Madeline Johnson

First post: Aug 28, 2017 Latest post: May 5, 2023
Hi friends and family,
Madeline is battling ovarian cancer.  When finally diagnosed in August 2017, she had a  fast-growing mass in her abdomen that had tripled in size in the last few months to about 6 inches in diameter.  She'd had pain and discomfort for 8 months, but her condition was misdiagnosed. Once the right doctor (Dr. Dilgeet Singh, a female gynecological oncologist surgeon who is fabulous) got involved on 8/24/17,  the system started moving VERY quickly.  She had surgery on Monday 8/28/17, was in the hospital for 6 nights, and went home on Sunday 9/3.  She contracted a couple of very bad infections that walloped her for weeks after discharge, but fought through those. 
Mad has stage 3C (it’s now Stage 4) Serous Ovarian Cancer.  The tumor was softball-sized and there was some cancer on her colon that they zapped with a laser. They removed most infected lymph nodes but not all. The remaining ones were high up in her abdominal area, wrapped around blood vessels and un-removable.  They think this cancer doubles in size every 2-4 weeks, so it is aggressive, but the doctors expressed hope that chemo, directly into her blood stream, would zap them.  Dr Singh said there is, in a case like Madeline's, an 85% chance of remission for 6 months to 2 years, maybe longer. (It is considered cured at 5 years.)
Chemo started on 9/28/17 and continued until 5/4/18.  Mad lost her hair and it is still short and growing back.
After chemo, she had infusions of a drug called Avastin every 3 weeks, for the next 5 months.
In October 2018, chemo started again  because the cancer was growing back.
In February 2019, with a determination that the now Stage 4 cancer was winning, she started a Phase 2 Clinical Trial through NIH, with a drug called Prexasertib (Prex).  She currently gets infusions every 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, they are completely walloping her and this is the hardest part of the fight so far.  She is exhausted all the time, and has multiple painful and life-impacting complications.
If you are looking for ways to support Madeline, she needs help every other Monday for the day-long Prex treatments, but she really needs help all the time.  She needs meals l (her appetite and food-appeal are currently greatly impacted ), errands run, and help with doctor appointments  and other tasks.  She benefits a lot from companionship, in person or through any other means of communication.
There is also a GoFundMe site linked on this site if you're inclined to make a financial donation.  Madeline's income comes exclusively from her tutoring  business, which still gives her the greatest joy (it is the best medicine out there), but has also been seriously impacted lately.  So financial support is extremely appreciated. 
Madeline looks beautiful and has generally been at peace through this journey, though that has been challenged lately. She is fighting hard -- often by herself -- and appreciates your love, care and support more than anything. Thank you to all who have supported her in so many ways through this long journey.

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