Cindy Pavlowski Cindy Pavlowski

First post: Nov 12, 2019 Latest post: Jun 4, 2020
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Dear Friends,

After ultrasounds, CT scans, an MRI, blood tests, endoscopes, etc. I was told on Feb. 14 that I had bile duct cancer. I met with an oncologist who referred me to the U of M surgical oncology unit. After another scan and ultrasound procedure, along with improved nutrition, surgery was recommended. At that time I was told what the plan was, which was to remove the bile duct, parts of my liver, my gall bladder and reroute some of my small intestine to work as a bile duct. On March 28 I had surgery prepared for all of this to happen. It turns out it was not a bile duct tumor, but gall bladder cancer and that because of the tumor's location can't be removed. I was in the hospital for a week and have been home recovering from a really large incision. Physical recovery is going fine. Last week I met with another oncologist at the U of M. 6 lymph nodes were removed during surgery. 5 were clear, one was not. I have stage 4 gall bladder cancer. I am scheduled to begin chemotherapy on April 29. I may or may not go to Mayo for a second opinion - please respect my decision on this. You can see the statistics of this cancer on many websites. I'm still figuring this out, but this damn tumor is a part of me for whatever reason. I have been blessed with a great life and I always thought I'd live a really long time, reality is I won't, but as with most things, it really is about the quality and not the quantity. I don't like how cancer gets thought of in battle terms. It's part of me now and hope we (me and gb tumor) can figure out how to coexist and make this work, mainly for my benefit.

Dr. Lou, the oncologist I met with really got me. He put on a t-shirt that said Fuck Cancer before meeting me. My future will be living life on my terms, the way its always been. I'm on leave from work until May 8. That date may change depending on how my body responds to chemo. The chemo schedule will be an evolving one depending on how the tumor and my body react to the chemicals. Because of the tumor's location radiation is not an option. The initial goal is to not have it spread from where it is, and if it is floating around, to stop it.

Once I've healed up a bit more, I can ride again, travel, and even have a beer or two. I will still need to have the stents in my bile ducts replaced. As a life long fat person it's kind of fun being told and given handouts on how to increase my calories. Seriously, fuck dieting. Eat what makes you happy - not having an appetite is a drag. And don't wait for someday for adventure. December 2018 was amazing - a week at the White Stallion Ranch on Stormy, and then 2 weeks in Uganda on safari, gorilla tracking, and seeing elephants, hippos, warthogs, zebras, birds, crocodiles, and so many other animals - truly amazing.

You have all been so supportive. Your generosity and love are so appreciated by me and the critters and have been overwhelming. Thank you!


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