On January 2nd, 2020 Marianne was taken to the hospital for some mild arm and hand weakness. After that first day, it became clear that this was just the beginning of a very long journey. By the 3rd day of her 18 day hospital stay she had experience a 44 minute seizure, loss the use of both of her arms and one leg, lost the ability to remember events that were happening, as they were happening, had difficulty swallowing and terrible headaches. Multiple tests were preformed including a CAT scan that showed a large spot on her lung, one on her lymph node and over 20 lesions on her brain. The scan also showed significant brain swelling. The next step for doctors was to confirm that it was indeed cancer. As it is easier to biopsy a lung than a brain, the doctors decided to go that route, but warned us about the possible complications due to the significant amount of emphysema Marianne had in her lungs. We hoped for the best, we thought we had gotten what we wished for, but sadly the lung deflated after the first day and Marianne was forced to have a chest tube inserted that would unfortunately, stay there for the next 7 days.
The results of the biopsy came back while Marianne was still in the hospital and unfortunately she was found to have pulmonary adenocarcinoma that had metastasized to a lymph node and her brain. That is stage 4 Lung Cancer.
She was lucky enough to be able to begin the whole brain radiation that was needed while she was still at the hospital. She completed 4 rounds while at the hospital, along with taking many steroids, and other medications to reduce the brain swelling and the multiple issues it was causing. Everyday she got better and better. By the time she left the hospital on the last day, she was walking on her own, talking non stop and PLANNING! She has now completed all 10 radiation treatments.
The next step is the lungs! We were just told that 3 of her markers came back positive for the Pdl1positive gene and that is the best news ever!! This means that she can try immunotherapy before/instead of chemotherapy! We will know more in another couple of weeks and hopefully be able to start the treatments then!
As of today, Marianne is doing physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy three days a week, we are actually there right now! Things aren't the same for her right now, things are harder, more time consuming and more exhausting than they were before. BUT she is doing an AMAZING job at recovering!! She needs to spend her time concentrating on that and having as much fun as she can, hence this site! We will try to post and update as often and as honestly as possible about what is happening with her so that you can spend your time with her chatting about the gross weather, her next vacation, her crazy hippie crystals, her red robe parties or her spectacularly adorable grandkids when you call, text, email, Facebook, Instagram, twitter or smoke signal her!
Marianne has a lot of amazing things to say about her treatment, the amazing team of doctors, nurses, support staff and her experience, but I am going to let her take that in the next post!