Monday, January 17, 2022

Recipient Missy Howe fighting adrenal cancer, constant pain

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

Missy Howe of Gansevoort, a Fort Ann native and married mother of two daughters, is a recipient of the South High Marathon Dance for the second straight year.

Mrs. Howe was diagnosed with marginal zone lymphoma of the spleen on Oct. 23, 2014, and has been getting treatment ever since. Her local doctor is Dr. Eric Pillemer, and she also has a team of doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City.

Earlier this week, she traveled to Boston to consult with doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Mrs. Howe had a pre-existing bleeding and clotting disorder, and while scans show her spleen is free of cancer, she is in constant pain from nerve damage.

“On a pain scale of 1 to 10, a 7 is a good day, and four days a week it’s a 9,” she said.

Missy Howe with her daughters Dakota, left, and Johannah. Photo provided
Missy Howe with her daughters Dakota, left, and Johannah. Photo provided

She said that funds from the Marathon Dance will be used for “unpaid medical bills, prescription co-pays, travel expenses to medical appointments…And Dana-Farber is out of network, so I have no idea what is going to happen with that.”

Job: Hoof trimmer for dairy cows

Mrs. Howe describes herself as “a very active person. It’s hard to explain the amount of pain that I’m in.”

And it’s not like she has a desk job in an office. “I’m a hoof trimmer for dairy cows,” she said. “I work for my husband Rick’s business. I am a woman doing a man’s job, but I love it. I love being on the farm, I love helping the animals. If I keep my mind busy, the positive attitude stays there. If I’m not strong, my girls aren’t strong.”

She said last year’s Marathon Dance experience “was amazing. I had heard about it, and I knew of it because my daughters have a mini-Marathon at Ballard every year, but I had never been there.

“You think you are prepared for it, but you’re not. Until you go to the closing ceremony, you don’t really know the power of it all.

“To know it’s not just me, it’s an entire community standing behind me, is so overwhelming.”

Mrs. Howe, with her friends at ARCA Ink, is having lime green “Missy Strong” shirts made for the Marathon Dance.

“I think about 100 shirts have been ordered, and ARCA Ink is donating everything to the Marathon Dance,” she said.

“I’m grateful to be able to give back, because this even really brings back your faith in the human race.”

Copyright © 2016 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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