Louise Merlyn

First post: Sep 28, 2015 Latest post: May 7, 2016
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Louise was recently diagnosed with uterine cancer (specifically, adenocarcinoma of the uterus). The initial treatment is a hysterectomy, which she will be undergoing on October 16, 2015 at Northside Hospital. The procedure will be performed robotically. This is an innovative surgical technique with several advantages over traditional surgery, particularly in that it is far less invasive and hence generally has an easier and faster recovery. The anesthesia time will be short, and Louise will only have to spend one night in the hospital.

While the doctors are unable to officially “stage” the cancer until the surgery is performed (this will be done by the removal of lymph nodes), the best guess at present is that Louise’s cancer is at Stage 1, Grade 3. Likewise, the doctors are unable to officially determine if additional treatment will be required until after the surgery, when an analysis of the lymph nodes will determine if the cancer has spread at all. Therefore, we will not know until post-surgery what, if any, additional treatment will be required. We have been told that radiation is possible but not definite, and chemotherapy also possible, but even less definite. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the surgery will suffice!

While any cancer diagnosis is alarming, it is important to note that the type of uterine cancer with which Louise has been diagnosed is the most common of all gynecological cancers, is the easiest to treat, and has the best prognosis for a full recovery. Also crucial is how confident we are in the physicians who will be taking care of Louise—we feel that she could not be in better hands, particularly with her oncologist (who is also her surgeon.)  Dr. Matthew Burrell is a leader in his field, and he treated a very close family friend who had a more serious diagnosis of ovarian cancer and is doing fantastically these days. Accordingly, we are all feeling as optimistic as possible given the circumstances.

We cannot thank you all enough for your friendship during this difficult time. Please stay tuned for updates as we hope to be able to share great news in the very near future! 

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