Nov 30, 2011 Latest post:
Jun 24, 2012
Cheri Lynne SmithSeptember 24, 1958 - May 17, 2012 I Love You CheriNov 29, 2011Welcome to Cheri's cancer update website. This is Jess, generally referred to as "Cheri's husband". I decided to have a place where I could provide updates on how Cheri is doing. She'd probably kick my butt if she knew I was doing this, so if you mention it to her, I will have to hunt you down..(update: I told her about the site on 12/8. I'm still here).
I'm setting this up using Cheri's iPad, while at Round Rock Hospital, so don't expect too much yet. This is too much like texting, and I'm not much for texting. Jess
Nov 29, 2011Without getting into great detail, Cheri was first diagnosed with "Inflammatory Breast Cancer" (IBC) back in July of 2007. IBC is a rare and particularly nasty form of cancer, and is considered a Stage III cancer. With Chemo, surgery, and radiation, she was "clear", or showed no signs of cancer starting around March of 2008.
In July of 2010, she was again diagnosed with a different type of cancer in the other breast. Although, I don't recall the exact form of cancer sitting here at the hospital, it was again, an agressive one, classified as Stage III. I should mention that in both occurrences, there was lymph node involvement. Following surgery, chemo, and radiation again, Cheri showed no signs of cancer by way of PET, CAT, and MRI scans, as well as blood tests that measure "cancer markers".
Throughout all this to date, Cheri was one hell of a trooper. Not once did she let these episodes get her down. She had the best attitude, and never let this cancer crap spoil her positive outlook. Outside of her surgeries, she didn't miss work, and fortunately, the very strong chemo treatments she went through, didn't really slow her down. I am amazed at how strong Cheri was through every moment of this ordeal. I guess that's why I love her so.
That brings us to today. One of cancer's meanest tricks is to move to other parts of the body. Back in July (in case you hadn't noticed, July really sucks these days) Cheri found out the cancer had spread to the bones in at least three areas. She started a new round of chemo to target this metastatic breast cancer. If that wasn't enough, a couple weeks later, they discovered cancer cells in the spinal fluid. This type of cancer is a very rare area for breast cancer to spread. The chemo treatment for this involves injecting the drug directly into the spine via a lumbar puncture, and is done twice a week. Due to our misunderstanding of how to take the steroids needed to counteract the swelling to the brain and spinal cord that can, and did occur, we ended up at the hospital with severe head and back pain. That was a very painful two day ordeal for Cheri as they pumped her full of steroids and pain meds to reduce the swelling and get her through the excruciating pain.
So we're back in Round Rock Hospital as of yesterday. Cheri has been very tired lately, and has had several health issues that affect mobility, vision, and hearing. She's also had severe mouth and throat pain, most likely attributed to side affects of one or more of her chemo drugs. Through blood work yesterday, we found out that blood cell counts were way low, along with several other out of whack counts. She was also running a fever. They decided rather quickly to admit her to the hospital to get this under control.
Because so many people are concerned, and want to hear how Cheri is doing, I put together this website as a way to provide updates to anyone interested. It's just very difficult to text, phone, or email back everyone who wants and needs to know, so my hope is that this site will serve that purpose. Please check out the journal entries for updates. Thank you.