news, my cancer was caused by a genetic mutation called Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). The reason this was such great news is because I can take targeted therapy. I take an oral chemo pill called Tagrisso once per day that precisely attacks the cancer cells in my body. Everyday I take my pill I thank God for the doctors who created such advanced medications.
Yesterday, I had my 4 week follow-up. My lab work checked out fine and my body is tolerating the medication well. I will be flying back to California this weekend. The plan for now is to fly to Houston every 2-3 months for follow-up scans and treatments. The medical team they have put together for me at MD Anderson is world class, I actually get excited for my appointments because the doctors are so amazing at their jobs – they put my mind at ease and show so much compassion. I COULD NOT ATTAIN THIS CARE WITHOUT YOUR GENEROUS DONATIONS AND FUNDRAISING EFFORTS, thank you! This month I will be incorporating Tibetan and Chinese medicines into my treatment plan.
On a final note, I would like to leave you with this simple saying – Be kind. So many people have commented on the fact that I do not look sick and I agree with you. Even the doctor’s describe me as a “Well-nourished 34 year old female” in their post-appointment notes. What I have taken away from this is that based on appearance alone we do not know the struggles people are facing and we can never know the times they are going through. Be the reason a stranger smiles today, love like there is no tomorrow, have compassion towards all, and count your blessings twice. And most importantly give thanks and serve your higher power!
With love and hope,