Lee’s family created this Caring Bridge site to keep all of our family and friends updated on Moms (aka Lee's) progress since being diagnosed with Neuroendocrine in the summer of 2012 as well as recent updates starting in January 2016 through current.
How did this all start? After having some unrelated pain in her left abdomen, her doctor ordered a CT scan of her abdomen only. During the scan, a small part of her lungs were visable and the radiologist pointed out something “suspicious”. After seeing several other doctors, and many, many tests including a lung biopsy, she found out in July of 2012 that she has a rare form of cancer called Neuroendocrine, which is in both of her lungs. The left lung has the most and largest nodules but there are some smaller ones in the right lung as well.
She found a wonderful Oncologist in Fairfax and even saw a doctor at Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC (during December of 2012) who specializing in this rare type of cancer. All doctors confirmed the findings but stated that the cancer moves so slow that most patients can go years without any symptoms. Unfortunately, this cancer does not typically respond well to chemotherapy or radiation. The only possible option would be surgery but that was a big “if”.
Since finding out about the cancer she went every 3 months to see her Oncologist and get a chest CT so they can keep a watch on the cancer in case there are any changes. Thankfully, there was little to no growth during the first year and we’ve all been blessed that she remained healthy and symptom free.
That all changed in early July 2013 when after going for her quarterly checkup, they found that there had been an almost 15% growth in the left lung and her Oncologist recommended she see a surgeon.
On August 14, 2013 she under went surgery to remove the lower lobe of her left lung. The surgery took place at INOVA Fairfax Heart and Vascular Center (Fairfax, VA). Her surgeon comes highly recommended and is in fact the Head of the Thoracic Surgery Department at INOVA. She was amazingly only hospitalized for 1 day and then continued her recovery at home for about 6 weeks.
After recovery, everything returned to normal. She continued to see her Oncologist quarterly for check-ups and CTs. Eventually those appts were changed to every 6 months. However, in early January of 2016 she ended up in the ER with what she thought was a kidney stone but after several tests they advised that it appeared the cancer was now in her liver. After seeing her Oncologist and several other tests, including liver biopsy (that ended up putting in the hospital for 5 days - long story), it was confirmed the cancer is definitely in her liver (in addition to also being in her lung). Unfortunately, surgery is not an option this time.
I will post updates shortly on the last 4+ months. Please check back regularly and share with other friends or family who would like to be kept updated on how she is doing.
Mom thanks everyone for all of the outpouring of love and support she has received from our amazing friends and family. We love you all!