Welcome to Judy's CaringBridge website. As she begins a journey of hope and healing, we wanted a way to keep family and friends updated along the way. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
While we appreciate the thoughtfulness of donations at this time Judy is only asking for your prayers and well wishes. Donations made from this site go directly to caring bridge and are not necessary to maintain the page.
On April 22nd, Judy was diagnosed with lung cancer (unstaged at that point). A little background leading up to her diagnosis...
Beginning December 2019 Judy developed a cough that came about after a upper respiratory infection. The cough became chronic and then she developed a wheeze and while still not too bothersome for her it didn't go away. She was given medication to clear-up any possible inflammation but with no results she went back to her physician and received a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed that further investigation would be needed and was ordered to have a chest CT. The chest CT scan showed right upper lobe lung cancer with extensive lymph node involvement, bilateral pulmonary lesions, and possible liver involvement. From there she was ordered a CT scan of her abdomen and was cleared of any liver involvement. During this time her physician connected her with an oncologist with SCOA who has helped to expedite her appointments so that she could have a biopsy completed by the end of the week. From Judy "I feel that my oncologist moved mountains today to hasten this process! And I'm thankful!"
On the following Wednesday the oncologist called with a diagnosis. He reported that it was stage 4 non small cell adenocarcinoma because of the spread to both lungs, large mass on the right and scattered satellite nodules throughout the left. The biopsy was also sent away for DNA/genetic mutation testing (still awaiting those results). Once those results are received a treatment plan can be determined. Possible plans include chemo or immunotherapy or a combination of both as well as clinical trials. At this time no radiation or surgery is recommended. The oncologist ordered a brain MRI and PET scan to determine if other areas were involved.
While awaiting her further testing Judy had been experiencing shortness of breath, faster than normal heart rate, and some back pain in addition to her cough. Being the nurse that Judy is she knew that her symptoms needed to be checked. Her oncologist completed routine bloodwork and ordered another scan to rule out a PE, which thankfully it did. However, her heart rate and shortness of breath did not change. After a consultation with her pulmonologist she was given a beta blocker and a different inhaler to hopefully give her some relieve. She was also ordered to have an echocardiogram the following day. Thankfully, after just one dose the beta blocker worked and she had almost immediate relief from the rapid heart rate and the shortness of breath.
The following morning her oncologist reached out to see how she was doing and to let her know that he and the pulmonologist had reviewed her bloodwork and agreed that her thyroid was the possible cause for the increased heart rate. They both felt that the thyroid was not an issue and that the beta blocker was the best approach to ease those symptoms. While on the phone her oncologist was also able to provide the results of the brain MRI. They discovered 4 small lesions in her brain all in different areas. He informed her that the areas were very small and were not pressing or causing complications. He felt with certainty that the lesions could be targeted and resolved with a Gamma Knife radiation treatment and was very positive when speaking about those results.
Where do we go from here? On Monday, May 4th Judy will have a PET scan to determine if any further cancer involvement is in her body. During the week she will also get her results from the DNA/Genetic Mutation testing as well as consult with her oncologist to organize a treatment plan and determine the date for the Gamma Knife radiation. Her family has been heavily involved in researching and locating the best treatment and clinical trials available and will actively continue to monitor and adjust those plans as new developments arise.
We all appreciate your love and support through Judy's journey. Those that have reached out and asked about how you can help or what you can do... we don't really know what is needed at this point. I can tell you this...your prayers mean everything. For her mind, body and faith to stay strong. For her doctors and nurses to do what they do best. For her body to respond well to the treatment. For her to beat this!