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My Story

Through adversity we grow, our growth maybe in tight rings like the tree that faces a drought, but those trees have the strongest core and will withstand the winds of the hurricane when they ar older.


It all started out when Mary went in for her college cross country phyiscal on July 28. Her doctor felt a mass in her pelvis and sent her to get a CT scan that day. The scan showed what was thought to be a large ovarian cyst. So then she was referred to the University of Minnesota Gynocology department. They also thought it was a cyst and scheduled surgery for August 8. It was supposed to be a 2-3 hour surgery and 2-3 day hospital stay. It turned into a 11 hour surgery which she recieved 7 pints of blood and 2 units of plasma. What they had found was a ganglioneuroblastoma tumor which was roughly 11cm by 11cm though at the time they weren't sure what it was. She was in ICU for a day and recieved 2 more pints of blood post-op. She had 35 staples starting an inch sbove her belly button, down around her belly button and down 6 inches. She was in the hospital for a total of 9 days. During those 9 days we heard bad news then good news. There were various tests and scans donewhile she was there and we left feeling cautiously optimistic. Then on Monday Aug. 21 we went back down for the results of the test. What was found was that the tumor had spread to her bone marrow in her left hip and femur. Also the tumor that was left was cancerous. So now she is starting chemotherapy on Monday Aug. 28 at the University of Minnesota Hospital. She will be there for 3-5 days every month for the next 4-6 months. She will probably have all of the common sypmtoms of chemo - hair loss, nasea, tiredness. Her tumor is rare - .15%. 50% of these tumors are found by the age of 1, another 45% by the age of 10, another 3% by the age of 16. Also only 5% of these tumors are found in the pelvis. Thank you all for all of your support - we love you all.

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Patti Hook posted a new journal entry, "Surprises and Celebrations".

First for the Celebrations…I’ll go in reverse chronological order:1. Jenny Agnew WON the Division II NCAA Cross Country Nationals last weekend. Jenny and her twin ... Read more

Donna Ludwinski signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Oh my. I feel terrible for leaving MN without leaving you contact info! I was thrilled to see your message on Erik's CB Patti! How I love looking at pics of our beautiful ... Read more

Whitney Kvistad signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

As the wind whips hard outside through the snow, I find myself thinking about the seasons and winds of change. I remember the fun time Mary and I had snow shoeing on ... Read more

Cassie Helmin signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Just wanted to give a shout out to Mary today! Thinking of you! I was looking through some old pictures and came across some basketball pictures of us! I miss you so much! ... Read more

Mary Brelie signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Greetings!As I write this, you are braving the elements for the annual Morris gathering and broomball extravaganza - and Galen is working!  We need New Years to fall on a ... Read more

john & carol giovinco signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

A VERY MERRY & BLESSED CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR, Arlen, Patti, ^ Mary^ and Family.....GOD BLESS all!!!!LOVE & PRAYERS~Carol & John G.xxoxoxo'sAz Read more

pat root signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Really enjoyed reading about your family's latest life stories.  Just wanted to let you know, I always remember you all with loving thoughts and lots of prayers ... Read more

Jeanette Kleinsasser signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Patti,You are such an inspiration to all of us and write the best messages on Caring Bridge.  Really enjoyed your update.  A day don't go by without thinking of you and ... Read more

Kim Prokop signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Always love reading your updates and as usual everyone seems busy. Holding Mary and your family always in our hearts and prayers. Love from NYkim and Team Hannah Read more

Jan Haeg signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

Patti and the rest of the Hook-Virnig family!  Thank you for sharing your update with all of the special celebrations, surprises and gifts ur family all of you share! ... Read more

cameo skogen signed Mary Catherine's Guestbook.

hello everyone, wow the time sure seems to sneak away from us! I forgot to bring Mary's cookies over yesterday, so I will be bringing them soon. I wish that way back I ... Read more

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