Brianne Mason Simmons, 32 of Lawrence, a recently widowed mother of four young girls, Kamrie, age 14, Danielle and Raquelle, who are 9 and Madilyn age 6, is battling cervical cancer that has spread to other areas in her abdomen. Brianne faithfully went for her annual pap smears, but was diagnosed in November of 2010. She had a hysterectomy to remove the 7 cm. tumor on her cervix in December, the doctor also removed a lymph node in her left groin area to make sure there was no other cancer. The lymph node showed no cancer. Brianne was unable to work after her surgery so she had to quit her part time job. She and her four girls live solely on hers' and the girls' social security she receives since Paul's death at the end of July.
After Brianne's hysterectomy, she had 25 radiation therapy treatments in the early months of 2011. Brianne could hardly walk even after her radiation, her left leg was weak and she was in a lot of pain. An ultrasound and MRI was done and another mass was found in the area her lymph node was removed. This 8 cm. tumor was attached to the ilelac or lifting muscle in her leg. She also had a PET scan, a positron emission tomography, which showed no other tumors or masses. Brianne had surgery again in May to remove the tumor and had radiation directed at the area where the tumor was during the surgery. After the removal of this tumor she started to feel much better. She had 15 more radiation treatments along with a low dose of chemotherapy in June.
After grieving with her girls over Paul Simmon's death the end of July, Brianne geared up for her CAT Scan on Sept. 2. She got the results that the cancer had spread to other areas of her abdomen on Sept 7.
Brianne is now undergoing chemotherapy every 21 days at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. She is scheduled to have a CAT scan again on Nov. 23, just prior to her fourth chemotherapy treatment. She has a port in her chest for her treatments and any blood work, as it is extremely hard to find a good vein. Others who have had the ports have stated that it's their best friend, as it makes it much easier for the patient.
Because of the intense nerve pain she experiences, Brianne was a good candidate for an implanted pain pump. This pain pump delivers the pain medication directly to her spine and is routed right where it is needed. The cost of the pain pump is approximately $20,000. Things have been a lot better for her since she had this put in surgically on Oct. 4 as she is able to be alert.
Donations are welcomed for the silent auction and bake sale. Take the items to Magnuson Lumber in Castle Dale. Monetary donations are being taken at Zions Bank. Call Lindsey at 749-0416.
and we are encouraged by her recent increase in appetite without the fear of nausea and vomiting that is associated with taking pain medication orally. Brianne is given a $6,000 Nulasta shot the day after she receives chemotherapy to help her blood levels stay up. She has had two blood transfusions and she feels better after receiving the units of blood.
Brianne has done physical therapy to help her leg muscle get stronger, but is still unable to walk without a walker or cane. She is using a friend's wheelchair for now to get around. Besides resting, her day consists of listening to KLOVE radio, watching TV, reading her Bible, and doing her current Bible study on faith. She loves having visitors and feels so blessed by all the love, prayers in her behalf all over the world, words of encouragement, meals and many acts of kindness offered by so many in the community. We are grateful to friends and family who are there to help take the girls to their activities so they can have some sort of normalcy.
Brianne is such a positive person and has endured so much, we believe that God has a plan, His perfect plan. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
The Lord says, "Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don't you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land." Isaiah 43:18-19
When everything seems like it's falling apart, God is putting things together just the way he wants it.
We believe that one day Brianne will be cancer free.
God is waiting for just the right time to show us His miracle.
Cervical cancer, almost completely preventable
With proper education, regular screening and vaccinations, cervical cancer is almost completely preventable. Despite significant advancements in the screening and treatment of cervical dysplasia, cervical cancer remains a threat to thousands of women annually. It is the number one or two cancer related killer of women, with nearly 500,000 new cases still being diagnosed worldwide every year. All cancers of the cervix are related to the human papillomavirus (HPV). The Guardasil vaccine will reduce the incidence of this disease, girls 9-26 should be vaccinated so that they can actually see a reduction in cervical cancer rates.