Jodi MacGibbon

First post: Aug 23, 2017 Latest post: Nov 1, 2017


My Journey with Stage IV colon cancer

Hello friends:
I am writing this letter to ask for your help in helping my family to maintain a sense of normal during these upcoming months.

I have been somewhat secretive in my journey, telling very few people here in Columbus. The main reason for this was simply to “ be normal”.  However, now I feel I should tell my story.

While living in Madison, CT. I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer.  I was immediately admitted to the hospital and underwent a colon resection in October of 2014. After a very quick recovery, I started Chemo. Chemo was every other week, lasting 50 hours - 4 hours at the infusion center, and 46 hours with a pump. I under went 3 rounds, before I was cleared to under go liver surgery at Yale in New Haven, CT. The liver surgery lasted about 7 hours, and they resected approximately 2/3’s of my liver. All went well, and recovery was about 3 months until I was back to normal. After liver surgery I then completed 9 more rounds of Chemotherapy. 

The good news, after all of that - I was declared No Evidence of Disease, on July of 2015 in Madison, CT!! Now, all is good and ready to move to Columbus, GA to start a new!!

We moved into our new home in August of 2015. Kids started a new school, husband a new job, and me getting all the home stuff situated. I also had to find all new doctors, Both for my family and for myself - which I found to be a bigger challenge than I thought. However, once settled ,everything started running like clock work. 

I went to my check-ups, and 6 month CT scans to make sure the cancer did not come back. Each CT scan was a bit nerve racking, since I have been told a recurrence was very likely to happen - just when and where was the question. 

On January 1, 2017 - I asked to see another doctor to look over my case. He was great, and ordered a blood test right away. The results of my blood test were not good, it revealed my CEA level, which is a cancer marker, was very high. Because of this, a PET scan was ordered ASAP. The PET scan revealed the cancer was back. This time on the outside of my colon and in my abdomen - a total of 6 tumors.

So, now I am back on Chemo - I have just completed my 10th round here at the John B. Amos Center.  We have been going to Emory, in Atlanta and have just visited MD Anderson in Houston, TX. Emory has cleared me for surgery - a very big one. The doctors call this the “Mother of all Surgeries” - as if that is not to scare you enough!! The surgery is approx. 9-15 hours. They will operate on all the tumors, take all unnecessary organs out, and put a heated chemo solution in my abdomen for about 90 minutes. The goal of all this - is to ultimately be disease free. 

Both hospitals state I will be in the hospital for 15 -20 days, with a full recovery time of 6 months.

Right now, we are leaning more to MD Anderson in Houston. We are scheduled for an out-patient laparoscopy that will determine the extent of the disease and if the Doctor feels this procedure will “get it done”. We will need to be there from October 1 - 5. So, I am asking for help with Sean and Sara for this week. 

If the surgery is approved, MD Anderson will probably schedule me around the end of October - beginning of November. The surgery will be on a Friday, as this is the Doctors OR full day of capability.  So, I am asking for help for Sean and Sara during this time, as I will not be home for about 3 weeks and Craig will be visiting on and off and working!!  So, if you can help us with rides, meals, over-nights ect… It would be so much appreciated as we need all the help we can get!!

Thank you for reading this.

I am looking forward to be cancer free again for a long, long time.

Jodi MacGibbon

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