Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Dear Family and Friends,
I am so appreciative of all the love and support I've received from everyone to help me start this new marathon. It's very clear I will not be alone, and for that I will be eternally grateful. This wonderful site is to keep you updated on what is going on, where I am, what help I might need (as hard as it is for me to admit!), and for me to keep in touch with you.
To recap the evolution of where I am now, in mid-March, 2014, I went to my FNP because I developed a hernia in my left groin. She wasn't concerned, called it a femoral hernia, and said since it wasn't bothering me, surgery was elective. In April, I traveled to Virginia for my aunt's birthday, and noticed not feeling hungry (we Gauthiers are perpetually hungry!) and chalked it up to travel/excitement/stress. Before my trip to Maui in early May, I found another hernia, which was below the breastplate, and made another appointment with my FNP, May, 14, this time for a yearly exam, in case she dismissed the hernia. My PAP was normal, and she did sent me to a surgeon, Dr. Guts (not really, but my mother affectionally referred to her specialists by the body part they were treating). The night before my appointment with him, I found a lump in my right groin. At our meeting, we discussed the two hernias, and I also pointed out the newly found lump. He thought it might be an abdominal hernia, but wanted to do a CT to make sure. That was done on May 23, and he called me several hours later, after the radiologist had consulted him with the preliminary findings, which showed "marked ascities" (accumulation of abdominal fluid), a mass in the lower right side, and nodules in the upper left, the omentum, and liver. Dr. Guts referred me to Dr. William Winter, a gynecological oncologist, on May 27, who diagnosed me with stage IIIc ovarian cancer, and scheduled surgery for Friday, June 6 (happy day after birthday to me!).
In the meantime, the ascites was accumulating on my belly, making life quite uncomfortable. May 28, I had 3 liters drained, which improved my life 100%, but it started collecting again, and today I had another 3+ liters pulled off. That should hold me until Friday! Surgery is scheduled at 2:30pm at Portland Providence Medical Center, and Dr. Winter (so special he gets to keep his own name), estimated I will be there 2-5 days, depending on what he finds Friday.
So it's been quite a ride already, as you can imagine. Thank you again for taking the time to visit this page, and I do so appreciate all you've done just in the past week. I feel so blessed to have such supportive friends and family, both far and near . I will do my best to keep you updated, and I look forward to seeing your cheery faces soon!