Libby Wallace | CaringBridge

Libby Wallace

First post: Dec 11, 2017 Latest post: Jun 27, 2018
On Friday, December 8th after only a few months of pain between my eye and nose I found out I had cancer in my sinus cavity. Things moved very quickly. A biopsy revealed abnormal grown requiring surgery on the 28th of December at Mayo Hospital In Rochester, Minnesota.

After A 16 hour surgery I was very sick for seven days. I required a second surgery due to an infection. I spent 11 days in the hospital before I was released to go home. It was the longest eleven days of my life.

On Sunday, January 6th, my doctor gave me my final diagnosis. I had an unknown type of clear cell carcinoma. There have only been 100 cases of this type of cancer reported (I’m number 101). My surgeon said that mine was the largest tumor he has ever had the privilege of removing. My tumor is being studied for research. Most of the time it’s nice to be rare, but this time I would prefer to be more common.

I had no idea what I was getting into. I also had to have my orbital socket replaced. I am lucky I didn't lose my eyesight to be completely honest.

After a five to six week recovery from the first two surgeries, I have a long road ahead of me.

Starting February 5(my birthday), I had radiation five days a week for six weeks. This took a toll on my body.

May the 4th I will see my Doctor, to schedule additional surgeries to prepare for the teeth/implants they removed during the reconstruction. The next surgery will be repairing the hole in my mouth and getting the implant screws. Eventually, my team tells me, I will be back to “normal” by the end of 2018.

I will never forget the day I sat in Dr. Arce’s office and he told me that I have carcinoma. My husband broke down and cried. The Doctor told me that it was curable. I asked him for a hug. This was when I placed my one hundred percent trust in him and his team. I knew that if I had a chance, these Doctors would make in possible to continue my life.

The other thing I remember clearly was telling the nurse to be sure to tell Dr. Arce to make me look like Wonder Woman. I call myself Wonder Woman because it’s a real true medical mystery and a wonder why I survived. When people hear my story, I am not telling it so they feel sorry for me. It’s quite the contrary. I want to be an inspiration for anyone who is going through a tough time.

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