I received some tough news over Thanksgiving. A doctor had been treating me for a kidney infection and two weeks later, another doc added more antibiotics saying i had bronchitis but it kept getting worse. The day before Thanksgiving, I drove myself to Urgent Care because I could barely breath and several hours later, was transported by Ambulance to Lack's Cancer Center in downtown Grand Rapids. At that point, I knew my back was broke and that they had found a large mass on my lungs.
Thanksgiving Day was light staffed. The spent the day getting my pain under control. Friday was 6-7 hours of MRI's, CT scans, biopsies and a horrible procedure to suction crud out of my lungs so I could breath. It was awful. They said i wouldn't remember it, and I remember every single thing. My voice hasn't been the same ever since.
I was diagnosed with Stage IV Small Cell Lung Cancer with metastatic tumors found growing in, through and around my spine, skull, pelvis....
The large, baseball sized tumor in my lungs is growing around my pulminary artery restricting my ability to breathe.
There is no cure and without treatment, the life expectancy is typically only weeks. I opted to get treatment to dramatically increase that time.
I'm young, strong, and determined, between my extraordinary team of doctors and the power of prayer, that I can get ahead of this beast and enjoy much more quality time w my family.
The cancer that invaded my spine sucked the life out of the bone causing parts of it to literally crumble. My back is fractured at T11, T12 & L2 and in those areas, the shards of bone that fell away are dangerously close to my spinal cord. one wrong move and I could be paralyzed. As you can imagine, these fractures are causing intense pain which compounds the horrible pain of the cancer in my bones.
I was so hoping I could have a Vertebroplasty procedure to lift the vertebrae, filling the gaps that have collapsed with bone cement which would have dramatically improve my pain but the tumor growing in, through and around my spine has already encroached too close to my spinal cord. Because the tumor and numerous shards of bone are dangerously close to my spinal cord, having the procedure now or even after they shrink the tumor, would put me at too high of a risk because injecting the bone cement into those spaces could force the tumor or shards through the spinal cord causing instant paralysis. If I do go paralyzed, it would be from the point of piercing down.
Here's the official definition. Vertebroplasty is an outpatient procedure for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine. Bone cement is injected into back bones (vertebrae) that have cracked or broken, often because of osteoporosis. The cement hardens, stabilizing the fractures and supporting your spine. - mayo clinic
Everyone prayed I'd be able to have it to help with pain, reinforce and stabilize my broken back and remove the risk of paralysis so I could at least hold my grandchildren. It didn't happen which was such a hard blow, but they marched forward doubling the amount of radiation.
My Treatment plan is with Radiation followed by hours of chemo several days a week for months. PLEASE PRAY the chemo and radiation they've chosen for me will destroy the 8.6 cm tumor in my lungs and all the other cancer within my body, without killing me, so that I can defy the bleak odds and kick cancer's butt. Please pray away the tumors, pray away infection and sickness, pray for a miracle!
I've got an incredible team of doctors, nurses and caregivers taking care of me and appreciate each and every one of you.
PS - There's been some confusion with the links so we've clarified them below.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP OUR FAMILY WITH MEALS either by making a meal, ordering take-out, pizza, a local gift card..., click: Take Them a Meal (http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=EXFX1295
IF YOU WANT TO HELP CATH FINANCIALLY, be sure to do so into her Go Fund Me Account here: https://www.gofundme.com/cathys-medical-fund-for-cancer (don't
confuse that w the buttons all over Caring Bridge asking you to donate in Cathy's honor because that money goes to Caring Bridge, not the recipient).
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! MAIL FUNNY OR UPLIFTING CARDS TO:
Cathy Blood, 696 Amber Wood Dr SW, Byron Center, MI 49315
Sallie Lilly, 8734 Justin Court SW, Byron Center, MI 49315
Shelly Andrade, 2607 - 100th Street SW, Byron Center, MI 49315