Evie McGrew

First post: Mar 9, 2021 Latest post: Jan 4, 2024
Welcome to Evie's CaringBridge website. I was diagnosed February 19, 2021. A CT scan diagnosed a 13 cm tumor in my left kidney. The tumor grew from inside my kidney and divided it in two. Surgery was performed and the tumor and kidney was removed. After removal, the size of the tumor was measured at 18 cm. Normal protocol was to continue surveillance every 3 months. There were times when insurance tried to deny scans prolonging imaging. Other times the insurance wouldn't cover the cost causing me to wait until I could save up to pay full cost. This went on for a year. At one year and one month, I went in for routine imaging again, where it was discovered that I had a significant amount of lymph nodes throughout my torso that were suspected to be cancerous. After a second set of imaging to confirm suspicion I was diagnosed as stage 4. My type of kidney cancer is called Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma (non clear cell). At this time, there is no known cure for the Chromophobe type. With the addition of "non clear cell" it makes attempted treatment even less effective. In May 2022 I had still not started any type of treatment as my Oncologist was searching for any type of clinical trial. We discovered one in Stanford CA and as part of the qualifications, a biopsy of a node was necessary. The node they biopsied was next to my heart. Following the procedure I began experiencing significant pain in my chest. The pain led to three hospital visits over two and a half weeks before I finally landed in the hospital for a fourth time and was there for over three weeks. During my fourth hospital stay I received eleven surgeries and three of those were for my heart. I had all kinds of fluid build up around my lungs and around my heart, my lung collapsed and so much more. During this time the doctor's were telling my husband he should consider putting me on hospice as they didn't believe I would survive. I was mentally determined not to leave this world and after I was finally stable, I was discharged to recover. The recovery has been slow and full of setbacks. I began a regular treatment of two immunotherapy infusions every three weeks. After my 4th round I had more imaging done to see if any progress was made. Unfortunately the images showed that the lymph nodes had increased in size. There have been many challenges along the way. Just as I began to make a noticeable recovery I got Covid and that has set me back considerably again. Currently I'm monitoring a rapid heart rate that limits my ability to get around. My husband has been an amazing caretaker through all of this. I could not ask for better. I want to access alternative therapies outside the US but it is costly so I have to be patient and trust God's plan. A go fund me has been set up to help access these alternative therapies as well as offset the significant medical costs. My Oncologist has been so amazing in this process. She continues to adjust my conventional therapy to attempt to prolong life. A GoFundMe has been set up and there is a link under Ways To Help tab.

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