Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration
Michelle Kemp was at work when she first heard that word that no one wants to hear – cancer. Clear cell ovarian cancer, to be exact. An especially rare type of ovarian cancer, it can be difficult to treat.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting any sort of serious news,” she recalls of when she received the diagnosis. "I walked back to my desk and it slowly started to dawn on me that this could be very serious."
Put your energy into being a better person, enriching your relationships, and enjoying and appreciating every moment you’re given.”
At only 34 years old, Michelle immediately began treatment under the guidance of Dr. Michael Carney at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
“How can I say thank you enough to Dr. Carney?” Michelle says. “He’s so competent, kind and patient, and he never rushed my family’s or my own questions. He always made me feel like I was important and not just another patient to be handled.”
She underwent two surgeries to treat her cancer, including a full hysterectomy.
After her surgeries, Michelle continued her treatment at Kapiolani where she began chemotherapy every three weeks for six sessions. Through what was a difficult time, Michelle was comforted by Dr. Carney along with nurses Alisa Takahashi and Yvonne Mina, both of whom cared for her during a particularly stressful bout.
Every single person I came into contact with made me feel safe because I was in such good hands. I was oddly happy to be there!”
“I was having bad reactions to the medicine when it was first introduced into my system,” she recalls. “They would try their hardest to distract me from my own fear and anxiety.”
After months of overwhelming uncertainty, Michelle has officially finished chemo while gaining a new perspective on life. “Since finishing chemo, I’ve traveled to five different countries in South and Central America and made incredible memories. I hope I never forget how precious life is and the lessons I learned during this phase of my life.”
Today, Michelle continues to live her life to the fullest while reflecting on the many friendships she formed during her time at Kapiolani.
"Every single person I came into contact with made me feel safe because I was in such good hands. I was oddly happy to be there!”
For anyone who is struggling with an unexpected diagnosis, Michelle has these words of advice.
“Put your energy into being a better person, enriching your relationships, and enjoying and appreciating every moment you’re given.”
Published on: December 8, 2020