5-22-17 Update on Cathy’s Battle with Cancer

It’s been a while since I’ve updated anyone on our website.  For those of you who don’t know, Cathy is my sister and partner in the business.

Shizzle Sisters Cathy (left) and Shelly (right)

Shelly (left) and Cathy (right) pictured below at West Michigan’s Women’s Expo 2014

DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI

Cath was diagnosed Thanksgiving 2016 with Stage IV Extensive SMALL CELL Lung Cancer which had already metastisized to her bones.

So far, the cancer has metatisized to her spine (8 fractures), skull, liver, ribs, both femurs and her hips and that’s with numerous radiation treatments to various parts of her body and two failed lines of chemo.   Cath spent the past 6 months in excruating pain because the cancer literally sucked the life out of her bones.  The first two months were the worst as we literally watched her tremble and moan in pain as she shook.  She looked like that of an advanced Parkinson’s patient and had just told us she was done fighting when a doctor from the Javery Pain Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan came to her rescue.  Thankfully, The Javery Paint Institute was able to get her pain under control using epidural type injections directly into her spine so she could get off all the other crappy pain meds that the oncologist kept pumping into her.

Because of all the damage to her spine, she’s lost several inches in height.  She’s also lost almost 60 pounds.

Between chemo, radiation, the Javery Institute, 3 different oncologists, a radiologist and special dentist, she’s pretty much been in daily treatment, travelling back and forth to the hospital on a daily basis since she was diagnosed.  To say that’s it’s been a nightmare is an understatement.  It seems like anything and everything that could have gone wrong, has.

In the past six months, she’s lost the ability to do much of what we all take for granted.  Due to all the damage caused in her spine, she’s no loger able to walk on her own or stand for more than a few seconds so much of her time is spent in a hospital bed which is set up in her living room.  She uses a walker within her home and wheelchairs or motorized cart when we’re going to and from treatment or a quick stop to the store.

There is no cure and the prognosis is not good so continued prayers are appreciated.  Cath was initially given 2-3 weeks without treatment or 3-6 months with treatment.

Today marks six months since diagnosis and we’re all very thankful that she’s still with us!

I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be in her shoes as my cancer is under control.  Our mom has also just finished several months of radiation for her cancer and as of last week, was given two thumbs up after results came in from her PET scan.  She however is still very weak from all the treatment she had to go through and is having a hard time getting over 80 pounds.  She’s trying hard to gain weight and regain her strength but is very tired and of course, concerned about Cathy.

Cath too has lost a tremendous amount of weight and needs to try to get more nurishment into her body.  Last month, our brother Steve was also diagnosed with the same cancer that mom has but thankfully, his was caught at a very early stage so he’s going to be fine.  I’m doing my best to juggle tiime between running Shizzle single-handedly, taking care of my two girls, running Cath to and from treatments and quite frankly, just trying to deal with it all.  This has been an extremely trying time for everyone in our small family.

Words cannot express how much we appreciate all the love, support, prayers and continued paint sales as we go through this difficult journey.  We wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

To stay current with Cath’s progress, you can subscribe to her CaringBridge website, It’s listed under Cathy Blood.  You can also view updates on her GoFundMe site, also under Cathy Blood.  I also post more frequent, but less detailed updates on our ShizzleLLC Facebook page.   Shelly Andrade

11 Replies to “5-22-17 Update on Cathy’s Battle with Cancer”

  1. It’s so wonderful to continue to see her steadfast smile in the midst of all that she’s endured! My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you all. Continue to make good memories together. Cherish every moment. <3

    1. Thanks Jude, That was a very fun day. We escaped and spent the day w some other good friends. Almost every day so far has been spent in treatment. Hoping we have more fun adventures ahead.

  2. To all your family,

    Shelly, you are truly amazing, how much more so to be able to write updates such as this. God has given you such strength to cope with so many health & life challenges. I send my fervent prayers to you & Cathy & your family. I am an almost 3 year breast cancer survivor with a very good prognosis, & I simply can’t even fathom how you can deal with your own & your dear family’s cancer. all at the same time. I recall fondly about 6 years ago attending a workshop at your home studio, & all your family’s generosity in providing the most delicious lunch spread & desserts, as if we were your most treasured guests. May that generosity be returned to you a billion fold, now & forever.


    Natalya (from Lansing)

    1. Awe, thanks Natalya! We sure need can use the prayers. I remember those days of teaching workshops in the home. I may be going back to those intimate classes once everything settles down. I think you attended on held in our garage. We eventually started teaching right in the living room via the use of drop cloths. I sure don’t feel strong these days as depression is sucking the life out of me, but I’m getting through it one minute at a time.

  3. Shelly, you know I’ve been following you since way back. I’m so, so sorry your family is undergoing all of this. Your plate is more than full.
    There is nothing I can say but, ‘do what you can to hang tough’. My thoughts are with you.

    1. Thanks Beth, I’m trying. Hanging on by a thread on most days but I’m getting through the days one step at a time.

  4. My sister was diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer- a type the doctors don’t even have a idea about or even seen. She went through chemo , several rounds, a hysterectomy, bladder removal, and a new bladder made from her intestines. With all this she still only had a 9 percent to make it to Christmas. We are now almost eight months out from that date and her life has begun again. She has suffered the loss her relationship with her fiancee during the process. She has still has spots of the cancer and faces more treatments. Please don’t lose hope because miracles do happen every minute. I believe! My thoughts and heart are there for you. Please let your sister know we are listening. With love! Angle.

    1. That is amazing Angie! I’m so happy for you. They’ve apparently come a long way with bladder cancer then over the past few years. My brother-in-law, Cath’s husband, passed in four months from diagnosis of his bladder cancer so it’s encouraging to know some people are surviving it now. Hospice has taken over now because none of the 3 chemo’s worked. There are no other treatment options available for her, at least in this area. In my opinion, West Michigan is years behind other parts of the country. I lost hope a long time ago as my entire immediate family is riddled with cancer.

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