Cheryl Miller

First post: 10/25/2016 Latest post: 2/15/2017
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On August 18th, Mom went into the hospital complaining that her heart was racing. It had been going on for a little while, so she decided she needed to go in. She was taken through a series of tests and sent home with a heart monitor and some meds. The diagnosis was Atrial Fibrillation- or A- Fib- also known as an irregular heart beat.  They had also done a chest xray and decided to treat her for pneumonia- as they saw something on a chest x-ray.
She wore the monitor for a couple of days and then sent it in for testing.  She was to follow up with the doctor in 2 weeks to see if the treatment of the pneumonia got better. 


At the two week mark and check up, the repeat chest xray came back with that same spot, so now it was time to do a CT scan.  The CT scan was done around the mid September. We were still in such a huge waiting game and mom was feeling pretty good. So there was not much to report at that time. 


The CT scan determined that a biopsy of the lung needed to be done. Mom's procedure was to be done on September 21st as an inpatient procedure. When she arrived at the hospital, they ended up needing to admit her because her heart was just not cooperating. She ended up being admitted until Friday when they could finally do the bronchoscopy. They had tried to do a lymph node biospy, but that ended up not getting a good specimen. So it was good they were finally able to get the good specimen on Friday. She left the hospital feeling drained and sore and in a little pain. But overall doing ok. 


On September 28th, we received the news that the lung mass was cancerous. Of course this was a HORRIBLE day but Mom, Dad, Alex and I were able to be at family dinner together to cry, discuss what was next and even able to laugh about other things in life.  The next step was to have a Brain MRI and PET scan and then meet with the U of M Masonic Cancer Center. 


The MRI and PET scan were complete on Monday October 3rd and then the appointment with Dr. Raza was scheduled for October 11th. 


On a good note, mom felt good enough to go to Whalen for the weekend with her church friends to relax and hang with friends. They even threw her a surprise birthday party - early- for her 60th! It was complete with fun hats and laughs and some very nice gifts from her friends. She is so so loved. 


Mom, Dad and I were able to go to the appointment on 10/11 and when we got to the facility we were quite impressed. We did not want to be there for all obvious reasons, but how can you not feel good when you walk into a very organized and beautiful facility. It was complete with a great staff to help with what has been probably the most real and scary day since we heard the diagnosis.   Dr. Raza and his Nurse Sarah walked us through every scan and where to go from here. 


Unfortunately, the PET scan had revealed that not only are both lungs affected (big mass on right and small on left) but there is something on the pancreas that needs to get figured out. So he is sending mom to a specialist to get an EUS procedure done (scope biopsy down the esophagus) to determine what treatment can be done.


Sadly, surgery is not an option and Dr. R is thinking that once he finds out the DNA of both the lung mass and the pancreas, we will be able to determine what chemo can be done at this time.  The procedure will take place on 10/20 and then we will have to wait for a few weeks to get the results and hear (FINALLY) what we can do to try and  fight this thing. 


My mom was able to have an amazing birthday yesterday ( 10/16) with our immediate family and best friend at Houilhans for dinner and dessert. We made the day about her, laughing and smiling and being thankful for the 60 years she has had so far. She is sad she wasn't able to go to Hilton Head, SC with her best girlfriends from high school but was thankful for a good day despite the vacation being cancelled due to the hurricane. 


Your love and support means everything to Mom and our family. This is something that is so so hard but we need so many prayers and strength sent our way. 


Please know that we are sad to have to share this news but we wanted to keep you all the loop now that we finally know a little more about what is going on. It was hard to tell you all anything when we just didn't have much of a plan. So please forgive us, if you are just reading this info now.  It is not easy knowing when or how to tell our loved ones. 


We will continue to keep you posted on what lies ahead and how you can help, support or love on Mom. 


For now, pray or do whatever it is that you can to give us good news in the coming weeks. Pray for moms strength and health throughout her procedures and while we wait for the plan to come to. 


Please feel free to email me with any questions, millerjatc@gmail.com.

With love from our family to you,


Julie 











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