Paula Elling

First post: Nov 12, 2019 Latest post: Mar 26, 2020
We started this site to update family and friends when Paula was in the hospital in Nov 2019, but I wanted to add some background to where this all started. At a Doctor visit in October 2018, Paula’s Dr. noticed her liver enzymes were a little off and sent her to a specialist. That Dr. ordered an Ultrasound which didn't happen until December. After seeing some spots in her liver he  wanted to consult with another Dr. which took until January. That Dr. ordered an MRI that happened in February, and decided to do a liver biopsy that took until March. She received a life altering call on March 25th that She has Cancer. 

At that time it was believed that the Cancer did not start in her liver. Over the next 4 weeks, with numerous scans, scopes and visits to different doctors, including the Mayo, Paula was finally given the heartbreaking news on 4/16/19 that she has stage 4 Lung Cancer. It was explained that the cancer had moved from the Lung lobe into her Liver and some spots on her bones. To add insult to injury Paula also was hit with Bell's Palsy at the beginning of April that left her with little to no function of the Right side of her face. This was such a mental and physical obstacle for Paula as she felt her facial appearance was not reflecting her positive outlook and will to fight. Being able to smile means a lot to her!    

May was an exhausting month, Paula started 11 straight days of Radiation (excluding weekends) on 5/6/19. Then had a port put in and had her first Chemo & Immunotherapy treatment on 5/22/19. A few days later, Paula’s memorial weekend plans were abruptly changed and she ended up in the ER in Amery, WI with a fever. She was taken by ambulance to United Hospital where she spent the next few days getting pumped with Antibiotics and being closely monitored. We were lucky that was the only time she ended up in the Hospital over the course of her 4 Chemo treatments in the summer (her treatment plan was once every 3 weeks). At the end of July, early August the Oncologist Re-scanned to assess how the Treatment was going. We received good news that the Chemo & Immunotherapy was working and some of her largest tumors had not grown and some were even a little smaller. This was music to our ears. The Oncologist suggested Paula take a break from Chemo and try just the Immunotherapy for 8 weeks before her next re-scan. Paula had a healthy and full summer. The best news towards the end of September was that her Bell's Palsy was finally starting to improve, she was regaining function in her face. Paula was re-scanned on 10/9/19, we met with her oncologist on 10/16/19 to discuss the results. Unfortunately we found the Immunotherapy was not doing enough alone and some new tumors appeared.

On to the next course of treatment. Paula applied to get into a clinical trial through MN Oncology at the end of Oct, a Biopsy was required for the trial and she had that on 11/8/19. Unfortunately she got an infection and ended up in the ER on 11/9/19 and stayed until 11/14/19. 

That brings us up to the first journal entry for this site. She was not accepted into that trial but it did push us to go back down to the Mayo where we have been extremely happy with her care. We want to thank everyone that has come out here to check in on Paula and all of you who continue to keep her in your prayers. We will continue to post updates here and appreciate all of the support, Love Paula’s family.

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