(Just a heads up that any donations to CaringBridge do NOT go to my sister or family, but to the site itself. thank you.)
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. I've created it to keep Kate's family and friends updated about Kate and her recovery. Thank you for all of your kind thoughts, prayers and reaching out, my sister and her beautiful family really enjoy all of your positive thinking and energy.
As many of you know, Kate has been suffering for some time with various sickness and illnesses, especially as a mom and 1st grade teacher. She has had trouble with severe sinusitis and that has lead to asthma and nasal surgery. Recently with her last pregnancy, she experienced severe back aches and then after the birth developed a severe case of mastitis, inflammation and infection of a milk duct. This started soon after Gus was born and she had seen several doctors and specialists including a breast cancer surgeon in Boise only 2 weeks ago.
Kate has had a tumultuous journey over the last 3 months trying to figure out what has been wrong with her right breast since Gus' birth. She has seen doctor after doctor who have all agreed that she has had many bouts of mastitis but no one could figure out what was ailing her on top of the mastitis or why it was not responding to treatment.
On Monday evening, November 7th , she woke up in the middle of the night with a severe chest pain that felt deeper and abnormal to just the breast infection. Patrick rushed her to the emergency room on Tuesday morning at St. Luke's Medical Hospital where she had an EKG, an X-ray, and blood tests and then a CAT scan. The doctors came back and told Patrick and Kate that the radiologist has detected potential cancerous cells in various places in her body. She was instructed to go strait to St. Luke in Boise to be admitted for further testing. They left the hospital in Sun Valley to head to St. Luke's in Boise that evening with the kids and their friends, Brian and Alex. She was admitted later that night. Through out Wednesday, Kate went through several tests. She had another CAT scan of her stomach and pelvis area, a biopsy of her right breast and lymph node in her armpit, and a full body MRI. Thursday morning, Kate, Patrick and Molly met with the attending hospitalist who preliminarily consulted on the results of the tests and told us that Kate was positive for ductal invasive carcinoma in the breast and lymph node. She also mentioned multiple areas of concern including what appeared to be lesions on the spine and a group of cells on her liver. On Friday morning we met with the oncologist, Dr. Alluri, who specializes in breast cancer at Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI) in Boise. She confirmed the initial diagnosis of cancer and reviewed the details of Kate's specific pathology.
The next step will be tomorrow at 7 am when Dr. Alluri will present Kate's case to the Tumor Board, a group of specialists in all areas of oncology. They will review all results and aspects of the case and hopefully give us a better idea of what we are looking at including the stage of cancer, how wide spread it is, and the recommended course of treatment.
Once we have our appointment on Tuesday, we will come together as our families try to make very difficult decision about the journey forward. At this time St. Luke's in Boise and MSTI have come highly recommended from a friend of the family and multiple other sources. We feel confident that the diagnosis and care here in Boise is "superb" according to many. However, we are still in the very beginning of understanding what is ahead for all of us. We have not ruled out any possibilities such as a second opinion, and being closer to family. For now we are just trying to keep our heads up, and continue having lots of laughter and smiles with the kids.
Thank you for all of your support, it means the world to us. Please keep checking this site, as we will certainly post upcoming needs and wishes to help support the family and Kate as we continue on this journey to recovery.