My name is Pam. I am asking that you help save my life. I am battling a rare form of Cancer that affects the blood vessels in the Liver called Hemangioendotheiloma. There has been fewer than 200 cases reported ever. According to Duke Healthcare Specialists, only 13 cases reported in North Carolina. I am in need of a Liver Transplant to live.
I have managed to live a positive productive life as an advocate for the aged and disabled, and as a Middle School Substitute Teacher. I am the middle child of 3. I am the sole provider of my household.
June 21, 2018
Thanks to all those that came out and made the “Hope For Pam” Fish Fry Fundraising event a success. Thanks to all the wonderful friends and family who volunteered their time on Saturday. One thousand dollars was raised as a result of all your efforts, time, and donations. It has become eminent that I receive a transplant now because the spots on my Liver had increased in size during my last MRI.
On June 25, we travel to Durham to see the Nutritionist. On June 26, we face another big hurdle as we travel back to Durham for a series of tests, including an updated MRI. Testing will start at 8am.
Currently, my family and I live 2.5 hours away from the transplant facility. My morning will begin around 4:30am and end around 7pm. Thirty minutes of that time is time allowed for parking once we arrive. Last visit, I waited in the lobby to see one physician but once they called me in the back, a different physician had been scheduled to see me for a complete different diagnosis. This is an example of how quickly things can change and how flexible one must be. One should also be willing to take a certain amount of criticism. Criticism is only to help one improve upon areas that are lacking in hopes to make recovery after transplant go more smoothly. I’ve learned quickly that these doctors are the best in the world. They taught me a lot about myself, and my illness. Along the way I’ve found strength in small unexpected places. I’ve learned to have faith and trust and not to worry so much because eventually things will work out.
I will admit I am terrified to see the results of this next MRI. At the same time, I am anxious to see the results of this next MRI. I am learning to live everyday as if it is my last, love like it’s no tomorrow and finding strength in unexpected places because any day could be my last knowing that one of these Hemangiomas on my Liver could burst while I am eating and I could die.
I am scared, but I must move forward….always forward, and never back. Looking forward to my future. In my future is my insulin pump that I have waited to receive for 34 years so that my Diabetes is better controlled which means less complications. In my future is my Doctorate Degree in English. In my future is Entrepreneurship. In my future is finishing the work I’ve started with the aged, disabled, and disadvantaged. As long as I believe my future is worth fighting for I will fight the good fight and win against Hemangioendothelioma. Already on to planning the next event. Look for the “Hope for Pam” Hot Dog Lunch and Yard Sale nearest you.
April 25, 2018
I was diagnosed with Liver Cancer “HeHe” in 2017. The first hospital I visited to be placed on the Transplant List rejected me.
“HeHe” is a disease that many have only seen in a textbook. During this visit, I could tell that the doctors were hesitant to place me on the list. I have been told that my other illnesses such as Diabetes and Hypertension complicates things. It is alot of unknown factors that they have to make concessions for when I go through surgery….alot of unknown factors to consider.
Nevertheless, looking back, me and my mom stayed in Chapel Hill for three days of testing. She has been by my side since the beginning. During my stay, I was hospitalized overnight because of a low blood sugar. After complaining several weeks of a swollen abdomen, swollen feet, and shortness of breath, the low blood sugar is why I was dmitted.
During this emergency room visit, I was diagnosed with Ascites. I had Ascites or fluid build up of the abdomen where my normal weight was 142, but my weight upon admittance was 172. After the emergency was over, my mother told me that I woke in the middle of the night, and did not know where I was or who she was. Later, we found out that toxins had built up in my blood because the Liver in its condition does not filter everything. In fact, some medications like insulin can set in the body for some time and then all at once it dumps into the blood stream causing a low blood augar that’s often dangerously low.
The doctors say that as the disease progresses that this phenomena can happen and the temporary lapse in memory presents almost like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Scary to know that toxins can cause me to forget where I am, or cause me to forget loved ones, to talk out of my head, or affect my mood. This is not something I planned for my life.
After this visit, the plan was to always have someone with me. Now, the plan has evolved into having identification on me at all times, no driving, having a diabetic alert bracelet in case I can not talk and I am having a low blood sugar. All the “Unknown Factors” terrify me….can not wait until I get a new Liver to remove some of the fear from my life and live my life with some freedom. Thankful for my family and their support, especially them traveling back and forth with me sometimes 5 hours away, the hospitalizations, and the emergency room visits. I have learned alot of things on this journey and the main thing is that everyone needs someone, everyone needs family, friends, and community….a strong support system to exist, evolve and live this life.
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July 12, 2018
May you all find the help you need--and ALWAYS keep fighting to LIVE! Special wishes today for Pamela Johnson.
June 14, 2018
I wish you all the best in your planned liver transplant and hopefully a great recovery. Keep the faith and your positive attitude, it makes all the difference!