Kristi found out that she had a positive biopsy on December 27, 2018, but at the time did not have any addiitonal information. She had an appointment at Siteman Cancer Center of January 3, 2019, but never made it to the appointment. She became so ill that she eventually agreed to go to the ER on January 2nd (after going to work!). In the ER she crashed quickly. She was septic, went into atrial fibrillation and was subsequently shocked, she went into respiratory distress and was intubated. They discovered after doing a scan in the ER that she had a very large tumor (metastasis) in her brain, and a extremely large mass in her chest between her lungs (mediastinum). In fact, they had to make 6 attempts at intubating her because the tumor was so large and her airways were so swollen. Shortly after this, she went into cardiac tamponade from fluid pressing on her heart. She was rushed to the OR to place a drain in the pericardium. We didn't think she would survive that evening in the ER. During this insane period, her two sons Auggie and Jack were in the ER with me. My Dad drove to get Caroline at IU 4.5 hours away. Praying in the waiting room was Greg, Kristi's parents, her brother, Stacie Richter (who brought her to the ER), and Paige McCracken. While they waited for the OR to open, and things looked bad, the boys were so strong - at one point Kristi took her phone (while on a respirator) and typed "NOT DYING" for the boys. That was the moment I knew she was not going to give up - she was in for the fight.
We waited outside the cardiac cath / OR with such anxiety. Meanwhile, I was keeping my daughter and Dad up to date on the phone as they made the trek back to St. Louis. I was so worried Caroline would not make it back in time, but we just kept praying non-stop. After what seemed like eternity, the cardiologist came out and told us she made it through the procedure and they would meet us in the Cardiac ICU.
That evening, by the time Caroline arrived, we had not been allowed in to see Kristi yet. By the time we could, she had been extubated and was able to talk some. We made it through the first miracle - but we had a long road to travel still. The journal entries will provide you updates from that night forward.
Kristi is a pharmacist at Siteman Cancer Center in St Louis, MO and loves her job. She can’t wait to go back to work. In the interim, she has no income as she recovers. Donations to support Kristi and help her cover her expenses that will be critical to help her as she recovers is so appreciated. https://www.gofundme.com/6o24gdk?member=1468104