Sheri Zambruski

First post: Jan 21, 2019 Latest post: Sep 18, 2019
On January 10, 2019, Sheri was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a malignant tumor of cartilage producing cells, originating in the bone. Sheri's symptoms began in early December, when she started experiencing pain and spasms in her right hip, which radiated down her leg and into her right foot. At first, Sheri thought her pain to be sciatica which led her to see her chiropractor. Unlike her visits in the past, this did not provide any relief. The chiropractor suggested that the pain may have been caused by a herniated disk. After several weeks of increasing pain, visits with her primary physician, talking to a pain management specialist, receiving an epidural, physical therapy, and prolonged approval from the insurance company, an MRI was finally ordered. The MRI showed an abnormal mass growing in her sacrum, a bone located in the lower back between the hips. This mass caused the bone to fracture. Throughout these tests, blood was drawn multiple times, revealing nothing out of the ordinary. A CT scan was performed on Christmas Eve to determine if the mass had metastasized (spread to other parts of the body); results showed that it had not. Keeping with tradition, we spent Christmas Day together as a family, thanked God that it hadn't spread, and did what we do best: playing games and using laughter as the best medicine.

Sheri has a wonderful support group at Mercy, where she works. They were able to get her in to see an oncologist and schedule a biopsy within a few days. Without their help, Sheri may have had to wait months to get these tests done. The biopsy results revealed the chondrosarcoma. Sheri has been referred to Dr. Douglas McDonald, an orthopedic oncologist at Barnes-Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis. Although they are fairly confident that the cancer is localized to the sacrum, doctors ordered a PET scan, for a full body image, to be sure. We are told that surgery, to remove the mass, is the primary treatment. Chemotherapy is not normally effective, but radiation is a possibility. The PET scan is scheduled for this Wednesday, January 16th. Results and treatment options will be discussed in an appointment on January 23rd with Dr. McDonald.

Sheri is currently experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for her to sit or stand for any length of time. Doctors are working on pain management to make her more comfortable.  Sheri; her sister, Sue; and her nephew, Kyle, will monitor this page frequently and provide updates as they become available.  We believe in the power of prayer and ask that you pray for Sheri, her family, and the doctors treating her #SheriStrong