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Mary Lou Retsema
Dec 5, 2017 Latest post:
Mar 15, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place as the cancer journey continues. Thank you for visiting. We deeply appreciate your support, encouragement and prayers!
On Thanksgiving 2013 Mary started experiencing severe pain down her leg, back and later in her abdomen. A CT scan revealed numerous large tumors in her abdomen and pelvis. While doctors initially believed the diagnosis was going to be leiomyosarcoma, the core biopsies did not support that diagnosis. After 3 1/2 years of treatment with various estrogen inhibitors, doctors sent Mary to Mayo, where a surgeon there thought he could perform a hysterectomy and remove the tumors. Surgery in July 2017 revealed that the tumors are actually a leiomyosarcoma. Unfortunately the surgeon was unable to remove many of the tumors due to severe blood loss.
While leiomyosarcoma is often a very aggressive cancer, we have been thankful that these tumors have been quite stable and slow growing. Mary has been blessed to enjoy quality life while living with these large tumors. While we know the tumors can change at any point and become more aggressive, we continue to pray for the tumors to remain stable or shrink. There is also hope for treatment through immunotherapy, an exciting new way of treating cancer, infection and diseases.
Through this long journey, we continue to trust and lean on our faithful God. One of Mary's favorite verses is Deuteronomy 33:27, "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."