Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Nancy courageously battled and beat stage three breast cancer in 2010. After five years, cancer patients are usually returned to their primary care doctor and no longer monitored by oncology. In October 2016, during an unrelated ultrasound, doctors discovered small cancerous growths on her liver, spine, and spleen. At the time, she was showing no symptoms. The biopsies determined that she now had stage 4, metastatic breast cancer.
She started chemotherapy again in December, with a new medication that has shown excellent results in extending the length and quality of life for people with MBC. It wasn't easy, but she continued treatment and lived independently without too many problems. In January, she began to experience severe pain in her abdomen. Doctors ran every test but could not identify the cause. Scans showed the growth of the cancer had been halted.
In late January and early February, Mom began to have a lot of trouble breathing and was extremely fatigued. She and the doctors believed it was related to the chemotherapy drugs, but it continued to worsen and she was soon having a hard time getting enough to eat and staying awake.
Finally in March, she was admitted to the hospital with dehydration and pain in her abdomen again. Doctors discovered at that time that her liver was not functioning and filled with solid blood clots. She was given medication to dissolve the clots, and doctors believed she would be able to return to a fairly normal life. Unfortunately, the clots didn't seem to be dissolving and her liver function continued to worsen. When the treatments failed to improve her condition, doctors ordered a CT scan to determine if there was a blockage that was preventing the liver from clearing out. Sadly, it was not a blockage.
Doctors determined that in a very short period of time, cancer has taken over 75% of her liver. Because you need a healthy liver to process chemo, it is no longer an option. With her family at her side, she made the decision to enter hospice care.