Laurie Smith

First post: Oct 8, 2017 Latest post: Mar 22, 2018
I have set up this site so you can follow my journey.  My world turned upside down last June.  I went to the emergency room with sharp abdominal pains one day and ended up being admitted for ten days. I had a third of my colon removed during emergency surgery. The doctors soon informed me that they removed a 4 cm tumor and there was a possibility it could be cancer. Nobody ever wants to hear the "c" word.

 After a long wait for the pathology report, I was finally first diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. I immediately met with an oncologist at our local hospital to discuss a possible treatment plan.  I needed a second opinion.  A good friend of mine made some phone calls for me and got me an appointment at Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center. I met with Dr. Marshall who is one of the best colon cancer doctors in the area.  By the end of July, he developed a three month treatment plan that seemed challenging but would be over by the end of October. I can remember celebrating with my friends. I felt confident I would be able to beat this cancer and have my normal life back by Halloween.

As a precaution,  Dr. Marshall ordered a PET scan to further look at a few nodules on my lungs.  There was a small chance that the cancer had spread to my lungs. He was not concerned, so I was not concerned.  I was preparing to start the first chemo treatment in August, when Dr. Marshall suddenly stopped it.  He immediately informed me that the nodules in my lungs were cancerous. It had metastasized  and I was now facing stage four colon cancer.

Suddenly my world was changed forever.  Dr. Marshall told me I needed to go to NIH and become part of a new clinical trial. If I qualified, I would receive new immunotherapy drugs and standard care of treatment. He assured me that this was the best possible place for me to receive treatment and beat this cancer. 

I had to get my tumor tested and had to do a few other tests to qualify for the clinical trial.  I passed every test and was able to start my first cycle of treatment on September 19, 2017. 

My treatment plan is a 4 day cycle, every other week, so I stay at a hotel a mile from NIH with my dad. My amazing friends have all been here to support Ryan and Katie while I am away getting my treatments. I honestly could not do this journey without all of the love and support from everyone.  I am completely overwhelmed with everyone's kindness and generosity.  

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