Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this page to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Ruth was diagnosed with stage IIIB colorectal cancer on May 3, 2019. She underwent 8 rounds of IV chemotherapy and 28 rounds of oral chemotherapy and concurrent pelvic radiation therapy, followed shortly after by surgery to remove the remainder of the tumor and affected lymph nodes. On Easter Sunday (April 2020) after nearly a year of treatment and recover, Ruth finally returned to work at the Fire Station. On May 18, 2020, just over a year from her initial diagnosis, Ruth was given a clean bill of health, and had her port removed.
Unfortunately, less than six weeks after she was given the "all clear," metastatic cancer was discovered on her uterine cervix. This particular form of metastatic disease is extremely rare, and thus caught everyone by complete surprise. Swift action was taken to determine the exact location and extent of the disease. Various scans and exams revealed a poor prognosis.
We were given only one, very extreme, surgical option to treat the cancer. Even with it's significant risks, it was only promising about a 10-20% chance that the cancer wouldn't return.
The next few weeks were filled with scans, lab tests and appointments. We also pursued a second opinion at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The incredible doctors and staff at Mayo provided an unparalleled level of communication and care, but sadly, they were unable to offer the miraculous treatment option we were hoping for. They agreed that a total pelvic exenteration would provide the only chance of cure and survival. Medical treatment options alone (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy) would only slow things and potentially prolong life by a couple of years.
After a great deal of research, prayers and deliberation, we have decided to move forward with the surgery here at UW Hospital. The surgery will be performed by a team of four surgical oncologist and will take approximately 10-12 hours to complete. Surgery is scheduled for this coming Monday, August 17.
While we are afraid of the unknown, and the difficult days that lie ahead, we are doing our best to cast all our cares on the Lord. We are so grateful for all of the love, support, and payers from all of our friends and family. We couldn't do any of this without you.
Love, Chris, Ruth, Madeline, Caleb, Noah and Zachary (and Kona 🐾)