Ellen Widener Ellen A. Widener

First post: Mar 4, 2019 Latest post: Apr 19, 2019
Tuesday, February 26, was Ellen and Danny’s 25th wedding anniversary.  It was also a day that has forever changed our lives.  

As you probably know, Danny has been battling lung cancer and going for radiation and chemo for the past several weeks.  They have been going back and forth from Sparta to Elkin 5 days a week.  It’s been a grueling time, but thankfully Danny has done very well with all the treatments with only minor side effects.

As they were coming home from the radiation appointment last Tuesday, Ellen had a sudden onset headache that was very severe.  She said it felt like an axe was being driven into her skull.  Soon after the headache began, she began to have trouble speaking and her tongue felt very thick. She thought that she was having a stroke and knew she had to get to the emergency room.  Danny drove her to Alleghany Memorial and they did a CT scan of her brain.  What they found was not indicative of a stroke, but something very concerning on her skull.  They transported her to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and they began doing testing of their own.

As they conducted the neurological tests, we were told that there were several lesions on her skull and the only thing that would cause this is cancer.  They mentioned myeloma but said they needed more tests to confirm any diagnosis. (This has since been ruled out.)

Mom was admitted to the hospital and was given medicine to try and control the severe headache which still hadn’t gone away completely.  Over the next few days the pain increased and more tests were conducted.  They did a CT scan of her entire body and an MRI of her brain.

The scans confirmed our worst fear and we found out that there were other lesions throughout her body.  They are in the shoulder, spleen, lung, pelvis, femur, and hip.  We have also learned that there appears to be cancer in her one remaining breast and this is the suspected cause of the overall cancer, although that has not been confirmed.  

The MRI revealed that there is no cancer in the brain tissue, but the lesion on her skull is very large and is pressing on her brain.  It is so large that it has changed the shape of her skull.  This explains why her head has been sore to the touch  for the last several weeks.  

On Monday, March 4, she will have a biopsy of one of the lesions on her hip.  This will determine the type of cancer and where it ordiginated.  They need this info to determine treatment options.  They suspect recurring breast cancer but can’t be sure until they do this test.

Please pray for her as she begins this battle almost 18 years after beating this terrible disease  the first time.  She’s in for the fight of her life.