Maryland mom learns she has five weeks to live after cancer diagnosis
A Maryland mother of five has learned she has just five weeks to live after a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis.
Kourtni Smith, 34, from St Mary’s County, was diagnosed with stage 4 invasive lobular carcinoma April.
But just four weeks ago, she was told that she only has somewhere around two months to live.
She said it took her so long to consult a doctor out of fear. During her most recent visit, doctors told her the cancer had spread to her brain.
The news has spurred Smith to focus on making memories with her family with what time she has left.
Reflecting to WUSA9, she said she hopes her story can serve as a warning to others who may be too scared to go to the doctor.
Scroll down for video:
‘I feel like now I can save someone’s life,’ she told the station from hospice Saturday of how she may have missed out on being cured after avoiding a visit when noticing a lump on her breast.
‘Here I am, 34, and I’m dying because I was afraid to go to the doctor.’
Smith’s battle with cancer began in 2021, when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 of the disease, which, if detected early, can be cured.
She said she first became suspicious a great deal earlier, after noticing the dimple on her breast. However, fear kept her from getting it checked out.
Sometime after that, she couldn’t produce milk for her newborn, sparking more fears.
Those concerns prompted her to finally visit the doctor, she told WUSA – and there she learned she had the cancer that starts in the milk-producing gland of the breast.
At first, she said, she was in disbelief.
‘I’m asking them questions like, ‘Could it be this, stuff I’ve read about online?” she told the outlet, seated next to her husband Andre as tubes run down her sides.
‘They said ‘No, it’s cancer.”
By April, it had progressed to Stage 4 – which has an average five-year survival rate of around 6 percent.
Still hopeful, she underwent multiple rounds of chemo and radiation therapy to eradicate the disease, but three months ago, she received the news it was all for naught.
She’s since been transported to hospice, where she and her husband on Friday lamented the reality of their situation.
‘Our 2-year-old son [their youngest], he always keeps us smiling,’ Andre said, his wife tearing up beside him.
‘So, it’s really the kids that’s keeping us up like this.’
As for Smith, she has spent the past several weeks in hospice, where she said doctors are keeping her comfortable with pain medication.
She will be leaving behind her husband and five children, ages 16, 14, 12, 9 and 2, but hopes to forge new memories in the meantime.
‘I would want them to know that I love them and I love them so much,’ she told the station.
‘That I would go to any measures, any drastic measures to make sure that they’re OK. Even beyond the grave.’
She also conceded that her body could no longer handle the chemo treatments, meaning her fate is most certainly sealed.
She reflected on this on a GoFundMe she started to help with funeral expenses earlier this month that has so far raised $72,710 – money that will now be bequeathed to her family after a local funeral director said she would cover the cost.
Smith, meanwhile, wrote: ‘With the unfortunate reality that I don’t have much long on this Earth. Every day is a struggle mentally and physically.
‘I have young, sensitive, creative and intelligent children that I want to support through this world. My dream would be to hold their hands and guide them into adulthood, but that dream is slipping away.’
She further revealed: ‘My cancer metastasized to my bones and my brain, which causes limited activity with my children.’
‘As I near the end of the road, my goal is to provide my husband with financial assistance for my funeral expenses as he will be a single father.
‘I kindly invite you to show your love and support.’
The mom said she is also working on a children’s book as a memento for her five kids. She added that she hopes that can at least make it to December, to share one more Christmas with them.