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10/19/2017 Latest post:
Many of you have been following the Smith Family through Caring Bridge for the better part of the 2017 summer for Ian's Kidney transplant. I am elated to say that all went well. According to those who took care of Ian in the hospital, "He was the most boring transplant patient they had." He is back home in school and doing great. Shannon, the kidney donor, is also doing very well.
What you may not be aware of is our new challenge. On August 16, just two days before we were scheduled to return home to Anchorage after Ian's discharge, I was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a type of bile duct (liver) cancer. The symptoms began about two weeks after Ian was discharged from Children's Hospital. I experienced some upper abdominal pain and the next day I had it checked out at a nearby walk-in clinic. On the ultrasound, a 6cm mass was found on my liver and this test was followed up with an MRI and CT scan which indicated it was actually about a 12.5 cm mass (softball size). Finally a biopsy was done at Virginia Mason Hospital and the result was cholangiocarcinoma.
I came home with the family on August 18 only to return to Seattle the following week to get the rest of the story from the tumor board: oncologist, hepatologist, surgeon and interventional radiologist. All agreed on the cancer diagnosis and that it had metastasized outside of the liver into the lungs and lymphnodes (Stage 4). The only treatment was chemotherapy and that would only extend my life for a while and there was no cure for this cancer.
"For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds." Jeremiah 30:17. I CHOOSE LIFE!!!
I returned to Anchorage and started the chemotherapy treatment with an excellent doctor and have just finished the second round of treatment. On my first off week, Mom and I traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for other opinions or options. They were very caring and thorough, but their response was the same and their treatment would be the same I am receiving in Anchorage.
I need your prayers and support to conquer this. Jesus Christ is the ultimate Healer and though I am turning to chemo and healthy foods, I am fully aware that I need a Healing miracle from Jesus.
I will try and keep this Caring Bridge updated as I progress on the path less traveled.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all you iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's" Psalm 103:1-5