Jean Waldvogel

First post: Oct 7, 2022 Latest post: Oct 12, 2022
Welcome to Jean's caringbridge. We are using this site to provide updates about Jean's cancer journey. 

On Memorial Day weekend, Jean, started experiencing severe stomach pain and vomiting. This prompted a visit to the Emergency Room (in Alexandria, as she was the Farm in Osakis at the time). She was diagnosed with a partial bowel obstruction; during the course of treatment, it was discovered that she had an unusual amount of fluid in her abdomen. Testing showed likely cancer cells. Jean went home and saw both her primary doctor and then her surgical team at the University of Minnesota; a couple of years prior, Jean had a total hysterectomy due to abnormal cells.
First step for her cancer treatment was to do a surgery to confirm what type of cancer she had and exactly where the cancer was. Surgery took place at the end of June. During surgery, the doctors found many cancerous tissues, not large tumors but more like a sheet covering her intestines. They were not able to remove anything, but tested samples from various spots. These tests confirmed that it is what they are calling a gynecological cancer, likely ovarian or fallopian tube, but since she no longer had those parts, the name of the cancer was not important. The doctors explained that although they removed those organs/cells years before, sometimes cells can remain in the lining of the abdomen, laying dormant until growing sometime down the road. This is what was happening this spring, ultimately causing bowel obstruction, as the cancerous tissue was binding the intestines.
After surgery, Jean began a standard regimen of chemo every 3 weeks. Doctors were hopeful that chemo would be successful in shrinking the cancer and while they assured us that it would likely never be cured, remission was very possible. Chemo side effects and complications from the cancer landed her in the hospital twice in July, once for shortness of breath (due to the extra fluid in her abdomen and pressing around the lungs) and once for more bowel issues.

Through the rest of the summer Jean was doing well at home, dealing with the side effects as best as she could. In late September, Jean experienced a fall at home, with low blood pressure making her woozy. She did not suffer any injuries from the fall but needed to be admitted to the hospital to get her vitals under control. She has been in the hospital now since September 25th, working through various complications with the goal of resuming treatment.