Welcome to Sue's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
As many of you know, Sue has been receiving treatment for lung cancer since August 2014. Since her initial diagnosis, there have been a number of treatment options for her type of lung cancer that have allowed her to enjoy a relatively robust quality of life. Unfortunately, the cancer developed resistance to the previous treatments, which was an expected occurrence, but certainly disappointing. Sue was encouraged to learn in March that she was eligible to start a new oral medication treatment designed to overcome the cancer's resistance by specifically targeting the cancer mutation recently detected in the tumor DNA circulating in her bloodstream.
Side effects from this new treatment have resulted in a constellation of symptoms that have been complicated and challenging to manage in recent weeks. Symptoms, including cough, difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, and eventually problems with sodium regulation and fluid balance, have resulted in two episodes of severe dehydration, which have compromised her strength, alertness, and ability to communicate with others. She has had difficulty speaking, as well as typing text and Facebook messages. There have been some hopeful signs that this new medication was shrinking her cancer, but during these dehydration episodes, the anti-cancer treatment has to be stopped.
Sue is currently in the hospital at M Health University of Minnesota Medical Center, receiving IV fluids while awaiting placement of a gastric feeding tube. She is hoping that supplemental liquid nutrition will improve her physical status and prevent future episodes of dehydration, while allowing her to resume her anti-cancer treatment.