Maureen Graf | CaringBridge

Chemo #2     March 15,  few hours of enforced rest ZZZzzz

Maureen Graf Maureen's Journey

First post: Mar 21, 2018 Latest post: Jan 20, 2019

Updated 9/22/18

In mid February 2018, Maureen was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.  Chemo therapy started immediately thereafter.  Extensive surgery was performed on May 21st. It was considered successful in that it removed all visible cancer. Fortunately, no critical organs were infected. The post surgery round of chemo addressed any remaining lymph cancers that were not surgically accessible and escaped the initial round. 

At the time of diagnosis, the cancer marker in Maureen's blood CA 125 registered over 3,400 vs normal under 35. Month by month, treatment by treatment with surgery in the middle and  that number came down dramatically by the end of August to 19... yes 19!  Furthermore, a PET scan of her body revealed no signs of cancer and the elusive lymph nodes had died. Altogether, this has been a remarkable emotional rollercoaster.  Her oncologist, normally not given to exaggeration, characterized the six month outcome as "great!"

The post chemo "hangover" (energy & taste recovery) is proceeding apace. Her prescription for low morning energy is to keep moving and it seems to work.

Maureen has been suffering since spring 2017 from a painful rare auto immune disease called mucous membrane  pemphigoid (MMP).  It attacked her mouth and was resistant to all drug attempts to subdue it or even mitigate the pain. In retrospect, the undetected cancer may have interfered with her immune system's ability to use the drugs to knock down the MMP.  Maureen has received over a dozen infusions of immunoglobulin with more to come.  In the meantime, it seems that the chemo subdued the cancer sufficiently to permit her immune system to redirect some of it's attention to fighting the MMP.  It's now in remission but it won't go away completely

A few weeks after Maureen's radical surgery in late May,  John's back discomfort increased significantly. It restricted his ability to sit or stand, not to mention ride in a car.  The caregiver role was abruptly reversed and despite her delicate condition, Maureen rose to the occasion.  John was diagnosed with a slipped disk and compressed nerve. He had spinal surgery at the end of August barely three months after Maureen's surgery.  At this writing almost four weeks later, John's made excellent progress although his range of motion is significantly restricted and his time upright is slowly increasing. 

Throughout this challenging  experience, Maureen has been strong physically, emotionally and spiritually.  She's remarkable... indeed inspirational. 

Please check in along the journey for reports on Maureen's progress.  And join us in this battle as science is boosted by your prayers to keep Maureen on the road to good health.