Greetings, and welcome to Sarah Crump's CaringBridge page!
When you think of Sarah, don’t you get a picture of health, strength and vitality? Whether she is rock climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, doing grueling fieldwork on Baffin Island, poring over data in her lab at UCSC, or going on trail runs with Nodin and the pups… she is a force!
Unfortunately, after over a month of unexplained abdominal pain, Sarah was evaluated in early April by a GI specialist who ordered a colonoscopy. The results were abnormal; a large mass was identified and biopsies were performed. Soon after, Sarah received a chilling diagnosis: a rare and aggressive type of colorectal cancer called high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC).
The ensuing weeks brought tests and scans, many accompanied by discouraging news. The primary colorectal tumor is very large, and there have been metastases to the liver, lymph nodes, and more recently to the sternum – making it Stage 4.
We are grateful that Sarah is being managed/treated by a first-rate oncology team from the the UC - San Francisco Center for Neuroendocrine Tumors, in concert with a colorectal surgeon and radiation oncologist.
(It turns out that Christine, mother of Sarah’s dear college friend Charlotte Muzzi, knows an oncologist who knows someone at UCSF who is really good with this particular type of cancer. Christine’s friend made contact on Sarah’s behalf, and we are grateful that Dr. Bergsland has taken on Sarah’s case.)
Chemotherapy began on April 22. The treatment consists of 6 cycles at 3-week intervals, 3 consecutive days per cycle — approximately 4-½ months' total duration. Sarah had a few rough spots during her first round, but overall weathered it successfully. Blood tests from last week suggest that her cancer is responding well to the first round of chemo.
Radiation treatment has also been on the table. However, over the past few days, Sarah has been facing an increased potential for bowel obstruction due to the size of the tumor. We were hoping that radiation might be fast-tracked to begin as soon as next week, but now await the judgment of the care team on whether a surgical procedure is necessary first (which unfortunately would delay both radiation and chemotherapy).
Sarah’s family and friends have rallied to support her and Nodin, helping transport Sarah to appointments, picking up groceries, providing moral support, etc. Sarah had to relocate from Santa Cruz to an Airbnb condo in San Francisco for her treatment.
Nodin, who is working remotely full-time at a new job, has been bouncing back and forth between San Francisco and their home in Santa Cruz, where he is also packing up their house for their impending move to Salt Lake City at the end of May(!) Despite having to juggle all these moving parts, Nodin has been a rock for Sarah. The two of them make quite a team.
We are grateful to Nodin’s mother, Holly, who has been staying in the Santa Cruz house to take care of their dogs, Sorrel and Lupine, as well as to help Nodin pack. We are also so very grateful to all of you – too many to mention by name, but you know who you are – who have volunteered to come to CA to help out.
As you know, Sarah is capable of tackling and conquering big challenges –physical, mental, and emotional. She has had her share of big adventures and close calls. She is now embarking on maybe the hardest thing she has ever done. And we know she can do this. We appreciate your kind thoughts, prayers and positivity. We’ll keep this site updated with new information (and photos!) as we are able. You can send Sarah messages of love and support via text, email, or messages on this site!