Hi everyone.......Mindy's journey started March 30th, 2020 after she had her first ever seizure. She was taken to Queen of the Valley hospital where she underwent blood work and a CT scan of her head, all appeared normal. She was then transferred to Kaiser Vallejo where they did a head/brain MRI and all was normal. She had been under the care of her doctor recently for her hypothyroid condition that she has had since she was 7 years old. They couldn't get her levels to stabilize, but after birth that is normal. She was released later that day and it was chalked up to stress and exhaustion , and her unbalanced thyroid. After all she is a "boy mom" to three small boys, Hudson 4 years old, Cooper 2 years old, and Maverick who was only 6 weeks old.... She came home and with the help of family, she was able to get some much needed rest....all seemed to be doing great.
Tuesday, April 7th - 3:00 am, Mindy had another seizure in her sleep. Nick woke due to it and immediately called 911 and me (her worried mom). When Cal Fire and AMR arrived she was still in and out of consciousness, completely unaware to what was going on around her. They quickly started an IV and put her on oxygen. They then tested her blood sugar levels.....she was 40, which is extremely low, so low that it caused her to have a seizure . She's not diabetic so this was strange to us. She was given glucose and her sugar levels came up to 100 and she started to come around. She was very confused and wondering why I was laying in her bed with her holding her hand and why there were 6 fireman standing in her bedroom. She left the house in an ambulance and due to COVID19, nobody, and I mean nobody is allowed to see or visit her.
She was transported to QVH to get her stabilized before she was transferred to Vallejo Kaiser. At Kaiser she became a mystery to the doctors...they knew she had low blood sugar, but they couldn't get her blood sugar to stabilize. She was on an IV drip of glucose and she was hovering at 40 blood sugar levels. She was alert and conscious and having conversations. She felt great. They were feeding her well balanced meals and giving her ice cream, cookies and any thing sugary she wanted every two hours to keep her sugar levels up. They decided they needed to admit her to monitor her sugar levels throughout the night and they were doing more tests. Still due to COVID19, she is alone and is not allowed visitors, not even her husband.
Wednesday - April 8th - Sugar levels dropped all night, couldn't get stabilized so more tests were run. Blood sugar dropped to 19, and she was still alert and seemed fine, other than having absolutely no sleep as they were pricking her fingers to get blood samples every 15 minutes. Doctors decided to transfer her to ICU to monitor her more closely. BS levels hovered at 40, even with a full time glucose drip, sugar pills and ice cream and cookies. She now went from one doctor to a "team of doctors" They decided to do a CT scan of her abdomen / pancreas. Wednesday afternoon we were advised that Mindy had a tumor on her pancreas called insulinoma. News was devastating to all of us as the word tumor on the pancreas seem scary to this mom. My heart was breaking for her......alone in ICU, no family or friends by her side to help you wrap your head around all of this. Before they could do surgery they needed to do a nuclear pet scan on her. This was needed to see what type of surgery Mindy would need to remove the tumor. Her tumor is located on the front of the pancreas at the head. Most insulinoma tumors are on the back of the pancreas so this may be a little more challenging for the doctors to remove and she may need a surgery called the "Whipple Procedure". Its a pretty complex operation, removing the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine, the gallbladder and the bile duct. Before they could do this they had to stabilize her blood sugar levels so they started her on a new medication to lower her insulin levels in hopes that it would raise her blood sugar.
Thursday - April 9th - Blood sugar didn't raise during the night as we had hoped, even tho her insulin levels dropped...but wait there is more, her calcium levels are high????? Mindy is now starting to feel alone and isolated, not being able to see family due to COVID19. She's nervous, alone, in ICU, this is starting to take a mental toll on Mindy. She misses her boys, and can't stop asking about them. Her sugars are still low. Doctors told her she needed immediate surgery but they had to find a facility that can do the nuclear PET scan before surgery. We (Her family Nick, Michael, Todd and Donna, Doug and I) are becoming very concerned. Doctors won't call us we have no way to know what is happening as Mindy is our only line of communication between us and them. She is now in no condition to be doing this. We.......Nick, Todd and I have asked Donna (Mindy's step mom) to be her advocate. Mindy and Donna agreed and we waited for the Doctor to call Donna. The lead doctor of Mindy's "team of doctors" called Donna. Mindy was just diagnosed with genetic condition called MEN1. What is MEN1???? I didn't know either. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, is a hereditary condition associated with tumors of the endocrine (hormone producing) glands. Most common tumors will present themselves in the parathyroid gland, islet cells of the pancreas and pituitary gland.
Friday - April 10th - Mindy woke this am and her first text to me was "mom, blood sugars are above 100 now, the new medicine is finally working". What a relief....... Mindy is transferred to Kaiser in Santa Clara for a nuclear PET scan of her entire body. Later that day she was transferred to Oakland Kaiser. She is scheduled for surgery on Monday to remove the tumor......still not sure if it will be the "Whipple procedure" or just a simple procedure to remove the tumor. Pet scan will determine that.....waiting, waiting, waiting. Mindy notified us that Michael, her boys, Todd and I will all need to be tested to see if we have the MEN1 gene.....the gene can sit dormant forever and even if you have MEN1, you may never have any complications from it. But when it unleashes, it can do so by developing tumors.
Saturday - April 11th, - Woke to a text message from Mindy......"I can't talk, too upset......call dad". Doug and I immediately called Todd and Donna....on speaker phone Donna relayed to us that Mindy has multiple tumors on her pancreas, they were doing another CT of her abdomen and would be in touch with us to determine what their plan of attack will be. We still believe surgery will be Monday.....just waiting for surgeon to come in and report back. Hours after the news, I was able to talk to Mindy......Since getting the news her blood pressure is high and her heart rate is high. She was reminded she was a Hudson.....and she is tough. Todd and I didn't raise a "needy" girl......she was raised to be independent and strong. SHE IS independent and strong, she is just like her mama (for those of you that know me....you will know exactly what that means) An outdoor enthusiast, usually wearing camouflage attire, Mindy girl was country raised and needed a reality check. AND to prevent the ICU nurses from RUNNING into her room when her blood pressure and heart rate would increase, we all said what needed to be said.......No more "what if's". PERIOD!!!!! One step at a time, one day at a time, one issue at a time......This afternoon was spent with Mindy FaceTiming her boys and my sister while they were on a walk. She FaceTimed with Bill and Wendy (Nicks parents) who were watching the baby, Maverick. At least we have ways to communicate with each other. Doug and I had a 90 minute phone call with Mindy this afternoon. We laughed and giggled and talked about the boys.
Sunday - April 12th, - Donna just spoke with the surgeon, the plan is to operate tomorrow morning at 8 am. Surgery will last about 6 hours. Surgeon said she has multiple tumors on the tail of her pancreas. Originally they thought they would remove the head of the pancreas, but since they found more tumors on the tail, they have decided to remove 70 - 80% of the tail and keep the head which means she doesn't have to go through the Whipple procedure. They will just remove the tumor on the head. Her spleen may need to be removed as well as two lymph nodes that have "spots" on them. The surgeon didn't seem too concerned and said it could be nothing as they are so minuscule but will remove them (lymph nodes) as a precautionary measure. Her hospital stay post op will be 3 to 5 days. Anyone that knows Mindy, knows it will be 2 days! HAHA...... If Mindy had her way she would be home tomorrow night after surgery!
Mindy is in good spirits this am and is confident surgery will go well. She's also very happy she won't be in the hospital recovering from a Whipple procedure. She wants to be home with her kiddos and hubby!