Mary Leonard Mary Leonard

First post: Jan 3, 2020 Latest post: Jul 8, 2020
It all started late October when mom went in for her colonoscopy exam and found out that she had a cancerous polyp and was diagnosed with Colon cancer.  There was a plan to have it surgically removed in the months to follow.  Meanwhile she had been struggling with keeping food down and it continued to get worse.  Dad and mom came up to my place in Burnsville on Sunday, November 10 and mom was getting sicker.  We went into the ER at Southdale and they looked at the CT scan and found a mass in her right pelvis.  They  weren't sure at the time what the mass was, but they were concerned about her pancreatic levels and decided to admit her to the hospital.  The next day the doctors ordered a scope to try to get a sample of the mass.  The doctors were unable to get a biopsy of the mass so they decided to transfer her to the University of MN Medical Center for more specialized care on November 16.  Another more skilled GI surgeon attempted to do another biopsy and also was unable to have any luck.  They decided to do a liver biopsy to see if they could get anything.  No cancer was found....which was good news!  However, we still didn't know anything about this mass that was pressing on her duodenum and now was pressing on her ureter causing her kidney to swell.  The doctors decided to put a stent in her ureter to drain her kidney and then on November 29 went into the ureter in hopes to get a biopsy that way.  The surgeon had success and was able to get a biopsy to diagnose her with high grade  urothelial carcinoma.  The next step was that they wanted to get her nutrition so that they could start treating the cancer.  While all of this was happening, the mass started to press on the bile duct affecting the liver.  The GI surgeons went in to put in a bile duct stent to drain the liver and a duodenal stent to help her to eat.  That surgery did not go well as there was a tear in the bile duct and bile was leaking into her abdomen.  She had  several days of severe pain and they decided to put a drain in to get rid of the bile.  It was successful!  The pain subsided and the bile duct began to heal.  The duodenal stent did not open up as they had hoped.  The GI team contacted colleagues from around the country and discovered an even stronger stent.  We agreed to try it and he was going to put a new covered stent in her bile duct to prevent any more leaking.  The surgery was a success and the leaking stopped!!  However, the stent only opened 1 mm which wouldn't allow her to eat so they put a feeding tube in her small intestine on Dec. 13 and it was working well.  She got to go home (to my house in Burnsville) on Dec. 18.  Mom and dad were all set to head home to Currie on Dec. 20 and her feeding tube clogged.  We went into the clinic and they weren't able to unclog it either.  Later that day, she was back in the hospital with plans to replace the tube.  The tube was replaced on Monday, December  23.  She got out of the hospital  and she spent Christmas with the whole family at my brother's house in Chaska.  We had a wonderful evening and it was a blessing to be together out of the hospital.  She and dad spent Christmas day in Burnsville and returned to Currie on Thursday, December 26.  She enjoyed being home and was very frustrated when her tube clogged yet again on Friday night.  They ended up coming back up to the cities late that night to beat the storm that was coming.  We brought her into the U of M ER Saturday morning and after they made unsuccessful attempts to unclog it she was admitted back into the hospital.  They did an X-ray  and discovered that her duodenal stent had opened up even more (1.5 cm).  A normal duodenal opening is 2.5 cm.  This was great news and she has started to progress to soft solid foods.   She has also started doing Physical Therapy to increase her strength.  Her legs and feet have been very swollen the past few days so they did an ultrasound and discovered a blood clot in her left leg.  The doctors think the mass might be pressing on the Vena Cava which may have caused it.  They are starting her on  blood thinners to prevent any other clots.  As you can see,  my amazing mother has had quite the last few months.  We have had many up and downs and she truly appreciates all the prayers, cards, gifts, visits etc.   Thanks again and I will try to keep this site updated to let you know the latest in her battle.  


~Laura

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