Mar 21, 2018 Latest post:
21 hours ago
In mid February 2018, Maureen was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since then she's been receiving chemo therapy. Surgery set for May 7 but a complication caused a delay, possibly 2 weeks. It will be quite extensive with commensurate recovery time followed by more chemo treatments to address any remaining cancer.
An ovarian cancer marker (CA 125) in the blood indicates the presence of the disease. Normal is 35 antigens per milliliter. At the time of diagnoses, Maureen's CA 125 reading was 3,449. Maureen responded very well to three chemo treatments with the CA 125 reduced to 208. This indicates that the active cancer cells have been reduced dramatically. Ideally, if not practically, the number would be below 35 at time of surgery. So the patience and skill of the surgeon combined with subsequent chemo are the critical variables at this point.
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 recently received nine infusions of immunoglobulin with more to come. It's supposed to boost the immune system and subdue the MMP.
Maureen is very active and experiences no discomfort from the cancer, except the chemo side effects moderate fatigue and hair loss. She exercises because that's what she's always done and to condition herself for the challenging surgery.
Throughout this still short 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 return Maureen to good health.