Coni Finfrock

First post: Feb 3, 2020 Latest post: Mar 21, 2020
On Thursday,  January 16, 2020, my mom, Coni, went to the Little Clinic at Kroger because she hadn't been feeling well.  She was having sharp pains in her side and her back.  The doctor treated her for a UTI.  She told mom if she wasn't feeling better within a day or 2 to go to her family  doctor or the E.R.  
She called me on Friday and wasn't feeling any better.  She also had not been  able to go to the restroom in about 3 days.  I told her I was going to take her to the E.R.  
We got there about 11:30 am, and luckily it was not too crowded.  We were taken back to a room and she was immediately put on fluids.  The doctor confirmed the UTI, and decided to bring in a nephrologist (kidney doctor).  The nephrologist looked at mom's labs and noticed her creatinine level (kidney level) was extremely high.  She was at .09 in November (around 1 is normal), and now she was over 7, so this was very concerning.  She said the UTI was severe and ordered a CT scan.  They could not give her the contrast because her kidneys were not functioning, so there was a chance that we would not see what the issue was.
They did the CT scan, and were able to see that her ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys and the bladder) were completely blocked.  This meant that anything she drank was just sitting in her kidneys.  It could not make it down to her bladder, which was why she did not feel like she needed to use the restroom, and explained the side and back pain.
At this point we were told she was being admitted and urology was being brought in to put stents in each of her ureters to hopefully open them up. We just had to wait for the urologist to get to the hospital.  We were also told that mom would most likely be doing a round of dialysis sometime on Saturday to hopefully kickstart her kidneys.
The urologist went in to do the stents but she could not even get to the ureters.  There was some sort of mass completely blocking her bladder.  She did take a biopsy to determine what the mass was.  So, they told us that they would have to go in through her back. They finally let her eat and try to get some rest for the evening,
Saturday morning they placed 2 catheters in her back, 1 in each kidney.  They also placed an iv in to her neck, this was for the dialysis.  After the catheters were placed in her, it was crazy how much fluid and blood drained in to the bags...especially the right side (that side hurt more than the left).  She started to feel better almost immediately.  The dialysis basically does the work of your kidneys, removes waste and extra water because your kidneys can't do it.
After dialysis she was done for the day.  They didn't know how long she was going to be admitted at this point because they still had to put the stents in.  They have to wait around 48 hours after the catheters were placed due to swelling.  So, we knew she would be there at least 2 more days.  Later that afternoon we were told that they ordered an MRI early on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning she had the MRI and we were told she was having a pelvic exam early on Monday morning..
Monday morning she had the pelvic exam (very early) and took another sample of the mass.  I did not get to meet the doctor because he was there so early.  I put in a message to have him call me.  I waited around all day waiting for the call, then  finally decided to leave around 4 pm.  I had just gotten home to get Brady and the doctor called me when we were pulling into Waffle House (I missed him by 20 minutes).  He told me that he got the pathology results from the biopsy.  He diagnosed her with Cervical Cancer.  He said he wanted to do a PET scan ASAP, but wasn't sure when it would happen due to scheduling.  
Tuesday morning we were told the PET scan would be done on Wednesday, they could not fit it into the schedule, but she would be getting her stents put in.  That was originally scheduled for 11:30, but it got pushed back .  She was not able to eat or drink until the procedure was done due to anesthesia.  They came and got her around 3 pm to do the stents and remove the iv line from her neck.  They wanted to make sure she did not need another round of dialysis before they took it out.  She got the stents put in and did great.  The doctor  noticed she had  a lot of clotting on her left side so he used a balloon to place the stent.  He decided to keep the catheters in her back to drain her kidneys and try to get rid of the clotting.
Wednesday morning when I got to the hospital they had her doing breathing treatments just to keep her lungs clear.  She got her PET scan late morning.  They needed to determine if the cancer had spread and determine the size before we could get a treatment plan.  The doctor called me with the PET scan results and confirmed that the cancer had not spread, which was great news!  He did notice a small amount of activity in one of her intestines.  He didn't seem too concerned about it, thinking it was a polyp.  He wanted to do a colonoscopy to determine it wasn't anything more serious before we start treatment.
Thursday morning they let her eat a light breakfast, but that was it for the day. They ordered the colonoscopy for Friday, so they were going to start prepping her that.  They came up and got her to take her to have her stents checked.  They needed to see if the clotting had gone down.  If it did and then there was a possibility of the catheters coming out.  They determined that there was still clotting so they left the catheters in.  They also showed me how to care for them at home, meaning she would be going home with them still in.  She was not allowed to shower while the catheters were attached, so she was anxious to have them removed.
On Friday they did the colonoscopy and ordered an ultrasound on her leg because it was pretty swollen.  The colonoscopy came back good.  There was some redness which is probably what showed up on the scan.  He also removed 2 polyps, but he wasn't concerned about them.  That evening we met with the doctor and he showed us the scan results and went over everything with us.  The tumor has not spread, but it is a significant size.  It has also attached itself to other organs (vagina and bladder).  They are confident in treating the cancer, but are very concerned about the damage done to the other organs.  They decided to do 5 rounds of chemotherapy (1 time weekly)and 25 rounds of radiation (5 days a week).
On Saturday she was finally released!!!
We have had several appointments this past week in order to prepare for treatment.  She finally got the catheters taken out of her back on Thursday, January 30th.  She had them in for almost 2 weeks.  Needless to say she was pretty excited to get a real shower!  She also got her picc line placed.  Friday she had to have a blood transfusion because her hemoglobin is low.  She received 2 bags of blood and we were educated on the chemo and possible side effects.
So, to say a lot has happened in the past 2 weeks would be an understatement.  Please keep my mom in your prayers.  She starts chemo on Monday, February 3rd and radiation on Tuesday.  I will update frequently.