YORKTOWN, Va (WAVY) — A Yorktown woman gets the same thing for Christmas almost every year.
It’s not on her list, and she can’t give it back as much as she would like to.
Kim Graham is a chronic cancer fighter. “In 2004 I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer,” she said.
She beat it, but five years later the cancer had come back in her bones and it has returned every year since, usually right around the holidays.
“So I always get a little present … you know it’s Christmas time, she said with a laugh. “But I’ve got such peace about it now, you know. God’s given me such peace I don’t worry.”
She puts her faith in God and her trust in angels, that is the doctors and nurses who’ve been treating her for 14 years.
Dr. Ron Kersh at Riverside Regional Medical Center is one of them. “When you go into the room to see her and her husband you don’t know which one is the patient,” he said.
Kersh is amazed by Kim. She doesn’t look or act chronically ill, and although he sees no cure for her, he’s kept her alive over the years using evolving technology.
The latest is a machine called Varian Edge that allows him to shoot radiation beams with precision into tricky areas of the body.
“With standard radiation we would have overdosed her spinal cord and she would have been paralyzed.”
“I’m telling you with all the new technology, new medicine, it’s just really remarkable,” Kim told WAVY.com.
Yes, that is a big reason Kim’s alive today, but the bigger part is her determination and her positive attitude,” said her husband, Gary Graham.
It’s an attitude her husband sees inspire everyone around her.
“Because they see her and her determination and knowing what she’s going through … it’s like how can you not be positive?”
Kim also receives chemotherapy at Virginia Oncology Associates and credits that team with her life as well.
They are treating it like a chronic disease such as diabetes that just has to be managed and they expect to manage Kim’s cancer for many Christmases to come.