By Marianne Lincoln
While attending a recent Parkland Spanaway Kiwanis meeting at the Paradise Lanes, I inquired whether I should tell my story to my readers. The answer was a resounding yes.
It is difficult to think of yourself as a fixture in the community, but anymore, I am recognized at most meetings I attend. At times, I am requested to assist in organizing various projects, because I have done it so often I know the traps and the best practices.
It started in 1987, when my family moved to a new development with a Home Owners Association. Betty Francis, who owned Pac Ave Pets, and I were the first officers. We quickly learned that all the developments needed to be sharing information about things going on around Pierce County and in our community. We lost Betty to cancer several years ago. I miss her dearly.
In 1994, after 4 boys were shot at and 2 were killed for egging houses, I took on creating the Spanaway Community Association with Dennis Townsend, and a couple others from the Bethel School District who could advise on organizing practices. After many street fairs, bonfires, meetings, newsletters and cleanups, the community association joined with several local groups to build the skate park at Sprinker, then morphed into what is now the Pierce Prairie Post. Newsletters were good, attending meetings, not so popular. We could restart if you ask, it may be time. Parkland Community Association is reorganizing too.
In August, the Pierce Prairie Post will be 10 years old. I get press releases from many organizations across the unincorporated south county. I have chased down stories from other parts of the community, social media posts and just from spotting changes while driving around the neighborhood. Friends call and email, telling me things I need to give a shout out to. It is a mode that seems to be getting attention and I have been glad to provide that for the community. There is no compensation. The ads that show are from the social media site WordPress. We have not sold any ads and rarely get any donations.
This year, things have changed. I am trying to keep up with the most important stories, but I have been slowed down a bit. You see, in December of 2020 I had some pelvic pain and shortness of breath. I called the doctor and got an appointment for February 19, 2021. Yes, appointment take far too long to schedule, especially just to test for a urinary infection. But it was not that. In fact, the doctor told me she had no idea what was wrong. So I asked for a specialist. I was sent to an urologist and a pulmonologist. Neither of them found anything either. One blamed my weight and lack of exercise, the other finally agreed I should get a CT Scan, but the insurance denied it.
To shorten the story a bit, I fired my doctor and got a new one. I also turned 65 and traded my Obamacare “scan denying” insurance company for Medicare. My new physician sent me for a pelvic ultrasound and I had 3 tumors, the size of a hot dog (with bun) and two baseballs. It was most likely ovarian cancer.
The day after my 65 birthday, I had a major surgery, 5 hours opened up from my ribs to my pelvic bone. The surgeons removed 3 tumors, took parts where the tumors were attached on my colon and bladder and scraped ureters without damaging them. I was truly impressed they did not damage those. I spent 5 days in the hospital, but actually recovered quickly. The next two weeks, I was at Life Care Center, recuperating, partly to keep me from overdoing it at home and getting rest.
On May 28, I got my hair cut and sent it to Wigs 4 Kids. I have been rocking the extreme short look for a few weeks.
I started chemotherapy June 9. I have not lost my hair yet, but a few are starting to be displaced. I have more hats than I need, sent by caring friends. I do need to keep from burning my head, you guys already know about that. I know two dealing with head top skin cancer. Please, wear your hat, but you are welcome to take a dueling bald shot with me if you also hairless.
In all, I am powering through this since so many of my friends have shown me their strength by treading the path before I do. There is a lot of good news in cancer research, especially from Rice University recently. I’ve got this. If you are there with me, you power on too.