Michelle Shafer

First post: Sep 23, 2022 Latest post: Nov 21, 2023
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Last year I kept getting sick and feeling unusually tired.  Sometime this summer I began feeling like I had a sinus infection but no significant discharge. I even tried to netti pot and it didn't go through and burned. Mind you, I didn't make the connection or think anything of it  as we were super busy! We had nine art fairs to do between May and early September, Aaron's  graduation, freshman orientation at ISU and college dorm move in day! And, music squeezed in ! 

On August 18th, after we moved Aaron I went to my dentist thinking perhaps I had an abscessed tooth as I began to experience  pretty severe tooth/nerve pain. My dentist referred me to Dr. Sim an endodontist.  We explored my symptoms which included some face tingling, left eye tearing etc. on top of the pain. My teeth were fine. But, he saw from the scan my sinuses were inflamed and should go immediately to an ENT and not wait! He saved my life!

I saw Dr. Michael Friedman on the 22nd. On the 24th with just novocaine he removed  a red grape size portion of a mass that was trapping a serious bacterial infection in my left sinus and sent it off for a biopsy. I likened the experience to Medival torture with novocaine! Seriously!  The biopsy came back as a neuroendocrine carcinoma , the rarest form of nasal cancer. He explained to me that the mass is a scull base tumor on my left crib form plate bone on the ceiling of my left sinus. He also indicated that normally that procedure would have been done under general anesthesia but he couldn't wait a month and had to proceed!  I'm very grateful he had the courage to just do it! I got through it! He is the ENT professor at RUSH Medical School so when I came in he knew! He assured me I will be fine and its curable. He saved my life by his direct action!  After the two weeks of antibiotics I began feeling betterish! He referred me to the the team at Rush or go to Pittsburg! 

Now, I'm under the care of some of the most brilliant doctors in the country if not the world. I was referred to Dr. Peter Papagiannopoulos who is overseeing my case.  He  assures I will get through this and be cancer free in the New Year. 

My case has been fast tracked. I saw Dr. P on the 12th and all my tests were done as of the 21st thanks to his nurse!!!  Fortunately, the tumor is isolated in my left sinus for the most part though it's made its way under my deviated septum headed into the right sinus. It has not breached the lining of my brain which is why I'm going to make it!!! And no where else in my body!!!

My surgery was done on October 7th!!!

I'm so grateful!! I know I have god and science and I will be cancer free in the new year!

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