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Nov 9, 2016
Welcome to Barbara's Caring Bridge site. Barb had a severe stomach pain late Friday night July 26, 2013. A CT scan at the ER at Unity Hospital revealed a large tumor causing blockage in her colon. She had emergency colon cancer surgery Sunday July 28. The tumor was removed and a single nodule of cancer outside the colon was found and removed. Cancer was also found in seven lymph nodes and in spots on the liver. It was diagnosed as Stage 4 Colon Cancer. She recovered from the surgery and started chemo September 10. Barb took twelve 50 hour chemo infusions every other week from September 10, 2013 until February 20, 2014 . She had a PET/CT chest and abdominal scan on January 3 and it showed no metabolic activity which means that the previously known cancer cells are dead or dormant. She had a CT scan on February 27 and it showed that the chemo had reduced the size of the cancer cells in the liver. Barbara began a maintenance program with a new type of chemo on April 2, 2014. This phase of her treatment lasted until February 2015. She then had a microwave ablation to zap two visible cells - one in the liver and one in the lungs. She took an new oral medicine called Stivarga for three months but that did not seem to work as she developed another cancer cell in her liver. She had a second ablation July 13, 2015 to remove the second cell from the liver and that was successful. Barb had another successful surgery on August 17, 2015 to remove a cancer cell from her lungs. On September 9, 2015 she began another cycle of chemo. On November 11, 2015 she learned from a PET scan that she had additional cancer spots and she began a more intense chemo with infusions every two weeks. A scan in March 2016 showed some minor progression of the cancer in the lungs while the cancer in the liver was stable. Barb started taking a new drug every other week in a clinical trial on April 7, 2016. On June 3, 2016, a scan revealed that cancer nodules in the lungs had grown despite the infusions Barb is receiving as part of the clinical trial. The oncologist shifted her to a second phase of the clinical trial and she has now started taking four pills twice daily in addition to continuing the infusions. We will have another scan in eight weeks to see if the new oral medication (Vemurafenib) in addition to the infusions is able to control the cancer. Barbara passed away with her family present on October 18, 2016, after a graceful battle with colon cancer. Her Memorial Service and Celebration of Life was held at Nativity Lutheran Church on October 24, 2016. She was laid to rest in a private family internment in Hillside Cemetery on October 25, 2016.