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Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about our loved one. Most of what you see will be from Randy, about Elaine. Elaine still enjoys receiving texts, emails and snail-mail and will do most of her communicating that way. I (Randy) will try to keep you informed with this website.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.
Here's how this all started:
As most of you know, Elaine plays women's tackle football. In early March she played quarterbackin a scrimmage before the start of the season (yes, I'm married to the quarterback - every boy's dream, eh?!). She got hit pretty hard multiple times and hurt her ribs on her right side. She thought they were bruised. After a few weeks she noticed that when she took deep breaths it felt like a smoggy day. This was around March 17, 2011. By 31 March it hadn't changed so she went to the doctor. A chest x-ray was taken, with an initial diagnosis of atelectasis (like a mini collapsed lung) in the right lung. No atelectasis symptoms were present though. Dr. directed Elaine to perform deep breathing exercises to open up the lungs.
Elaine saw no improvement by April 12, 2011, and she had now developed "typical" atelectasis symptoms, such as coughing. A second x-ray was taken, showing no change. Doctor ordered a CT scan in case there was a blood clot. CT was done on 13 April. This is where the s#$t hit the fan. The doctor called Elaine and told her the results showed the following:
No blood clots.
A couple lumpy structures on R side, one a cavity.
Swollen glands on R side
Small amount of fluid on R side.
Oh yeah - and there were several broken ribs!
She referred Elaine to a lung specialist, who of course wasn't available for 2 weeks. During that time her symptoms worsened.
This doctor ordered a PET scan and a bone scan. The results freaked him out. He saw cancer in her spine and other bones, and was worried about spinal cord involvement and spinal collapse. On May 5 he had her go to the hospital immediately. She was there for a day and a half. She had a 3 hour MRI, which showed cancer tumors everywhere (it's easier to say where they were not rather than where they were, but I'm not going to say at all). But there was no spinal cord involvement and the danger of spinal collapse didn't appear to exist. She was discharged. This was our welcome to cancer....
Elaine began her first chemo session on May 17. Her chemo was "metronomic" - low-dose applied more frequently than the standard. Standard is once every 3 weeks; Elaine's was once per week for 3 weeks, then 1 week off. Metronomic has been shown to work better in many cases.
The rest of the story is in the journal.
To all of our family and friends, our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful support and kind words. It makes a difference, and we hope to be able to return everyone's kindness in the near future.