Valerie Adams

  • An old picture!

    An old picture!

Valerie Adams

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Raised: $2,810

Goal: $3,000

Welcome to My PurpleStride Personal Fundraising Page!

3.29.22 BIG UPDATE!!!!!!!  This journey has been nothing more than 1 step forward, 2 steps back so far. Right after I posted my last update with the very happy news about the PET scan, things took a bit of a left turn. That Friday, my pain increased to the point that we made 2 visits to the ER within 4 hours. The first visit we all agreed that I was experiencing my first "breakthrough cancer pain." I got 2 rounds of IV morphine and went home. Two hours later, we were back. This time scans revealed that my gallbladder had crashed the party - it was inflamed and infected. Normally, it would simply be removed and problem solved, but that's not the optimal solution when you have cancer living right next door in another organ.

So another ambulance ride back to Emory St. Joseph's, which has already proved itself a very safe place for us. We know we are in good hands there. The same team of doctors and staff handled everything and conferenced together daily to make the best decisions for how to proceed.

I would love to be able to tell you all that happened during our 15 day stay there, but I honestly don't remember all of it. I know that my birthday came and went, and the clocks went back an hour. I know that I had all kinds of scans and tests; too many to list or remember. I know that I was in terrible pain and had moments where I wondered if I would or could make it to chemo (this hospitalization cancelled my port placement and chemo appointments). I know that I wasn't able to eat and became so weak that I even became incontinent for a period of time.

My poor, wonderful husband shouldered everything. Greg met with doctors, fielded calls and texts from family and friends, kept notes of everything, and held me when I cried. He changed my diapers, which is the ultimate test of love for both of us. He truly got me through when I wouldn't have been able to go on another second.

Ultimately, we were able to come home with a tube between my ribs that drains my gallbladder. I will have this until we get through chemo and the doctors are ready to do surgery to remove the cancer (they'll remove the gallbladder too). Pain management is under control and my port placement is scheduled for tomorrow (yay). Chemo starts next week and while I'm apprehensive, I'm also anxious to get started on with this very necessary step.

Dear friends of ours visited while we were in the hospital, although I was too sick to see them. They were an amazing support for Greg though, and knowing they were here gave me a sense of peace. Now that I'm home I've been able to sleep in my own bed, hug my daddy and my kids, and spend a little time with Annison (the most beautiful, intelligent and funny granddaughter anyone can have). Friends have stopped by for short visits that don't tire me out, and phone calls have come in too. All of this is so important to my fight. When I feel weak and isolated and alone because the pain is too much or the fear too great, it is these people who I pull close to me in my mind and heart.

I am learning every day about cancer and treatment, but most importantly I am learning what suffering really is. I don't want anyone to have to go through this. I want my experience to add a tiny bit to what the doctors learn about treating this disease and curing it one day. I want to make a difference, even if to only one person somewhere in the future. Please help me do that by making a donation to this research - even if it's just $1 - every bit makes a difference.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who has read any of my updates, donated already, reached out via text or phone, or even took a moment to think of me. I feel it, I appreciate it, and I love you for it.

XOXO,

Valerie


3.11.22 THE PET SCAN IS BACK! Secretly, this was the thing I was worried about because, to me, it had the power to change everything for the worse. Thankfully and blessedly and all the other "-ly" words that there are, nothing else showed up on the scan. So we are now officially dealing with localized pancreatic cancer that has not metastasized. 

My port will be placed on the 16th, and my first chemo will be on the 22nd. I dread it and cannot wait for it all at the same time. I don't think I am prepared for the battle to come - how could anyone really be? I will take each day or hour or minute as it comes though because I am determined to come out on the other side.


3.5.22 The last few days have been the roughest since we found out about “the mass.” They’ve also been some of the most emotional as people have reached out to offer support, love and humor. In this down time these are the arms wrapped around me and holding me above the water. You know who you are but you will never know how much I love you.


3.3.22 Today is the beginning; our first meeting with the medical oncology team. I’m determined to be optimistic and open to all options. I have so much more to do with my family, including introducing Annison to Walt Disney World. Keeping happy thoughts in my heart and mind is key right now. 

2.26.22 Sobering fact:  Only 5% of patients survive - it has the worst survival rate of all common cancers and the average life expectancy on diagnosis is just two to six months. However it receives less than 4% of funding overall for cancer research. It is crucial we raise awareness for this deadly cancer.


2.24.22 Had my first follow up visit since being released from the hospital. The doctor told us the name of the cancer, but neither Greg nor I plan to look it up or anything like that. We want to take all of our cues from my medical team for now, while still advocating for ourselves. 

I also want to say thank you” to everyone who has donated to my PurpleStride fundraiser. No matter what outcome there is for me, it’s extremely important that research continues to save lives.


2.23.22 Well, reality is settling in a little more each day. Greg and I were forced to cancel an anniversary trip that had been planned and paid for 2 years ago. We’ve been assessed a large cancellation penalty but what can you do? Every day a new appointment gets added to our calendar so we’ve had to stop caring for our granddaughter for now. I now have a bedside table (like in the hospital). 

Purple has always been my favorite color and now it takes on a whole new significance. I watch the three men in my life straighten their spines and smile, all the while knowing they are as devastated as I. All three are helpless but still doing everything in their power to help. 

Two very dear friends have joined the PurpleStride in their city to support me. They also pray and do research for us every day. 

If all goes to plan, I’m participating in PanCAN’s PurpleStride, a year-round national movement that funds lifechanging programs and services for pancreatic cancer patients and their families.

Every dollar you give means more patients can benefit from PanCAN’s free, one-on-one support, personalized information, service and resources that can make a real difference in their lives. 

Please make a gift of any size to get me one step closer to my fundraising goal and improving more patients’ lives. 

Patients and families need us now more than ever.

Thank you for your support.

All my love,

Valerie

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Valerie's Achievements

  • Connected
    to Facebook to
    Fundraise

  • Made a
    Personal
    Donation

  • Updated
    My Fundraising
    Page

  • Reached
    Fundraising
    Goal

  • I'm a
    PurpleStride
    Alum

  • I've Received
    5+ Donations
    Toward my Goal

  • $100

    Raised $100
    for 1:1 support for
    4 patients

  • $270

    Raised $270 for
    27 educational
    packets

  • $480

    Raised $480 to
    support 1 research
    grantee for 3 weeks

  • $1,000GRANDCLUB

    Raised $1K
    to be in the
    Grand Club

About PanCAN's PurpleStride

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) PurpleStride is a year-round national movement that funds life-changing programs and services to accelerate progress for pancreatic cancer patients.

On one powerful day through nearly 60 PurpleStride events nationwide, pancreatic cancer survivors, families, caregivers, researchers and supporters will join together to honor everyone affected by the disease.

PurpleStride is the number-one way PanCAN raises money to fight pancreatic cancer on all fronts — through research, clinical initiatives, patient services, advocacy and nationwide volunteer support. Learn more.