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Kyle Marie Steffens
Dec 14, 2017 Latest post:
Feb 13, 2018
Welcome to our Caring Bridge Website! As many of you know, my mom was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. As you can imagine, this has been an unexpected and devastating blow to our family, but we remain hopeful and continue to have faith in God’s plan. I am using this page to keep family and friends updated on my mom’s health journey. We appreciate your support, prayers, and words of encouragement. Thank you so much for visiting.
On October 19th, my mom experienced some chest pains that resulted in her deciding to go to Winchester Hospital —just to be on the safe side. While checking for a pulmonary embolism, the doctor’s found at least 20-25 pulmonary nodules in her lungs, so she was admitted and scheduled for a CT scan of her pelvis the following day.
The CT scan indicated that she had a pancreatic cyst, and the hospital released her with a report indicating “Possible pancreatic cancer with metastasis to lungs”.
The following week consisted of a follow-up with my mom’s PCP, as well as appointments with multiple specialists. The Pulmonologist felt that the results of the lung scan did not look like cancer due to the fact that the lung nodules were small, clearly defined, and approximately the same size; instead, he suspected she might have an auto-immune disease called Sarcoidosis. However, due to the large amount of lung nodules discovered, there was cause for concern that the growths could possibly be cancerous, so the Pulmonologist referred her to a Gastroenterologist to examine her pancreas.
The Gastroenterologist examined the lung scan and decided to biopsy the pancreas via an endoscopic ultrasound. During the procedure, he discovered that the “cyst” was not, in fact, a cyst, but rather a type of blockage in my mom’s pancreatic duct. The doctor made the decision not to complete the biopsy due to risk of spreading malignancy or causing pancreatitis, and he ordered an MRI to get a more accurate visual of the pancreatic duct. The results of the MRI showed a small tumor (1 ½ - 2cm) stuck in the pancreatic duct. The Gastroenterologist suspected malignancy due to the tumor’s location and appearance; however, if the tumor was contained to the pancreas and had not metastasized, the doctor was hopeful that my mom would be a candidate for surgery. The Pulmonologist located a lung nodule large enough to perform a successful biopsy, and my mom was immediately scheduled for the procedure on December 4th.
On December 7, the Pathologist reported that the lung biopsy had come back positive for pancreatic cancer confirming that the cancer had spread from my mom’s pancreas to her lungs, and she was officially diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.
It has been easy to feel scared, discouraged, and anxious with this diagnosis, but it is important to remember: the doctors may be experts in pancreatic tumors, experts on my mom’s medical case, experts in medicine - but only God truly knows the plan for her. He has the final say in how this journey will unfold.
Right now, we are taking things one day at a time and doing our best to practice gratefulness. We are grateful to have each other. We are so incredibly grateful for all of you - the amount of support and love we have seen in the last few weeks has been overwhelming. And, most of all, we are remaining hopeful and keeping the faith.
Thank you for keeping my mom in your thoughts and prayers as she navigates this new chapter in her life. We appreciate each and every one of you.