CHCWM – Cancer & Hematology Centers of West Michigan

“Life’s One Wild Ride, Welcome to the Party!”

Chickens, painting, gardening, repeat. These are just some of the hobbies you’ll see Christina Lloyd, 51, passionately participating in every day. Country living comes easy at her home in Coopersville, with a menagerie of farm birds, an art studio, and multigenerational household filled with the love of her family.

But when Christina slipped and fell in the duck pasture in July of 2021, her tailbone pain would not subside. A colonoscopy would later discover a mass, found to be cancer. Further testing would confirm a diagnosis of Stage IV Colon Cancer.

Fast forward to February of 2022, chemotherapy treatments began with Dr. Eric Santos.

“Christina always has a way to brighten up the room every time she is here for a visit. Her positivity is her source of strength and a source of strength for everyone around her.” Dr. Santo’s said.

“My care with CHCWM has been wonderful. Dr. Santos is great. Destiny McDaniel (CHCWM Medical Assistant), is our gal. We love her and we have adopted her”, Christina raves. Destiny replied, “Christina is the definition of turning lemons into lemonade!”

Christina’s smile lights up the infusion center of Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan’s Lacks location. It’s not just her smile and happy demeanor that’s catchy, but also her large basket of ball gowns that she brought for her close-up. “I had to go all out. Why not?” She says through laughter, preparing to have multiple costume changes for her interview and photoshoot with CHCWM.

When receiving compliments from staff on her positivity she replies, “When people hear I have cancer, I tell them, it’s just cancer in my eyes, not a big deal, I just can’t control it, so I fight it positively. I embrace it.” Christina says, from her chair. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a change. Before cancer, I would help my friends and family with anything. Throw my tools into my jeep and be there to help. I have since had to take a leave of absence from my job and some hobbies like gardening.”

Christina developed her green thumb over the years at Countryside Greenhouse. Now she enjoys designing gardens for dear friends, working at Pathway Senior Movers and helping one night a week at her local Tractor Supply Co. store.

She also loves her birds like children, “I love my chickens too! I have 40 chickens, 14 ducks, and two geese.” She says gleaming over at her husband, Rodney Lloyd. When asked about the support of her marriage through her diagnosis, Christina replied, “Sometimes there is too much love between us. I can’t bring him to every appointment and see him in pain. We are each other’s PIC (partners in crime). I can’t wait to get back to doing our projects together. My daughter Morgan who lives with us in our multi-generational home, has also been an incredible support system.”

When Christina is not dressing up in ball gowns during chemotherapy appointments, she devotes her time to caring for her mother and art.

“I enjoy abstract landscape painting and drawing. It’s been hard to get over to the studio house since I can’t quite use the space. I need it cleaned up and more organized.” Little did she know her friends and family would be surprising her with a remodeled art studio a few months later. 

Christina is now able to paint in her studio, watching her garden grow and birds waddling throughout the farm.

Hoping to inspire others she made a point to express her outlook on life:

“Nobody knows when our time is up, and I’m not worried about that in the least. It’s not about the number of days I have left, it’s about the quality of days I have left. Life’s one wild ride. Welcome to the party.”

 

 

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Contact Information: Becky Byers, CHCWM Marketing Coordinator (bbyers@chcwm.com, 616-389-1712)