Kristy Lasch moved from McKeesport, PA to start her freshman year at the University of Miami in the fall of 1996. She loved Florida and made the most of her four years at UM. Always driven, she graduated in December 1999 (a full semester early) and landed her first job working in the corporate department of Burdines. Shortly after starting her first job, Kristy noticed a lump in one of her breasts. She made a mental note to get it checked. The lump grew and Kristy decided to see a doctor. The doctor was concerned enough by the appearance of the lump to order additional tests. On Jan 2, 2001, the test results came back. Kristy was 22 years old, beautiful and had breast cancer.
Kristy immediately began additional tests and preparations for chemotherapy, At Baptist Hospital, she was her doctor's youngest ever breast cancer patient. Kristy underwent about 7 months of chemotherapy and then a full mastectomy. Her hair fell out, but she cose a short trendy wig. She refused to feel sorry for herself. She lived life to the fullest. Kristy still managed to go to work whenever she could. Her mom took a leave of absence from her job in Pittsburgh and moved to Miami to help care for her. Kristy's dad, who was still working outside of Pittsburgh, flew down as much as possible to be with them.
After finishing her treatment and reconstructive surgery, Kristy's hair grew back and she regained her strength. She decided to accept a position at the University of Miami while pursuing her M.B.A. Kristy planned a big celebration for her 25th birthday with her friends. Life was returning to normal. Kristy became active in the Susan G. Komen Foundation and spoke at the race in October 2003. She continued to have blood work done every 6 months, as covered by her insurance, and the tests continued to come back negative for cancer. The blood tests are only 75% accurate while the scans give a much higher rate of accuracy. Her insurance didn't let her get the scans because her blood tests came back negative.
In May of 2003, Kristy began experiencing pain in her stomach and back. Doctors reassured her that she was fine because her blood work looked fine. The pain came and went throughout the summer of 2003 and by August, Kristy was sure that further tests should be done. So she had a scan done, and was diagnosed with cancer in the bones and liver. Kristy began an aggresive chemotherapy treatment soon after the diagnosis. She experienced pain, fatigue and loss of hair, but as usual she did not complain. While her initial progress report showed an improvement, the chemotherapy soon stopped working. The cancer had spread to the lining of her lungs and sternum. Kristy's parents luckily had moved into her townhouse and were able to help care for her.
Kristy started on a new chemotherapy and miraculously she began to respond. By February, her results showed a 70% reduction in number of cancerous cells. The timing couldn't have been better as Kristy prepared for her graduation. The progress seemed to continue into June and July, and Kristy began to make plans for her 26th birthday party. Once again she looked great adn different this time, her normally jet black hair had been dyed platinum blonde. When a friend questioned her on her decision to go blonde, Kristy's expresson fell slightly as she said - the chemo is no longer working and I will have to start again and lose my hair.
Kristy began a new type of chemo in August, however, her white blood cell count kept dropping below the acceptable level forcing her to postpone treatments. She began to retain fluid and it became necessary for her stomach to be drained. She received chemo one last time in September and then her count dropped to a level that required her to have several blood transfusions. Kristy began to retain fluid at a noticeable rate adn required morphine to handle the pain. By the third week of September, kristy was admitted to the hospital. Wanting to be at home with her cat, Miracle, Kristy and her parents decided to move her home. She struggled for energy adn found the strength not only to stay conscious, but also accept a few visitors. She told her frienda and parents how much she loved them. Kristy waited for a final friend who had traveled far to see her and then she let go.
Kristy left us on October 3, 2004 at the age of 26. She will be remembered, she will be missed, but she will not be forgotten. You are no longer here with us in the flesh, Kristy. But every day, we continue to love you, we continue to admire your strength, we continue to recognize your supreme courage and we continue to be touched by your kindness. Breast cancer may have taken you from the earth, but there is no force that can take you from our hearts. We love you alwaays Kristy Lasch.
It's Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday