Michelle Buchholtz has miraculously given birth to healthy baby girl Ava (13/11/2014) at 29 weeks despite suffering from terminal cancer.
Her partner Alex has started this campaign to raise funds in the fight to prolong Michelle's life and time with Ava. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michelle, Ava and Alex. Read more below.
Ava is now 2580 grams and finally home
We would like to thanks everyone for their support and well wishes, especially The Royal Women's and Sandringham hospitals for their exceptional care and understanding.
Michelle is on the up and no longer requiring the aid of a wheel chair.
Her Chemotherapy treatment will continue until April.
Her lasted blood tests indicate the cancer markers are dropping
Ava is now 33 weeks old. Her weight is 1601 grams and we are delighted with her progress :)
Michelle had a CT scan of her neck late last week and although her neck brace must stay on for 3-6 months she will not recquire surgery and the C1 vertebrae is healing. Michelle is battling on after her first round of chemo.
Perfect baby girl, born breathing on her own without too much assistance.
Ava Michelle Ansalone
Born 14/11/14 11.22 a.m
Michelle is doing great!
Michelle's latest MRI results have revealed some terrible news.
The cancer has spread to her hips and left femur.
The early delivery of our babe girl will proceed on Friday.
She will be 29 weeks.
Michelle will start chemotherapy the following week.
Unfortunately we will be unable to attend Sunday's fund raiser but would like to thank Tracey and everyone involved for their ongoing support.
Michelle was discharged from hospital on Saturday. She will continue radiation therapy for the next week and then begin a second round of chemotherapy :(
Again thank you to everyone for their support, there are so many :)
Michelle and I would like to thank St Kilda Cycling Club, staff, and members for their support.
Some positive news about Michelle's condition.
Michelle will not need surgery.
The tumour has eroded and fractured C1.
She will need to wear a neck brace for a few months to aid with the bone repair.
Her pain is marginally better today as she continues radiation therapy.
She has stopped the morphine mid day yesterday and is no longer vomiting.
She is relieved to have had a shower this afternoon.
Thank you to everyone who has viewed Michelle's page, we are overwellemed with your kind words and extremely generous donations. Michelle was taken to hospital this morning via ambulance. The tumor in her C1 (neck area) is causing her excrusiating pain, she is unable to move.
She has been given morphine despite the fact she had refused any form of pain relief up until this point. She is in and out of sleep and it is breaking my heart to see her in this state. We hope to continue her radiation treatment later today.
Thank you to everyone visiting Michelle's my cause page.
I met Michelle in April 2012, she would become the love of my life.
In the coming months we booked a trip to Europe, Italy being our favoured destination, so many unforgettable memories.
In October 2012 upon return from our trip, Michelle felt a lump in her breast.
Her GP opted to conduct a mammogram and an ultra sound test.
A biopsy later confirmed Michelle's diagnoses, a stage 4 triple negative cancer tumour in her right breast.
Triple negative cancers are not hormone feed like other breast cancers therefore they can not be treated by simply turning off hormones in the body. They can survive many chemotherapy treatments making it a difficult cancer to conquer.
We were devastated and had to act quickly.
The tumour along with 18 lymph nodes were removed and we decided on a double mastectomy as precaution.
Chemotherapy would follow but not before a blood test confirmed Michelle was pregnant.
We were unable to keep the pregnancy due to Michelle's treatment.
It was a difficult decision, our first child remains in our hearts.
Before the chemotherapy was administered we stored Michelle's eggs at the Melbourne IVF clinic. Part of having chemo involved taking zoladex a drug which shut down her ovaries to protect them from the chemotherapy.
It caused Michelle to go into premature menopause.
Once her eggs were stored she had her first round of chemotherapy, lost her beautiful golden hair but battled on.
The toll on Michelle's mental and physical wellbeing was starting to escalate.
After many arduous months of recovering from treatment Michelle and I decided to try for another child.
We managed to fall pregnant naturally but again in September 2013 we had to terminate due to T18 confirmation, meaning the child would not survive due to abnormalities.
By this point my admiration for Michelle was sky high!
She remained positive as always and did her best to push on.
In December 2013 Michelle had the final surgery of her breast reconstruction which needed a series of operations.
In February this year Michelle was able to return to work, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and feeling she had won her battle with breast cancer.
In August this year Michelle had her yearly check up with her breast surgeon.
She was experiencing back pain and after an MRI it was unfortunately confirmed the cancer had spread to her spine.
With no chance of a cure it is terminal and all we can do is try to extend her survival.
Michelle is now 26 weeks pregnant with our third pregnancy.
We are currently doing every treatment possible to conquer the cancer.
An important part of her treatment is keeping her immune system strong to promote the production of healthy cells in her body to combat the cancer.
She is having vitamin C intravenously three times a week costing $240 per session. Every six weeks Michelle's blood is sent to a lab in Germany to see how the vitamin C is responding, each test costs $1,200.00.
Additionally she needs to stay on a high dose supplement regimen taking 30 tables a day all helping with cell repair, antioxidants and energy production.
We have also purchased an ultra sound machine to perform daily sono therapy which shrinks the cancer cells.
The cost of fighting cancer is high.
Constant MRIs, X-rays, scans, specialist appointments along with medical treatment put it into the thousands with Medicare only rebating main stream treatment.
We will begin radio therapy and another round of chemotherapy will be administered in the coming weeks due to the aggressiveness of the cancer.
Twelve new tumours have grown in the last two months.
For anyone who knows Michelle she is a fighter! and the most positive person I have had the pleasure of meeting.
I am raising money for Michelle's ongoing treatment which could involve going to China for alternative treatments not available in Australia.
The cost for this treatment could exceed $40,000.00.
We would like to thank everyone for their support and make a special mention to the following
Our Families for their unwavering support and constant love
Health World (Michelle's previous employer)
Dr Sandy Vinson Bromberger
The NIIM Clinic
Dr Richard De Boer
Dr Mario Guerrieri
Dr Tammy Harring
Dr Nicola Yueng