Francisca Webster

First post: Apr 12, 2022 Latest post: Feb 24, 2023
It has been a long and confusing 8 months leading to where Francisca finds herself now.  Francisca’s symptoms started with ringing in her ears, which evolved into hearing loss and then other neurological issues, including a tremor in her left shoulder/arm.  After many months of chasing down diagnoses relating to neurological issues, a PET scan revealed that Francisca has cancer in her colon.  This led to an understanding that her neurological symptoms are attributable to paraneoplastic syndrome, which is a rare disorder where a body has an “abnormal immune response” to the presence of a cancerous tumor.  Fran has made the move from Methodist to MD Anderson, where they have confirmed that she is now fighting stage 4 colon cancer.  She has completed her first round of chemotherapy, which will hopefully not only knock back the cancer but will also contribute to improving the neurological issues.  This will take some time, and the doctors are working to try to lessen the severity of her symptoms for now (the tremor causes a significant amount of pain).  On top of all of this, she is now effectively deaf in that she is unable to process the sound of human voices.

Things have been happening quickly and obviously, the news is devastating, but Fran is an absolute fighter and is doing all in her power to get better!  Because of her hearing loss she cannot talk on the phone, but brief text messages of encouragement always make her smile.  Please do not get upset or worried by Francisca’s lack of response to messages.  With her neurological condition, even texting can be too challenging some days, but know that your kind words and support provide her with uplifting, and necessary, moments of joy!  Also, please leave messages here on CaringBridge in the Well Wishes tab…we think it will be really fun for her to see all the messages in one place.  Let’s flood this site with some joy!  Jeff has a lot on his plate keeping the ship afloat, so try to limit messaging him with too many questions if you can avoid it.

Emilia and Daniel are doing really well and showing tons of resilience through all the upheaval…they are currently rocking the baseball and softball fields, and Emi is on a serious quest for an axolotl (adorable little fish/salamander creature).  Please remember that young ears are frequently listening to us and that kids can very easily repeat things they hear without understanding what they are saying or how it will be heard when repeated.  A great way to support Emilia and Daniel is to choose your words carefully when speaking to and around your kids about what is going on with Francisca.

If you want to help, check out the links here on the Ways to Help link.  We’re starting a fresh MealTrain there.  When advisable we will start up a visitor schedule so that she can see friends but doesn’t get bombarded with too many visitors in one day.  Regarding flowers…we will get a SignUp Genius going very soon.  She loves receiving flowers, but at times it’s been too many at once.  We’d love to make sure that she has beautiful things to look at every week during treatment rather than 100 in the first week and too few later.  We are working on more ways to help schedule things for the kids and for Fran and will keep you posted!

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