Carolyn Harms | CaringBridge

Carolyn Harms

**5/4 Post-Op and Pathology Update** My mom met with her surgeon and she is healing beautifully! No post-op complications or issues. The pathology report came back and her colon tumor was Stage I with no infiltration to any of the lymph nodes that were removed (so very grateful for this great news). Oddly enough the pathology report revealed that another tumor that they were not expecting was found in the appendix (which was removed during the procedure). This tumor was a different type (name escaping me) still only Stage I but a form of cancer that is a bit more aggressive with a higher chance of reoccurrence. The doctor's will be ordering a 6 month CT scan (and then 1 every year for a couple years) to monitor for tumors in her abdomen. We are so very grateful that both issues do not require any chemotherapy at this time. And we are so very thankful that God removed both issues in 1 surgery and that both tumors were caught so early. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to check on my mom and has provided us support. You are all such blessings! xo

**4/25 Update** My mom worked really hard and and got out of the hospital 2 days after surgery (4/21)!!! All of her care providers were so impressed with her willingness to walk often and not take too much pain medication. Since being discharged she has gone on "fields trips" a couple times (surprising several folks we ran in to). The surgeon thought we would have pathology info no later than 5/3 so we continue to to wait and hope that we are looking at a Stage I situation. I just want to thank all those who have called, left messages on Facebook, provided meals for my family or prayed for my wonderful Mama. Our hearts are filled with gratitude and comfort from all of these gestures. 
Much Love-
Amanda & The Harms Family

Recently my sweet mama, Carolyn had a standard run of the mill bone density scan done (she had broken her wrist this past Fall). They drew some labs which showed she had a significant case of anemia (low hematocrit) for no real foreseeable reason. Standard of practice is to "go looking" for the source of the bleeding via colonoscopy and endoscopy (March 18th). During her colonoscopy a questionable lesion was found and biopsyed and unfortunately it came back positive for cancer. This is where numerous tests and appointments started occurring. I will list them out with the results (if known).

CT Scan (March 21)-Several more areas of concern identified: Small spots (1 spot in each place) noted on the thyroid, adrenal gland and lung. 
Oncology Appointment with Dr. Guy (March 24)-Colon cancer is confirmed (set up appointment with general surgeon to talk over options). Dr. Guy is not convinced that the spots that were identified on the CT scan are cancer. He schedules an appointment with an Endocrinologist to address the throyid spot. A PET scan is scheduled for a more definitive look at the lung and adrenal spots. 
Endocrinologist Appointment (March 29th?)-After looking at an ultrasound of the thyroid the endocrinologist believes that it is a fluid filled cyst that isn't related to the cancer at all. A six month follow up ultrasound will be done to check for changes or increase in size. For the time being we are allowing this to be a source of relief and encouragement. 
Surgeon Appointment (March 29th?)-After being presented with some options Carolyn has chosen to have a right hemicolectomy (http://www.mayoclinic.org/right-hemicolectomy/img-20007591) to remove the portion of the large intestine (bowel) where the cancer lesion is located. During the procedure the MD with remove lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread beyond the presumed initial location. After the pathology comebacks she will follow up with the oncologist to see if further treatment is necessary. 
PET Scan (April 8)-We received the greatest news today (4/6) that all of the other areas of concern (adrenal gland and lung) are not cancer. This is obviously a huge relief. The next step is surgery and the hope that it is stage 1 with nothing in the lymph nodes. 
Colon surgery (April 19)-Kaiser Roseville-Surgery went well and Carolyn is resting in her private room (thank goodness). Not sure how long it will take for the pathology report to come back. But until we hear otherwise we will pray that she won't need any chemotherapy. 

Update-4/25-My mom worked really hard and and got out of the hospital 2 days after surgery (4/21). All of her care providers were so impressed with her willingness to walk often and not take too much pain medication. Since being discharged she has gone on "fields trips" out side the home several times (surprising several folks we ran in to). The surgeon thought we would have pathology info no later than 5/3 so we continue to to wait and hope. I just want to thank all those who have called, left messages on Facebook or provided meals for my family. Our hearts run over with gratitude and comfort from all of these gestures. 

As you can imagine this news came as an unwelcome surprise (putting it mildly). My mom is doing amazingly well considering the news keeping busy by going to work at Loomis School, going to her appointments and doing as much laundry as she kind find. I think that I can speak for her when I say that we a hopeful and optimistic (mostly because of what the oncologist said) and that we will deal with bumps in the road as they come up. 

We covet your prayers and good energy that the cancer is in an early stage and has not traveled beyond the colon. We ask that you join us in prayers that her post surgery recovery will be smooth and without issue and that she will be be able resume life as quickly as possible. 

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