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Mom's Journey began on Dec.23rd when she went to see her physician about stomach/abdominal pains and cramping, decreased appetite and weight loss. It was suggested she pursue further evaluation, which included a colonoscopy and biopsy of the liver. On January 3rd she went to St. Vincent's women's hospital for an ultrasound and lab work, hoping to find the source of her pain and discomfort. On January 11th, she went into St. Vincent's for an MRI, which yielded negative results. On January 19th, she went in for her colonoscopy and the EGD and sigmoid colon biopsy revealed a mass in the colon. With indications of liver nodules from the MRI, they ordered a liver biopsy which took place on January 26th. Again, the results were discouraging, but a plan of treatment was put in place and there was hope for recovery and so the battle began.
She would do 3 hour chemotherapy treatments once every other wk for 4 months, with a lighter 46 hour dose of chemo delivered intermittently after the initial bi-weekly treatment via fanny-pack. A port was put in place on February 2nd which would allow for easy access for treatment and blood draw without always having to stick her with a needle or set up an IV. The next day, February 3rd, she had a PET/CT scan which would confirm the colon and liver cancer and give us a more complete picture of what we were dealing with and if there was anything else to worry about. It was confirmed that indeed it was colon and liver cancer, so we would start treatment the next week.
On February 7th, Mom went to St, Vincent's for her first round of Chemotherapy. She appeared to have handled it well, coming home a little tired but strong, positive and in good spirits. By February 9th, she had completed her 46 hour chemo fanny-pack treatment and IVP port flush and everything seemed to be looking good. All indications were that she had taken the first treatment very well. We were ready to rest up for the next 11 days and get ready for round 2 of the chemo treatment plan.
Unfortunately just a few days later, late Saturday night February 11th while watching TV with my dad and I, she started to complain of pains, cramping and severe discomfort in her upper abdomen region, and after posting a 100.5 temperature, we immediately took her to the St. Vincent's emergency room. That night into the early morning, they ran some tests and found that she had diverticulitis, which happens when pouches(diverticula) form in the wall of the colon and then become inflamed or infected. She was then checked into the surgical unit of St. V's around 9am on February 12th, with the doctors opting for treatment with antibiotics over surgery, citing that surgery in her weakened state could be risky and antibiotics should work effectively.
The first couple days were scary and stressful but looked promising to get the diverticulitis healed and her treatment plan back on track. One of the challenges Mom faced was no food or liquid, only IV, for the first few days to allow the antibiotics to do their work. On the 3rd day TPN was introduced as her nutritional source & a clear liquid diet prescribed. During this time Mom received a hemoglobin blood transfusion & also received white blood cell boosts. On Tuesday February 21, the oncology department decided to push back Mom's next round of treatment until she could gain her strength back to handle additional chemo. During Mom's stay at St Vs surgery unit, Dad & I, as well as Brian & his fiancé Stef, have been allowed to spend 24 hours-a-day with Mom to support her during her journey. On Sunday February 26th, Sherryl's mom May, twin sister Sharon and sister-in-law Amie came in from Pittsburgh for a visit, visibly lifting her spirits and brightening her smile. The team of Nurses, Techs & Doctors have given Mom a very high level of treatment and many of them have developed a caring and personal relationship with her & our family and we are truly grateful for them and their service.
On Monday afternoon Mom was transferred to the St Vs Hospice Care facility at 8450 Payne Rd Indy, In 42268, for additional treatment. Although this battle has been brutal, she is staying strong and positive and won't ever give up. Please share well wishes, some kind words, a few fond memories, a picture or anything you think might brighten her day and let her know how much she means to you.. Thank you