Marlene Heckenlaible Marlene Heckenlaible

First post: Jul 10, 2017 Latest post: May 10, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting!  On the afternoon of June, 23rd, Mom was not feeling well and her stomach was distended and there was a lot of pressure so she went in to urgent care.  They did an abdominal X-ray and did blood work.  They said she had a urinary tract infection and prescribed some medicine for that and sent her home.  On Monday, the 26th she was still not feeling well, so she went in to see her PCP (primary care physician) and they did blood work and scheduled her for a CT scan on Tuesday which she had.  On Wednesday, the 28th, they called and said she had ascites (fluid around the organs in the abdomen), a thickening (which is abnormal) of the sac around the organs called the peritoneum and a prominent sighting on the right ovary which usually means ovarian cancer.  They set up an oncology appt for July 7th and an ultrasound paracentesis to tap the fluid in her stomach.  She went in on Thursday, the 29th, and had the paracentesis and also a CT scan of her chest.  They removed 7# of fluid!! She felt much better with some of that pressure relieved.   On Friday evening, July 30th, her PCP called and said the preliminary results indicated the fluid was cancer.   Monday, July3rd, she felt much better but no energy.  Still hadn't heard from the dr on the conclusive results.  July 4th, she came over to my house for awhile but was starting to feel uncomfortable  as the fluid was starting to build back up again.    On Wednesday, Gary went over to her house to help with some yard work and became very concerned because she just wanted to sleep and was very nauseous and had vomited.  He drove over to my house and suggested that I come and check on her and maybe convince her to go in to the dr.  I asked her if she wanted to go in but she had called her PCP that morning and was waiting to hear back from her.  Kelli came over too and at 4:30 we called the clinic to see why no one had called back.  They said her PCP had gone home and maybe she should go in to the ER.  At 5:30, her dr. called back and agreed that the ER was probably the way to go.  She also had the results back from the paracentesis and she said she has Adenocarcinoma of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.  We took her to ER and once she got into see the dr., he said that he thought that maybe something else was going on since she hadn't been nauseous before.  So he ordered another ultrasound, x-ray and blood work.  He was right.  The ultrasound indicated that she had a blockage in her small intestine called ileus that was causing the severe nausea.  It was probably caused by the pressure of the fluid.  They inserted an NG (nasogastric) tube into her nose and down into her stomach which works like a little vacuum to decompress the intestine so it doesn't rupture.  They admitted her so they could monitor this process.  Which brings us to today, the 6th of July.  Her oncologist, Dr. Annie Tan, came to visit her today and said indeed her intestine is twisted (somewhat like a garden hose when it gets twisted up).  They were going to continue to drain her bowel area until they could get it working again.  Apparently these things can work themselves out!  They scheduled her for surgery next Tuesday, the 11th,  provided her bowels are working again as they should be.  The surgery is for the cancer.  They are going to go in there and remove as much as they can and see where it's at because they can't tell right now with all the fluid in there.  Then they will do chemotherapy to try to get anything they missed.  She had another paracentesis this afternoon and another 6.5 lbs was removed.  She will be in Mercy  Hospital until maybe up to a week after surgery.  She is fairly comfortable right now although her stomach is sore and the tube in her nose and throat is annoying.  Please keep Mom and all of us in your prayers as we go forward!  Karla

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