Shelley Rau Long

First post: Apr 14, 2020 Latest post: Jul 5, 2021
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Shelley spent Christmas Day 2019 like usual, enjoying cooking and baking with family, but this year she was more tired than usual. The following morning, she was having a hard time taking a deep breath and called her doctor. They were able to get her in right away, and after listening to her chest, and taking an X-ray, she was immediately admitted to Maple Grove Hospital for pleural effusion.  

The following day, 1300 cc of dark bloody fluid was removed from her left lung.  Shelley felt fine other than being cooped up in the hospital, and the kids and Larry were there to play games and keep her company. MGH doesn’t have a pulmonologist, so they wanted to transfer her to North Memorial Hospital. Since the kids were scheduled to fly out in a couple of days, they agreed to let her check out on the 28th and go into the North Memorial Emergency Room if she didn’t feel well. 

On December 30th, Shelley woke up feeling poorly again, and went to the Emergency Room at NMH, blood tests and a CAT scan of her chest were done. The scan happened to capture  her left ovary and she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, as well as Influenza A, she was given Tamiflu and sent home. 

Larry was able to get Shelley into see a pulmonologist on December 31st. He confirmed the diagnosis and gave her the first CA 125 count, which was 1996, a normal count is below 35. The pulmonologist ordered a PET scan and an additional Thorancentesis for January 2nd, where an additional 900 cc of bloody fluid was removed from Shelley’s left lung. We had our first appointment scheduled with an oncologist two weeks later. 

We were able to get into the oncologist on January 6, instead of waiting for the two weeks, our friend, Jodi, came with us for additional support. It was at this appointment that we were given the official diagnosis, stage IV Ovarian (Epithelial) cancer. We weren’t given a lot of hope at that time, but Shelley has remained hopeful and positive. 

January 10 - An IR Port was placed to make getting chemo and blood draws easier. 

January 21 - Echo Strain performed- results were normal with the exception of pleural effusion. 

January 22 - CA 125 increased to 2392.  First chemo, everything went exceptionally well. 

February 19 - CA 125 decreased to 1318! Second chemo, once again every thing went very well. 

March 18 - CA 125 decreased to 192! Third chemo went very well. 

April 10 - CAT scan with oral and intravenous contrast dye done.

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