Forgive and live: Lessons from a woman with terminal cancer
When time is measured in days and months instead of years and decades, perspectives on life tend to change.
For Libby Gaymon, a Cheektowaga woman who is battling a second attack of metastasized breast cancer, time is both friend and foe. Gaymon, 42, makes sure that whenever she is feeling well enough to get out of bed, she gets outside and cherishes her surroundings. She takes time to enjoy the little things in life – the flowers, the walk to the bus stop, even the dandelions sprouting through the cracks in the sidewalk. She appreciates how quickly life can pass you by.
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Gaymon doesn’t know how much time she has left; she can feel the cancer spreading throughout her arms and legs. She had radiology on her skull to relieve the swelling from lesions.
“I've tried several chemos and every one of them has failed me. [The cancer] just keeps growing and growing,” Gaymon told 7 Eyewitness News from her living room, wearing a headscarf to conceal her bald head.
Gaymon is now trying an experimental immunotherapy treatment at Roswell Park. Immunotherapy helps the body’s immune system attack cancer cells. It is still being studied nationwide to see if it can play a role in treating metastatic breast cancer.
“With existing immunotherapies, we’ve seen a response rate of about 20%. We certainly, as a field, hope to improve on that percentage with newer combinations and approaches that are just beginning to be studied, like the one we are looking at for Libby,” Dr. Ellis Levine, Chief of Breast...