My Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Lauren Patrice Kunklier. Visit us often and leave messages of encouragement for Lauren. Thank you for caring about Lauren and her journey.

Lauren wasn't feeling well in the Spring 2011. She went to the doctor because she had pain in her right side and back pain. We thought it was her gallbladder. The doctor ordered an ultrasound. He thought she had bad posture and needed physical therapy. We never heard back about the ultrasound so we figured "no news is good news". In August 2011, Lauren still had the same pain and just had a feeling something was really wrong. She seemed to get full really fast and couldn't eat a lot. She lost around 40 pounds. She called the doctor, but he was on vacation. She saw a different doctor at a different location. He read the ultrasound report and was alarmed immediately. He ordered a CT scan. He also referred her to a gastroenterologist. The CT scan said that she had a "huge" mass on her liver. The gastroenterologist referred her to the Cleveland Clinic. We chose to take Lauren to The University of Michigan Hospitals because our daughter, Kristen, and her husband, Bruce are Anesthesia residents there and they know a wonderful liver specialist. Lauren saw the specialist and he ordered an MRI, liver biopsy, and PET scan. Lauren was diagnosed on Aug. 29, 2011 with Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). She also has tumors in her liver. The largest tumor is the size of a cantelope. The only cure for this cancer is resection (cutting out the cancer). Hers is not resectable at this time. She is in a clinical study at U of M where she receives three different chemo drugs. Most would get Gemzar and Cisplatin for this cancer. Lauren is getting those along with 5-FU. She gets the 5-FU in a pump she wears for 48 hrs. She has had two rounds of chemo so far and is doing pretty well. We go to Michigan and stay with Kristen and Bruce the night before. She goes for chemo the next day. We are at the hospital for around 8-10 hrs. Blood test, doctor visit and chemo. We stay overnight again and go home the next day. Her pump is diconnected the next day at home. Lauren is very tired for a few days and sleeps a lot. We seem to have gotten her nausea medicine under control. She is on pain meds, but is still in pain some of the time. She will have an MRI in Nov. to see if tumors are shrinking. Hopefully they will and she can have surgery. We hope to have Lauren with us for a long time.


Gladys Barnard signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Hi to all,  It's just me, "good ole Glad" sending a note to let you know I give Lauren so much credit for all she has to go through, and am amazed at her ... Read more

Pamela Kunklier posted a new journal entry, "Mapping is done.".

Hi Everyone,I hope everyone is doing ok. We are plugging along. Sorry, but I forgot to take notes on the week, so I cannot remember what we did at the beginning of last ... Read more

Teresa Noland signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Sounds like you guys had a great week!!!  Love reading the updates :0)  Lauren is just a gorgeous girl with a gorgeous smile!!  It's refreshing to see her pictures!!  ... Read more

Bruce Caudill signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Will be praying for positive news with dye test this week. As for me I'm sure Mark told you I had stopped in a couple times this past week to check up on him? I am ... Read more

Lori Vogt signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Will be keeping the positive thoughts for this week's test Lauren!   I am sorry I haven't written much lately.  Alot of times I read this and think, "I will write ... Read more

Pamela Kunklier posted a new journal entry, "Sorry, it's been too long.".

Hi Everyone,Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Time just flies by. I will try to go over everything since last time I posted, but maybe condense a little. Thanks for ... Read more

Marsha Tomko signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Hi Lauren and Pam,Thanks for updating us on all that's going on.  I really appreciate hearing what's going on, even though I wish it wasn't going on......  Sorry I ... Read more

Bruce Caudill signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Always look forward to your weekly update and am particularly pleased to hear about the tumor shrinkage with this weeks. I miss not seeing Mark every day and our morning ... Read more

Pamela Kunklier posted a new journal entry, "We feel good about our visit to Michigan.".

Hi Everyone,Wow. Time sure does fly. I have changed the background for this site a few times and none of them seemed just right. I think this one with the ladybugs is ... Read more

Sharon Paul signed Lauren's Guestbook.

Pam, Lauren and Family- I did enjoy our lunch recently and I had a fantastic time!  You are all so much fun and full of life!  Your stories are all priceless and I just ... Read more

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