“After we looked back and found the diagnosis, there were signs. I had been having headaches for almost a year, but I just thought it was because I’m a teacher and I get headaches,” said Kimberly Inman, 39.
Kim, a teacher at Holy Ghost Catholic School and a full time mother, was diagnosed with stage two Astrocytoma brain cancer on March 15, 2017. Inman said that the tumor is one of the slowest growing tumors and her doctor said that she had probably been living with it for 10 or more years.
Ally, Kim’s eldest daughter who attends Southeastern Louisiana University, said, “They say she is a walking miracle because she has lived with it for so long.”
Ally explained what happened the night that her and her family’s lives changed forever. She said on the night of March 13, her mother was unresponsive and began to seize. They called the ambulance and she was rushed to North Oaks Hospital in Hammond.
Kim said, “I have no memory. I have the memory of the day of. It was March 13th, a Monday. I went to school, stayed for a meeting, picked up my daughter, Lilly, from school, went out to grab some dinner, came home and the next thing I remember, it’s the end of the week and I’m in the hospital.”
When Kim’s MRI results came back as cancer, Ally said that they immediately explored their options for treatment. She said the neurosurgeon in New Orleans said they could only remove 70 percent of the tumor without leaving her in a vegetated state. However, they were recommended by a friend to a neurosurgeon in Arizona who was confident he could remove the entirety of the tumor.
“They removed my whole right, frontal lobe. The tumor was the size of a baseball and it is still there.” Unfortunately, Ally said the surgeon did not succeed in removing the entire tumor because it had grown into other lobes of her brain.
Kim said, “The only way I’m going to survive this is by radiation and chemo treatments.” She said that she received 25 radiation treatments from MD Anderson in Houston, Texas and she finished her last three at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center here in Hammond to make for 28 treatments.
Ally said that she and her younger sister were distraught when they found out the news of their mother. “It was really hard and I couldn’t sleep for like two weeks. I guess the thought of losing her kept me up at night. I realized it is what it is and everything happens in God’s timing.” Kim said she has questioned God, but her faith has grown stronger because she is still alive. She said, “He could have let me go a few times and He didn’t. I’ve come to terms that if something happens to me, God has a reason even if I may never know it or they may never know it.”
Craig, Kim’s husband and Ally’s father, said, “To find out that Kimberly had cancer was devastating. We had just beaten my cancer and we were heart-broken.” Craig was also diagnosed with stage three Melanoma skin cancer that had spread to his lymphatic system on Aug 20, 2015. According to Ally, with immediate treatments, her father is now in remission, but continues to fight with her mother. Ally said, “What we went through with my dad was rough, and I thought ‘not again,’ but I’m thankful that it didn’t happen at the same time, they at least took turns.”
The Inman family said how thankful they are for the outstanding support that they have received from the community. Kim said, “The community has been amazing, a prayer service at school, feeding our family, money donations and even the service work at my house.” Kim said that her endless social media messages and support from her family made her push through the grueling radiation treatments and continues to help her keep fighting today.
According to Ally, Kim has maxed out on her radiation and is now doing her chemotherapy cycle from home. Kim said, “I feel really good. Nothing new has grown, but nothing has shrunk yet either.”
Craig said that their family has grown closer and they learned to no longer take life for granted. Ally said that her mom is continuing to fight through the cancer and is still undergoing her chemo treatments at this time.
Kim said, “I have been able to go to college, have children, get married and I was able to work. I’ve been able to experience a nice chunk of life.” She encouraged everyone who is struggling with cancer to keep the faith, have positive thoughts and go outside when you can.