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Hope Fuels a Mother’s Decision to Continue Treatment

Kim Stoker and son

While enduring ongoing complications from chemo to treat her aggressive triple negative breast cancer, Kim faced the seemingly impossible choice of whether to stop treatment or not.  She had radically different opinions from oncologists and specialists about her treatment options, forcing her to make difficult decisions. Her stress was compounded by a custody battle for her son and the loss of her job due to medical leave.

“I was feeling at my worst physically and emotionally, and I was so conflicted on what to do,” said Kim.  “It felt like I was being attacked in every way.”

I also lost my job, one of my last lines to normalcy, because I couldn’t come back from leave,” she added.  “We had medical bills coming in, attorney bills because of the court fights to keep my son and we had lost half our income.”

Feeling hopeless and considering putting a stop to her chemo treatments, Kim was at an all-time low emotionally as she headed out for a second opinion. That day would become a turning point for her, with a new perspective molded by hope beginning to shape her decision-making process.

Just before her appointment, Kim received a call from New Day.

“I was almost in disbelief that New Day was helping in such a huge way.  Paying our mortgage and gift cards for groceries was a huge help.  But it didn’t just help us financially, it gave me hope.  Something good was happening.  Maybe the tide was turning and all the bad was coming to an end and the good was starting.

“The oncologist we saw at U of M agreed with my oncologist to stay the course. I really believe the timing of New Day’s call helped how I saw that recommendation,” Kim said looking back on that day.  “I had been in such a bad place that I think hearing that news while I was so down could have just plummeted my spirits further, that this chemo was going to kill me, but I had no other choice but to keep doing it.  Instead, I was buoyed by the call from New Day and felt renewed.  I was going to continue to attack the cancer – this oncologist agreed with mine and I was doing the right thing.”

Today, Kim says she is “doing well right now.” Knowing that if she can make it five years past her diagnosis, then she’s “in the clear,” she is doing what she can to make it across that line. From focusing on lifestyle changes like exercising and eating better to stress management and supplements, she is taking charge of her life and moving forward with hope.

“I can never thank New Day enough for their support,” she concludes.  “What you are doing for patients and families may be bigger than you realize.”

Kim’s story is a testament to the healing power of HOPE. Hope that can shape, mold and reframe a patient’s perspective on their own circumstances, bringing about better treatment outcomes for the long term.


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