HOPE chair believes anything is possible

The honorary chairman for this year’s HOPE event truly believes anything is possible when one has hope and God on their side.Shana K. Richardson, who is holding the title this year, said that after two years of not feeling well and knowing something wasn’t right, she finally went to the doctor with her symptoms.“I went for a colonoscopy on Dec. 27, 2006. That was when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Colon/Rectal Cancer,” she said. “I had numerous tests run and they found that the cancer was contained in one area.”On Jan. 25, 2007, she had surgery to remove the cancerous area along with 26 lymph nodes that were affected but not effaced. Richardson was put on intravenous chemotherapy in March of 2007. “After two times of the intravenous chemo, I was unable to do it because I was just not able to function,” she said. “I had a junior in high school and a three-year-old at home and it was just too difficult.”So in lieu of the intravenous chemo, doctors chose to put Richardson on a chemo pill call Xellda that she took for two weeks each day and was then off it for two weeks. She was able to function and be a mom and continue working.“During radiation for eight weeks in June and July 2008 I had no choice but to wear a chemo pump,” Richardson said. “After radiation I was able to start back on the chemo pill. I finished my last chemo pill on Oct. 15, 2007. (Happy Day!!!)”She said her oncologist and radiologist both said they hit her hard and heavy. Richardson said she is grateful for the way they approached her treatment.“I am so glad they did, because to date I am CANCER FREE,” she said.She said she never let the fact that she had the “C” word ever get her down. She it was not easy, especially having a three-year-old, junior in high school, and a sophomore in college, but her faith grew even stronger and it truly helped her put everything in perspective.“I had amazing support from my three amazing children, Mom, extended family, and my church family,” Richardson said. “I had TWO amazing friends that were there for me every step of the way. They all helped me through this battle.”She said her prayer for anyone going through cancer is that they have people surrounding them that truly care and support them and let them know they are loved.“Through God and hope anything is possible,” Richardson said. “Keep on fighting.”