Cristina Reeve fights cancer with God and Graham by her side
Cristina Reeve is a champion.
Diagnosed in 2013 with triple-negative breast cancer, she went through chemotherapy, mastectomy and hysterectomy and she won. “We did everything we thought was appropriate to end the fight,” she said. She fought a battle against breast cancer and defeated it; or so she thought.
In May 2019, cancer returned. Doctors diagnosed Reeve with Stage IV Metastatic breast cancer. This means that cancer has spread across her body. Reeve said cancer has spread to her lungs, sternum, ribs and neck. It was all a total shock to Reeve and her family. However, they are still fighting. She is still fighting.
“I do chemo. Every other week I do immunotherapy. I get one week off per month,” Reeve said.According to the American Cancer Institute, Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. Through everything, Reeve is still following her passion by teaching.
“I have an awesome school district that has given me a ton of flexibility to be able to teach,” she said. “They allow me the opportunity to take time off if I feel sick. That happens when I take chemo every week.”
Reeve does chemotherapy on Mondays and tries to return to school on Tuesdays. She teaches a reading group at Crestview Elementary. She said teaching the reading group allows for greater flexibility to take time off if she needs more recovery time. She has had 14 appointments for chemotherapy. In June, Reeve created a Facebook page to update friends and family, Round Two-Still Fighting. She also uses the page to posts motivation and sometimes humorous images.
“I go through my good days and bad days like everybody else,” she said. “On a good day, I can get plenty of rest, especially after chemo. On the bad days, it can get really frustrating, especially after a long string of good days. You just feel sick and sore and don’t want to do anything.” She said both fights with cancer have given her a different look on life. She does not take anything for granted. However, she does not stay upset very long on the bad days.
“I have a 24-year old and I have grandchildren. I want to be there for my family. I want to go to work,” she said. “Your good days are the things taken for granted (...) like doing laundry, cooking supper and doing chores. Those are privileges now.”
When she does have those bad days, she credits the city of Graham for making them better. It came almost as a surprise for the Odessa native. Reeve had only lived in Graham for two years when she was diagnosed.
Reeve first moved to Possum Kingdom Lake as a single mother. Her sister and brother-in-law asked her to move here to raise her daughter in a smaller town. Reeve met her current husband in Graham and has fallen in love with the city.
“The best thing is that there are people (in Graham) that know when I don’t have a good day, there will be food on our porch,” she said. “That makes the bad days more bearable.”
This weekend is another example of the city of Graham coming together to support Reeve. The father of Reeve’s oldest child, Will Ewing, is bringing his non-profit group, Pushing Limbits, to Graham to host a fundraiser and silent auction today at the Young County Arena. Barbeque will be served for the price of $10 per plate. There will also be a silent auction. The event lasts from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The Lady Blues volleyball team is dedicating this year’s Pink Out match against Vernon to Reeve. The team is hosting an online auction which began yesterday with items such as Texas Christian University football tickets for games against Texas and Baylor, as well as donations from Pioneer and Crestview Elementaries. The online portion of the auction will end at 4 p.m. Tuesday and recommence as a silent auction until five minutes after the varsity volleyball match. Lady Blues Volleyball Pink Out Auction is a public group created on Facebook to host the online portion of the auction.
For the rest of the story, see the Saturday, Oct. 19 edition of The Graham Leader.