Oct 10, 2021 Latest post:
Oct 20, 2021
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.
Many are aware that this journey started in November of 2020, when during a routine check endometrial cancer was found. Julie then had a laparoscopic hysterectomy on December 2, and our hope was that would end a difficult year of global pandemics and health concerns. Unfortunately, lymph node biopsies showed that the cancer had spread, and a plan was created to do a course of chemo, radiation, and then chemo again.
From January 13 to March 9, 2021, Julie had chemotherapy at Mayo and overall, it went better than expected. Low white blood cell counts caused minor delays, but she was so happy to finish this first milestone! Then, from March 30 to May 5, she had daily radiation treatments. This was tough. She felt sicker than she had during the chemo. But again, although there were low moments, a positive was getting the COVID vaccine and also knowing immediate family was vaccinated. This made it feel much safer to spend time with people again. Finally, she got to ring the bell and clear radiation. And it was time to go on to what we thought was the final lap: one more round of chemo from June 3 to Mid-July.
As the finish was in sight, new symptoms appeared. Right after the Fourth of July, she started struggling with noticeable aphasia (loss of ability to understand or express speech). On July 6, she was seen and a scan revealed a brain tumor pressing on her speech center, and so she was admitted on July 7 to have a craniotomy and have the tumor removed. This surgery required 4 days of inpatient recovery, but went well. It was undetermined if there would be lasting effects, but much of the aphasia improved. A follow up scan found another tumor that was removed by Gamma Knife on July 21. Once again, we were thankful that this was successful, particularly as this series of issues coincided with the loss of a dear friend.
After this, Julie was tired, and was finding it difficult because she wanted to get back to her normal, busy life. Overall, she felt much better than she had during the prior months, just lacking in energy. Well, she had been through a lot, so that seemed ok.
On August 19, Doug took her to the Emergency room due to a drastic change in the amount of aphasia and again she was admitted. A CT scan found 20 additional brain tumors. She stayed inpatient for a few days, but was anxious to get home. A new treatment plan was established to do a high dose of radiation for two weeks. This treatment finished on September 2, and a followup scan on September 7, 2021, showed that all of the brain tumors were gone, and the cancer had cleared.
At this point we were ready to put this long and difficult chapter behind us. We were and still are so thankful for the amazing healing power of God. But Julie's cancer battle is not done yet. Our family is so thankful for all of the love and support we have received. Some of you may be thinking, "wait, I thought she was ok?!?"
We all did. We don't know what is to come, but we know God hasn't failed her yet.