Kerry Tiernan

First post: May 25, 2019 Latest post: Jul 18, 2019
Hello and welcome! I will first dive into Kerry's medical history to give you a background  to help understand a bit of what Kerry has been through with his surgeries and condition when reading journal posts. Thank you for visiting :)
When I first met Kerry in 2004, he said that it was normal that he had massive nose bleeds every 3 months. After much pursuit with ENT doctors, he finally was sent to Dr. Tsue at KU Medical Center and diagnosed him with having a large angiofibroma (benign tumor) in his nasal cavity. Later that summer he had the tumor removed. He remained fairly healthy until the spring of 2014 when Kerry had a CT scan showing a tumor on the head of his pancreas. Dr. Schmitt at KU Med believed it to be neuroendocrine (cancerous) and planned for a Whipple surgery right away as pancreatic cancer can be very fatal. He endured that intense abdominal surgery but had many struggles mostly with pain control in the hospital and at home.  At his first post op appt, the pathology from the pancreas came back best case scenario as being a benign tumor. Kerry finally felt more like himself aside from GI upset and bowel problems from time to time after about six months. Months later in the fall of 2014 he had an incisional hernia repair which was a very minor procedure compared to what he had been through.  The following year, it was discovered that Kerry's chronic fatigue was due to low iron levels and started receiving iron infusions via IV as taking supplements were just not helping. In the summer of 2015 at one of Kayden's oncology check ups (Kayden is our now 8 year old who fought liver cancer in 2012), Dr. Manalang asked us parents if Kayden wanted to be tested for a genetic condition called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) which is due to a mutation of the APC gene. This genetic condition is prevalent in about 10% of hepatoblastoma patients. If FAP is not recognized and treated, there is a 100% chance that a person with the gene will develop colorectal cancer. We of course had Kayden tested and the results took several weeks. When the results came back positive for Kayden, I immediately got Kerry in for a colonoscopy before doing the genetic testing for him. His results were typical of someone with the genetic disease, finding hundreds upon hundreds of polyps throughout his colon. His intestines looked like carpet with the polyps representing the carpet threads. The shocking news had us worried that it was already cancerous. We had him seen at KU Medical Center where all of his specialized physicians are located. We met with Dr. Valentino in November and immediately planned for proctocolectomy (removal of the entire large intestine and rectum). His surgery was a couple weeks after in mid-December. Dr. Valentino said the surgery was successful and  ileostomy looked good. The surgeon had also found that Kerry had advanced desmoid disease, with several of these benign tumors removed from his abdominal wall during the surgery. There was one he could not remove that was wrapped around his small intestine as it was too risky. He manages that desmoid tumor with an oral chemo medication and he has just been taken off of after two years due to side effects. In January of 2017 Kerry had a routine thyroid ultrasound with suspicious results. He had his thyroid biopsied and found to have low grade thyroid cancer. He met back up with Dr. Tsue, the ENT doctor who did his prior surgery at KU Med and planned for yet another surgery to remove his thyroid and then radiation therapy later in the summer. The surgery was successful with several lymph nodes also removed. While being pregnant with our third child that year, I had to avoid him while receiving radioactive iodine. It was challenging but short lived and got through it just fine. His next ultrasound and scan was clear of cancer!
Last year and this year of 2019 have been less eventful with Kerry in terms of not having any major surgeries or health issues. We pray Kerry will stay healthy and strong and get through his small (and sometimes large) battles when they arise! We live by the bible verse, "With God, All things are possible. " Matthew 19:26

CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. Learn more about CaringBridge.

To interact with Kerry’s website, sign in or register today.

By registering with CaringBridge, you will join over 300,000 people a day who are supporting friends and family members.

Sign In Or Register