“They told me I was going to die, but I didn’t.”

Bonnie Kindred

That’s how Bonnie Kindred summed up the fighting spirit that has helped her battle Stage 4 cancer for the last three and a half years.

“Don’t take everything your doctor says to heart,” said Kindred. “You have to keep a positive attitude. Cancer is not a death sentence.”

Kindred discovered she had lung cancer after a battle with severe bronchitis that just didn’t seem to respond to medical intervention.

“I didn’t think it was clearing up as fast as it should have been,” said Kindred. “I went to the doctor here in Elsberry, and she sent me to Troy for an x-ray.”

The x-ray revealed that Kindred had Stage 1 cancer in her lung.

She was sent to Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Hospital in St. Peters.

“Their plan was to cut part of my lung off,” said Kindred. “Unfortunately, my cancer started to spread during the surgery.”

Before things were all said and done, Kindred had cancer in her brain, her lung, her lymph nodes, her liver, her spine, and her ribs.

“I went in with Stage 1 cancer and came out with Stage 4 cancer,” said Kindred. “One of the doctors told me I had three to six months to live. Another said three to eleven months.”

Kindred has beaten those odds and then some, and she didn’t require any radiation to do it.

She does, however, receive an IV drug known as OPDIVO, which is administered at Siteman Cancer Center.

Due to a relatively new surgical technique, Kindred no longer has any cancer in her brain, though doctors caution her that it could always return.

The cancer throughout the rest of her body is holding steady at about the same rate as when she was first diagnosed.

“I feel pretty good, except most days I’m sick in the morning,” said Kindred. “I always feel better in the afternoon.”

Kindred said prayer is the big key to battling cancer, as well as living in a supportive community.

“I have tons of people praying for me,” said Kindred. “I have a lot of people asking about me, bringing me food, sending me cards, and keeping my spirits up.”

Kindred added that her biggest source of support has been her husband, Bob.

“He pretty well takes care of me,” said Kindred. “I couldn’t have made it without him and that’s a fact.”

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