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Welcome to the CaringBridge website for Patty Lowe. We are using it to keep Patty's family and friends updated on the condition of her health and treatment. We appreciate your prayers, support and concern. Thank you for visiting.
In October 2015, Patty was diagnosed with Stage II triple-negative invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast. In November 2015 she had a lumpectomy and 2 lymph nodes were also removed. In January 2016, she began 6 months of chemotherapy and radiation. Following treatment, it was determined that her cancer was in remission.
In January 2017, a PET scan revealed that her cancer had metastasized to her cervical spine and hip, signifying that the cancer was now Stage IV.
In March 2017, she came under the care of Dr. Douglas Yee from the University of Minnesota. In April 2017, she resumed chemotherapy. Imaging taken in July 2017 indicated that the cancer had metastasized to her liver and she began a new, trial chemotherapy treatment in September 2017.
With each of Patty's treatments, the goal has been to maintain the size of the malignant tumor or to shrink it. A PET scan in December 2017 showed that the size of the tumor in her liver had grown minimally, but enough to conclude that the trial treatment was not sufficiently effective.
In the middle of January 2018, after not feeling well over Christmas, she began experiencing debilitating headaches. Her care team struggled to determine what was causing them, but in February 2018, the combination of a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), CT scans and MRIs of her head suggested an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of her brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus. We consulted with the Neurology and Neurosurgery teams from the University of Minnesota and they recommended putting a "shunt" in a ventricle of her brain, connected to a catheter and including a valve that can be controlled magnetically. The shunt system works to move CSF from her brain to her abdomen to remove excess CSF from her brain and relieve pressure in her head. The surgery was a success and brought her immediate relief.
During the operation, the surgeons took a sample of CSF to biopsy. The biopsy revealed additional cancerous cells in the fluid.
A week after being discharged from the hospital, she began experiencing severe abdominal pain and was admitted back into the hospital. Various imaging and testing showed a growth in her intestines that was causing a blockage. A biopsy determined the growth was not cancerous. In March 2018, colorectal surgeons from the University of Minnesota performed a Colostomy and she spent a little over two weeks in the hospital.
She came home on March 18, 2018 and will need 4-5 weeks to recover from her surgery. We sincerely appreciate all of the love, prayers and support for her. It goes a long way!