Thank you all for your loving words and care you've shared during this uncertain time. We've created this site to allow us to share the information in a way that is easy for most of us. We understand not all Char's friends will be able to access this information online (as Char herself doesn't have internet access) but hopefully, it will make things somewhat easier. Shannon will be updating the site throughout this journey.
Our journey started on Monday, June 15th when Charlotte was hospitalized for pneumonia. She arrived at the hospital with shortness of breath and a fever, so we were thankful it was not COVID-19! Due to the pandemic, we were unable to visit her in the hospital so we were relying on the nurses and friends in the medical field to understand the situation. On Thursday, June 18th we learned that there was almost a liter of fluid removed from her lungs and included in the fluid were cancer cells. On June 23rd, we met with her primary care physician, Dr. Heindl, and learned Char had primary lung cancer and were referred to the Cancer Center in Traverse City. This was really hard to take as Char has never smoked and calls herself a teetotaler.
On July 6th, Tom, Char, and I arrived at the Cancer Center to meet with Dr. Kier. Due to COVID-19, only two people could attend the appointment. Char and I attended the appointment, while Tom was on the telephone. During this time we learned that the cancer cells in the fluid were adenocarcinoma and that cancer had metastasized. The plan to gain more information was started with another chest x-ray, another thoracentesis, a PET Scan, and an MRI which all took place the week of July 13th.
We received a call from Dr. Kier soon after the PET Scan because she identified that Char's kidney cancer had returned. In 2006 she had her left kidney removed. In 2007 she had a partial right kidney removed and now we find out there is a tumor that is up against her spinal cord (L3). Dr. Kier referred us to a Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Prust which we will be meeting with on Tuesday, July 28th. On Wednesday, July 29th we'll be meeting with Dr. Kier to identify the next steps and a plan.
Char has been very positive as she always is. She said she will be a good patient and do as she's told. She has also had some visitors come to the house and spent time outside visiting with them. Her cat, Cassie is very confused by her new routine as Char is not sleeping really well. She hopes to gain her strength back to get back into her sewing room. Char and her granddaughter, Ireland, have sewing projects they do together. Char is motivated by being here for Ireland’s milestones and to get back to quilting.
As the primary support for Char, we've done our best to limit our interactions over the fear of contracting the virus and we appreciate everyone who has reached out in support of our family.