Vicki Wright Wade
May 6, 1959 – October 17, 2012
Her Motto was: Stay Strong!
Vicki Wade was first diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer in August 2008. She had begun having stomach pains and bloating but never thought that it might be cancer especially ovarian cancer because her ovaries had been removed earlier because of a cyst. What she did not know was that the doctor had left a small part of one ovary in and that is where the cancer formed. Her cancer was in one spot until the end. From the very beginning Vicki had problems. She had to have two surgeries and spend eleven days in the hospital before beginning any of her chemo treatments. Then when she did begin her treatments she suffered reactions to the chemo, not able to take all of her chemo, port coming out of her skin because she had gotten so frail and was hospitalized numerous times for various reasons but she hung in there and finally received the word that she was cancer free.
After being informed that she was cancer free she resumed her life. She began working out to gain her strength back and eating a diet of healthy foods. She went back to doing what she loved the most which was spending quality time with her husband and family and back to her duties of teaching her students.
Then in February 2011 she had what she thought was a pulled muscle in her side but after going back to the doctor it was determined that her cancer was back in the very same place as the first time. Vicki was very positive that she would be able to beat the cancer again because this time it was identified earlier and unlike last time she would not have to have the surgeries as before but would be able to begin treatments as soon as her port was in place.
She was so confidante that the treatments would soon take care of her cancer that she chose to continue to teach. And teach she did for the rest of the school year. Once again it was not easy for her and when school was finally out for summer break and the cancer was still there and it was beginning to take its toll on her she chose to not come back in the fall of 2012.
Vicki valiantly battled her cancer and in October she checked into the Sarah Cannon Cancer Research Institute in Nashville with hopes that they would be able to help her once again go into remission. There she began to develop blood clots on her port as well as other complications and on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, she suffered a blood clot to her lung and passed away. Vicki leaves behind her husband Wayne and daughter, Brooke Wade Mullican and son-inlaw, her students and a host of family and friends.
A word of thanks to my dear friend, Vicki Wade.
When you are diagnosed with cancer the first thing you are told is that you will need a support group around you in order to get through what you are about to endure. I was lucky that I had my family and I had three ladies who all had been down the road that I was about to travel and one of them was VICKI!
Vicki and I attended church together so we already knew each other but when I first heard the words, “ You Have Cancer”, my mind immediately began to wonder what now? That’s where Vicki came in. Right away she reached out to me and walked me thru what was about to happen to me. She was always there for me during my down time and for that I will be forever grateful. One of her special talents was to crochet caps and give them to the chemo nurses to pass out to other chemo patients. (She did this up until she died.) As for my caps she did them in my favorite colors and put a crochet flower on the side which reminded me of a TV star called Blossom. My caps are still hanging on my bed posts even though I no longer need them.
I miss you my dear friend Vicki !
Coleen Harris Pilkinton
February 9, 1940 – February 17, 2012
Coleen Pilkinton’s life was first touched by cancer in 1990 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer which was found during her annual Mammogram. After a lumpectomy and radiation she was cancer free until it returned again in September 2008. This time it was ovarian cancer.
Coleen had been feeling very tired and was suffering with stomach problems and was unable to eat very much without getting sick. Doctors were treating her for what they thought to be diverticulitis. She had difficulties in walking because she could not breathe. She continued going to the doctor seeking answers for what was wrong her. After a pelvic exam and ultra sound it was determined that something was there and surgery would be necessary. A complete hysterectomy was necessary plus some of her intestine had to be removed resulting in a colostomy. After the surgery the surgeon told the family that he did not know how she had walked into the hospital. He said that he tried his best to get all of the cancer, which was in her ovaries, but that there were “specks” left so it was just not possible.
Chemo was not started immediately because she was in critical condition following the surgery and it took time for her to recover. She was never cancer free but was able to manage it for about 6 months or more before she had to begin taking treatments again in May of 2010. The doctors tried various treatments to no avail.
Then in June of 2011 she began having terrible headaches and feared that the cancer had gone to her brain but it was determined that she had suffered a major stroke. Luckily she did not have any bad effects from it. But while in the hospital it was discovered that a tumor was blocking her one of her kidneys so a stint was put in so that her kidney could work again. This stint had to be replaced every six months.
Christmas 2011 her treatments were stronger and were making her sicker and she felt so bad but she was a fighter and was determined to take the treatments. By the end of January 2012 she had difficulty in swallowing.
On February 9, 2012, which was her birthday, she had a doctor’s appointment and this is when it was determined that there was nothing else that could be done for her and that within 10-12 weeks she would begin seeing problems likes blockages.
Cancer does not listen to what predictions the doctors make but instead takes over our lives as it sees fit. Coleen being the take charge woman she was knew that she would not have that long so she went home and began to make preparations for her death. On her death bed she asked her husband, Tommy, who she had been married to for nearly 54 years, would he be ok and what would he do without her and his answer was “We’ll just do the best we can.” That got her easy and then at 9:35 on February 27, 2012, with her daughters, Patti and Jenny at her side she took of last breath.
In life you meet many people who latter will touch your life in ways that you never imagined. For me Coleen Pilkinton was one of those people. Coleen and I had become friends thru her daughter, Jenny, who attends the same church that I do. I knew about her bouts with cancer and how near death she had been when it came back the second time. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 Coleen wrote me a letter to tell me some things to do to get prepared for what was ahead of me. One piece of advice that she gave me was to consider 2010 as the year I took off from life. She told me that my life would revolve around time for treatments, time off from treatments, and going back for treatments. Boy, was she ever right. I will always cherish our talks and words of encouragement she gave me while we both were taking treatments. Coleen loved the Lord, loved her family and loved life and she is missed dearly by all of us.
Thanks to her family for allowing Standing Ovations to share her story so that we can help educate others of the various symptoms of ovarian cancer and maybe her story will help save someone’s life.