Missy Rhatigan

First post: Jul 28, 2017 Latest post: Aug 21, 2017

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.   


We are so grateful for the constant love and support from family and friends all over!  It can be a challenge to keep everyone up to date with the latest, and we are hoping this will be a more effective way of sharing the updates we have as we continue to tackle the beast that is Lung Cancer.


Most of you know how it’s gone up to this point but I will give a brief summary (just in case).  Mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer late last year.  She and the dedicated Oncology team at Florida Cancer Specialists worked aggressively to zap large tumors infringing on the sensitive bones and nerves in her lower spinal region.  While we had some small wins and some challenges, the Doctors pressed on to find ways to treat her cancer along with the pain associated with stubborn tumors and side effects of new treatments.

At first a targeted therapy was chosen over Immunotherapy and Chemo due to the presence of specific biomarkers that suggested the cancerous cells could be targeted and eliminated without killing the healthy cells that existed in the same vicinity.  After three months the treatment proved ineffective as there was no reduction in cancerous cells.   

It should come as no surprise that if we are dealing with Missy, things are going to be unique.  This bodily reaction with a Targeted Therapy was an anomaly so the doctor immediately started chemo treatments while they dove into the reason her body didn’t  respond. 

Chemo continued and took a significant toll on her body and overall well-being.  Even a milder treatment caused major side effects and Mom was taking a physical beating. 

A few jaunts to the Emergency Room fixed symptoms temporarily but nothing seemed to work long term.  (Thanks to ER and Oncology the team at SMH- you guys we’re the best!)

Missy has traded vacations in the Hamptons and now Summers at Tidewell Hospice.  The team there was focused mainly on getting her pain under control while monitoring her physical capabilities with different combinations of medications.  As we all know, there is no “cure” for Lung Cancer (YET!) so the goal is to get Mom in a place where she can keep doing all her favorite things;  HGTV Fixer Upper Binges,  voraciously flipping through the season’s NY Times Best Sellers with coffee on the lanai, and chatting with friends and family. 

She is back home now in her palatial princess pad and it seems the Hospice Team has figured out the right combination of medications to keep her comfortable.  While much happier at home, her energy is pretty well zapped and she faces daily struggles with maintaining appetite, eating without feeling ill, and standing for too long.

She will be visited daily by her new best friends, the nursing team at Hospice.  Due to the presence of an IV pain pump, the team at Hospice is required to check on our gal daily.  We have already made friends with the home care team and look forward to meeting more of their staff. 

A big thank you to Tidewell Hospice for their constant accommodation to our family and friends, and their dedication to Mom’s comfort and happiness. 

More to come!  We will update you as we get new information. 

While Miss Manners is anxious to send out notes to all those who have send cards, gifts, and flowers, in the meantime please know how truly grateful she is for your love and support.  As you can all imagine, holding a pen becomes difficult with all of the cords and wires she is hooked up to!  All she talks about are her fantastic friends, both from the ole Village Walk Café * and miles around!   She truly thanks you all from the very bottom of her heart.

**Bob Malan, this also means you- whether you like it or not!** J



CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. Learn more about CaringBridge.

To interact with Missy’s website, sign in or register today.

By registering with CaringBridge, you will join over 300,000 people a day who are supporting friends and family members.

Sign In Or Register