“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” – Jim Valvano
“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, coworker, doctor, or patient.” –Jennifer Aniston
We have been affected. Our beloved daughter, mother, sister, wife, friend, coworker, Lisa/Elyse has been touched by this dreadful disease. This Caringbridge website will act as our portal in the exchange of information as we all make this life journey together with Lisa.
The journey we share took an unexpected turn last December when Lisa started experiencing some unusual symptoms. She made an appointment to see her doctor and after a few tests, discovered a mass located in her right ovary. This was concerning, but we all stayed optimistic that this was going to turn out to be fibroids, cysts or some other benign growth. In the middle of January, Lisa made the trip to UCSF to meet with a gynecologist/oncologist to talk further about testing and treatment options. After some additional tests/procedures, it appeared that surgery was inevitable. February 6 arrived and after 9 hours of surgery, we learned that the mass was indeed cancerous and a complete hysterectomy had been done to remove all indications of cancer. There were still so many questions…
Lisa came home the next day (what?!?!?...after a 9 hour surgery?!?!?... why would a hospital send a newly diagnosed cancer patient home to recover?!?!?). That first week’s recovery brought a few unexpected complications, including a herniated incision sight. (We won’t go into details…but, as many of you know the side effects of pain medication can impact how food moves through the digestive system. It can be difficult – down right PAINFUL!) That week also brought many visitors showing their care, love and support through food, flowers, laughter, cards, caring for her children, and many other things for which I know Lisa (and her family!) are very grateful. They have treasured these acts of love. They have carried Lisa and her family through some very difficult days and have provided the strength to help them move forward. (Let’s keep these love bombs going!!!)
As we waited together for the 2 weeks following the surgery, tests were being done and questions were starting to mount. On February 22, Lisa met with her doctor and learned that her cancer has been staged and graded as “Stage 2A/High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer”. (http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/ovarian-fallopian-tube-and-peritoneal-cancer/stages-and-grades
The diagnosis is still settling in. (Will it ever really settle??) Lisa has been studying up on clean eating (juicing, antioxidants, etc.), learning how to breathe/meditate, wig shopping and preparing for the long road of chemotherapy that starts this Monday, 3/6. It will be an aggressive treatment and will last 18 weeks.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:4-5
LOVING LISA with you,
Deena (Pollock) Snellings
“The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” – C.C. Scott