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.
Most of you know that Kristen was diagnosed with colon cancer on Friday, September 13th. Even though she had been enduring several weeks of pretty severe stomach issues, the diagnosis was still quite alarming. Kristen had always eaten healthy, exercised, and maintained a healthy lifestyle. No history of colon cancer in our family. Never in a million years did we think that her colonoscopy would result in a cancer diagnosis.
From the moment we heard the word cancer, we knew we wanted her to receive treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. Appointments can sometimes take one to two weeks to schedule, so we were all trying to figure out a way to get her seen as soon as possible. Kristen had been on a clear liquid diet for several weeks, and we knew her body couldn't tolerate it much longer. An answer to prayers came through our Mom's friend, Jama Wagner, whose daughter Leslie put us in touch with a gentleman who made things happen very quickly. First thing Monday morning, Kristen received a phone call from MD Anderson, working to obtain records and schedule an appointment. Kristen found out late Tuesday that she would be seen that very next day by an Oncology Surgeon at the MD Anderson main campus.
On Wednesday afternoon, Kristen, Dad and I arrived at MDA to start the Admission process and meet with her surgeon, Dr. Nancy You. And by the way, Dr. You is the only female colorectal surgeon at MD Anderson.....so we felt quite honored to be in her care! After some pretty painful tests, they agreed to admit Kristen that evening to get her ready for surgery that next morning.
On Thursday morning, Kristen's surgery began at 8:00 am, and lasted for approximately three hours. Afterwards, Dr. You met with us and reported that she removed the cancerous tissue, as well as some lymph nodes....which will all be sent to pathology. And although we won't have the pathology report back for a week, Dr. You did not see any additional spots in the area. Later that afternoon, Kristen was transferred back to her room to begin recovery. This part has been very painful, but she is determined to fight this battle and get back home again.
We are not exactly sure when Kristen will be released from the hospital. The doctors want her digestive system to start working again before they will let her go home......so that is what we are praying for right now. Prayers that this will happen quickly, and painlessly.
Our whole family would like to thank all those who have been helping in so many ways. Jama and Leslie.....for helping to get this whole process started. It's mind boggling to think that Kristen had surgery less than a week after her diagnosis. To Jo Nell Carter, who has been helping my Mom drive Kristen's kids to and from school each day so that my Dad could be here in Houston. To all the people who have made meals for our family......particularly during a Tropical Storm! And thank you to everyone who has been praying for Kristen and our family. Our faith remains strong through this journey, and we praise God for all the blessings He has shown us along the way.