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Paint the Town Pink: A Cancer Story

Posted at: 01/31/2013 7:02 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's a disease that has affected all of us, one way or another.

Raising funds to aid the search for a cure is the focus of the second "Paint The Town Pink" events in Austin.

And one member of the committee organizing has a personal ... and emotional ... story to tell.

"I'm fine with it. This is God's plan" Barb Nelson told us.

"2001 I discovered a lump in my left breast, and it kept getting bigger."

Two weeks before Christmas 2011 a biopsy confirmed that Barb nelson had a malignant tumor.

"My first chemo appointment, Christmas eve and that was the worst Christmas. I couldn't walk ..."  Barb nelson recalled.

At first the chemotherapy was working:

"It started going backwards, it started growing so fast that they couldn't believe it" Barb Nelson said. “In May they said we've got to get you in now for a double mastectomy."

Cancer she believes was caused by the stress of caring for her husband while HE was dying of cancer.

"My insurance cancelled because of my husband's cancer. It was topped out.”

It was three months before she could get into radiation.

"I found two more tumors, then I started getting headaches and my hip started hurting" Barb Nelson said.

It meant another trip to the doctor.

"He just looked at my eyeballs and he could see the tumors, and it's escalated ever since."

At age 46, Barb Nelson has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and her doctors are reluctant to predict she will live for another five years.

"They're hoping for three, but it could be three, six or nine months."

On the morning she helped kick off this year’s Paint The Town Pink events in Austin, Barb Nelson underwent another round of radiation. And telling her story is going to be part of her legacy.

"I'm okay with myself. If I can help on person, that's all that matters."

And however much life she has left she's living one day at a time.

"It's the only way you can make it through it is accept God's plan. I know I have a beautiful husband up there waiting for me, and my kids will be fine. But I just want to save other people. That's the miracle I want."