Welcome to this CaringBridge website. I am using it as the central place to keep family and friends updated. I so appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. I apologize for the prominence of the "donate" button for CaringBridge, but they offer this opportunity at no charge to me.
My journey started simply with a routine blood test in late October that had slightly elevated liver enzymes, which led to one test which led to another and another, each result puzzling to the doctors. The possibility of "cancer" didn't enter the picture until December 11; it's origin has been elusive, as nothing fit any normal pattern. The strongest impression was that I had stage 3 uterine cancer that had migrated to my bladder, cervix, and vaginal walls. Doctors have been incredibly attentive, and quick to get me in for the next test/procedure. A PET scan on December 21 indicated that the cancer was contained within my pelvis, and, while there was an "errant" lymph node glowing in my left armpit, the oncologist judged the cancer had not metasticized to any other area of my body. The treatment plan was 3 rounds of chemo, in 21 day cycles, followed by a scan to see what effect the chemo had, and whether the swelling had gone down enough to do surgery to remove all my pelvic organs.
When a biopsy of my bladder was done on January 3, its pathology was definitive: origin bladder, and every organ in my pelvic area is involved. On January 8, when I changed to a medical oncologist who focused attention on the "errant" node, ordered a biopsy, and found that it was, after all, malignant, everything shifted again: I was deemed stage 4, requiring palliative care, rather than curative. No surgery will be done, as the trauma to my body would far outweigh any benefits. So the new plan was control and comfort: chemo 3 consecutive Mondays, then a week off, for 3 rounds, with regular check ups to see what, if any, changes were resulting. Following a visit to the James Cancer Center is Columbus, this was changed to chemo on 2 consecutive Mondays, then a week off, still followed by a scan. The first round will be completed on March 19 (feast of St. Joseph), and a scan is planned for the following week.
I have been blessed with deep calm and peacefulness throughout this process. That's not to say there have been no tears - that would hardly be consistent with the woman you know! Nonetheless, the tears often come from awe and gratitude for the love and prayer with which I'm being supported, the incredibly kind, compassionate and competent medical professionals with whom I've been in contact, and the speed with which each one fits me into his/her schedule, and refers me to the next specialist. I couldn't ask for better care.
Thank you for visiting this page. Please feel free to leave me a message. I am most grateful for your friendship.