Paula’s Story

Paula’s Story

Paula S. Cousins

Our Founder and President

August 20th was a day that changed my life forever. Jim took me to the ER with what I and the hospital thought were gall bladder symptoms. We were wrong. The ER doctor informed us that I had to be admitted and had to prepare for surgery the next morning. They had discovered a large mass. After almost 5 days in the hospital, no surgery, but more tests than I could count, a doctor entered my room. ” I’m sorry Paula. You have cancer” I was alone when he told me, and he left a deafening silence behind him… time stood still. I pulled up my big girl panties and decided NO! right then and there. They sent me home with the same body that was trying to kill me. Went to see a gynecologist who I owe my very life to (not all heroes wear capes–sometimes they have a stethoscope, and a table with stirrups) and as I laid my grey colored body back on the table, I informed him sweet as you please that we had just met, and I usually have them buy me dinner 1st. see I decided after the day of deafening silence that humor was to be my weapon of choice. We all laughed and was told he never had a patient like me. Within 5 minutes he said, ” get her husband in here we have to take her to surgery NOW!” more deafening silence. My family rallied. A tumor the size of a nerf football was removed from me, but great news it didn’t appear to be cancer. I was relieved and confused, angry at the prior hospital for telling me I had cancer and sending me home. Then August 29th came followed by the silence again. All alone at home the phone rang, it was the Dr. “Paula, I am so sorry. You have cancer” all signs at the time showed no cancer, but the biopsies came back positive for Ovarian cancer. Time stood still again. Pulled up my even bigger girl panties, because you know I just had surgery. Scheduled a full hysterectomy right away that should do it we thought. Go to Pittsburgh for surgery, after we removed the troublemakers, a more silence to follow about 9 days later, they had removed yet another tumor that was cancer. A rare clear cell form of endometrial cancer. Had to go back to Pittsburgh chemotherapy needed to be done. From October until the end of January every 3 weeks my wonderful husband took me to chemotherapy in Pittsburgh, and my sister stayed with me at my home for the few dreadful days that followed each one. Lost my hair (told doc to keep his day job, he was a terrible hairdresser) I tell everyone my oncologist does my hair. Lost all of my hair eyebrows, eyelashes included. Would have much rather did it in the summer, but what’s a girl gonna do? Lost some of my memory, but I am getting older. My family and friends rallied even harder!! Then yesterday February 12th almost 7 months after my journey started the deafening silence ended. The good Dr. Entered the room “Paula, you are in REMISSION! But see my journey does not end here, I am going to schools to talk to young ladies about the importance of early detection, to not be me, to not be embarrassed or to let things and people who don’t really matter get you so busy that it literally sucks the life out of you. To not ignore their bodies. I have also been given the opportunity to perhaps join a task force for the American Cancer Society to be an advocate for young ladies. If I can save one life, it is worth it! I can cross kicking cancers ass off my bucket list, start the next chapter of my life and give others hope so that they will never have to hear the deafening silence, and if any of you need help or have questions, please don’t hesitate to message me!! I love you all!! Here’s to LIFE! Jim thank you for standing by the sickness and in health I love you! My family and friends I am forever grateful and humbled. GOD IS GOOD! NOT ALL CANCER IS PINK!

Our Chemo Comfort Bag Fund

To support those with any form of cancer with comfort bags.