Brandi DesMarais | CaringBridge

Brandi DesMarais

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Brandi will be having liver surgery at the Mayo in Rochester, MN. This is a very risky surgery, and she would love your prayers and support. Here is her story:

Spring of 2016 was the beginning of my long journey with cancer and other multiple health issues. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, after being in and out of the ER for a month, and told I'd need a full hysterectomy and then chemo. I went through laparoscopic surgery in Sioux Falls, SD, on May 17th, 2016. Surgery included a total abdominal hysterectomy bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, fixing a hernia I had gotten after Charlotte's birth, and also draining a large cyst I had on my liver.  (They discovered the cyst during an ultrasound I had when I was pregnant with Sophia, almost 3 years earlier.) A week later, they called and told me they had gotten all the cancer, it was Stage 1a, and I wouldn't need chemo. It was truly a miracle, and I am so thankful that they were able to get it all right away. I felt great after getting the cyst drained as well, and started the recovery process.
During the surgery, they drained 2 liters from the cyst, and removed part of the lining, hoping that it wouldn't refill as large as it had been. Almost one year later, April 2017, I went to the ER because I was having trouble breathing. After going through some tests, they discovered the liver cyst was back and larger than it had been before. They drained 3 liters from the cyst, and recommended I see an Interventional Radiologist.  I started sclerotherapy in May of 2017, getting a drain put in my stomach, and having alcohol poured in through the drain to kill the cyst. I was only able to go through 2 treatments before getting an inter abdominal infection and ending up back in the ER. My IR Dr decided to leave the cyst alone after the infection cleared, and took out the drain. The cyst was now about half the size it had been, and he was hoping it would stay that size. 
The fall of 2017 I had knee surgery to fix a torn meniscus in my left knee. One of the risks with knee surgery is a pulmonary embolism, and I went to the ER again in December of 2017, thinking I had a blood clot. Surprise, surprise, it was my liver cyst again. They started the schlerotherapy again on January 8, 2018, and once again I had a drain put in my stomach.  The next time I went in for schlerotherapy was 3 weeks later, January 29th. The IR Dr had me laying on a table in the procedure room, and was using an ultrasound machine to look at my drain placement, making sure it was still a good position for the treatment. He suddenly pulled the drain, saying, "I'm done with this", and told me I was ok to go home. After being pushed back to my room, I stood up to get dressed and felt a horrible pain on my side. I told my nurse that something was wrong, that I was in pain, so she called my Dr. He told her that I was already discharged so I needed to just go home. He said if the pain gets worse, go to the ER. Needless to say, I was not happy, but called Ron to come get me. By the time he got to the hospital to pick me up, I could hardly walk. He drove me home where I tried to rest and prayed that the pain would let up. 5 hours later he was driving me to the ER because I was screaming from the pain. After a few hours in the emergency room, I was told I was severely septic and would be admitted to the hospital. Later I learned that my liver cyst was infected, and the infection had spread to my blood stream. It was a terrifying week in the hospital, but I was lucky to be sent home with a picc line and another drain in my stomach. The drain continued to take out the infection, and I gave myself 3 infusions a day for 6 weeks. I would also go for weekly abscessograms to check my drain, and continued to take antibiotics orally for 2 months, after I was done with the infusions. I had an appointment with my Infectious Disease Dr on May 10th, and he was very hopeful that the infection wouldn't be returning. 
I am now waiting to have surgery to get the cyst taken care of once and for all. I have an appointment at the Mayo in Rochester in June. The surgeon I have been seeing at the Sanford in Fargo has reiterated to me that this surgery will be high risk. This isn't anything we didn't already know, and it is the main reason previous Dr's have tried other methods to shrink the cyst without surgery. This has been quite a journey so far, but I know God is walking through all of this with me. 
Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement! 
-Brandi
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