Judy Gerschultz

First post: Sep 25, 2017 Latest post: Oct 24, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.   

As most of you know, Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells) in 2010.  She had a stem cell transplant and participated in a clinical trial. The clinical trial meds took their toll on her body but she stayed strong and kicked it into remission.  We were cautiously optimistic over the years as she carried the weight of the side effects and pain and the emotional toll of doctor appointments, blood draws and more scans.  She didn’t let any of that get her down and continued to travel and enjoy her family and friends, making the most of her good days.

In the Spring, we celebrated 7 years of Myeloma remission.  They also sold the family home after 50 years and moved “south” to Maumee. It was around that time Mom started having debilitating pain in her legs caused by blood clots and had to be hospitalized.  It was there that she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lung cancer?!  Seriously???  WTF?!!!  Why does she have lung cancer? How much more can she possibly take?!!

Mom quit smoking back in the 70’s and to my knowledge only smoked again when Anne had a science project in 8th grade.  Mom had to light a couple cigarettes for the display to show (ironically) how smoking affects the lungs.  I was totally freaked out that she lit up in the house and she was freaked out at how easily she could have gone down that rabbit hole; enjoying for a moment the familiarity of the habit.  Thankfully that was the only project that required her to light up…and to Mom’s credit…Anne got an A.

So this scary lung cancer diagnosis came with very little warning…since it was not caused by a 2 pack a day habit, but by abnormal cells that changed in her lungs for unknown reasons. The lung cancer also moved into her liver and that darn liver has been the biggest antagonist of all, throwing blood clots, causing nausea and immense pain.

Dr Xia, Mom’s wonderful oncologist, was not derailed by this diagnosis and put together a toolbox…or an arsenal of sorts, to arm her for her next battle.

Mom began taking this new super chemo pill (Tarceva) that has had positive results for lung cancer patients.  We all became proficient in giving mom blood thinner shots in her belly and with the incredible support from Pete and Linda and all of her friends and family, we were able to keep her fed and entertained over the summer.  She finally embraced Netflix and learned how to “binge watch”.

Towards the end of August however, Mom began losing more weight because she was nauseas and couldn’t eat, and was having a hard time managing her pain.  She bounced in and out of the hospital getting transfusions and more scans and was prodded and poked, yet she remained strong for us.

So what is happening now?

The good news is that the latest MRI showed that the Tarceva is indeed working on her lungs.  She has no new growth on her lungs.  The bad news is that darn liver has developed more cancer cells and they have grown at such a rapid pace over the course of a couple weeks.  Dr Xia cannot explain why this is happening.  Dr Xia admitted Mom to the hospital yesterday for an aggressive treatment of chemo on her liver.  If she responds well, then she can come home.

We welcome your prayers, positive thoughts and best wishes and will keep you posted on how Mom is doing. 

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