Kimberly Hinshaw's Story
"It has been one year since I began this ride, this journey, the Odyssey, as my friend Karen called it. After a minor removal of an innocent, small, pea-sized bump one year ago, I was told by my dermatologist with tears in his eyes, that I had metastatic or Stage IV melanoma which had spread distantly throughout my body. I was aware of this cancer (being in health care for over 30 years), but really me? I even requested three different pathologists to review the findings and initially interviewed several top oncologists in the Dallas area.
There was no good information on the internet and I was advised not to look at it. What I found was very scary, negative, and portrayed this cancer as the black tumor that killed when you least expect it. I was scared and mad. I had no hope. I cried, pleaded with God and shouted profanities when the TOP docs told me there was nothing helpful they could do. They told me to get all my affairs in order because I had about six months.
I was interested in living, NOT dying. One doctor told me there were NO clinical trials anywhere I could participate in. He gave me a DVD about a toxic treatment that might help, but it costs $120,000 and might not work. I was furious and stormed out. My husband and I screamed and cried all the way home. My husband then called an oncologist friend who told him to cheer up because he knew of great possibilities at Mary Crowley Cancer Research. I knew who Mary Crowley was, but I had no idea there was a cancer center at Medical City. I was thrilled to hear what was going on there. They got me in right away for a consultation, and I qualified for a trial.
With what little I knew about clinical trials at this point, I was happy to hear from Dr. John Nemunaitis that this concept of immunotherapy was one of the latest advancements in cancer. I started immediately on a clinical trial. I was frightened because I am a very informed patient, but I was also happy, hopeful, curious, and so willing to try this new vaccine. The staff at Mary Crowley have fought this battle with me every step of the way with compassion, strength, humor, and kindness. They work to accommodate a patient at every level. I am truly grateful to have my oncology team fight alongside me; they are my soldiers, my warriors, my nurses and doctors.
Thank you is not enough, for my Hope Does Live Here at Mary Crowley! I am LIVING! I'm a survivor now trying to give back and pass it forward."
- Kimberly Hinshaw
Click HERE to see the CBS DFW News Story featuring Kimberly Hinshaw