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As many of you know, Deb has been in a long fight with colon cancer. Diagnosed the first time back in 2007 with stage 3 colon cancer. She went through surgery and a chemotherapy regime lasting for 12 weeks. This was followed by 6 month checkups with the oncologist to make sure nothing was growing back. In 2012, she was declared cancer free and in remission. We considered ourselves very fortunate and were thankful to have beaten cancer.
However, two years later Deb began having pain in her stomach and left hip. We went to several doctors and specialists, none of whom could find a cause for her pain. She was consequently referred to a pain management clinic to treat her pain. This process took approximately 1 year.
Then in 2015, our family doctor grew suspicious of something he saw in one of the blood tests he did on her and ordered further testing. Those test results showed that Deb's cancer had came back, matastisised, and was now at stage 4. The cancer had spread to numerous places.
We set up an appointment with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America for a second opinion. They eventually confirmed the diagnosis after doing their own tests. They recommended a treatment plan consisting of radiation and chemotherapy. Deb kept up the fight going thru 6 radiation treatments to her left hip and 12 more weeks of chemotherapy. The radiation got rid of her hip pain, and the chemotherapy reduced the size of the other tumors until they would not shrink anymore. At that point she was put on daily chemo pills in hopes of keeping the tumors from growing. We were also told that at some point the cancer would mutate and the drugs would no longer be effective.
After six weeks of the new plan, Deb began having pain in her right hip and leg. She was also having trouble with her bowels. After a new set of scans they found that the tumors had grown, and that there were new ones. Deb needed to have 27 radiation treatments in her colon and fought through that.
She was also told she needed more radiation for a new tumor on her right hip along with another round of chemotherapy. However, the scan also showed that there was some "free air" in her abdominal cavity and that they needed to do exploratory surgery to find out where it was leaking in there from before it caused an infection in her body.
She had the surgery and the surgeons told us that they thought her colon had ruptured, let the air in, and then sealed itself. They recommended 2 weeks of recuperation before proceeding with the radiation and chemotherapy, so we came home putting Deb in a rehab center to recuperate.
When it was time to return to start the treatments, Deb's condition had worsened and she was not stable enough to make the trip back to Chicago. It was recommended that we consider Hospice care for Deb, since they didn't believe her condition would improve enough to receive any further treatments.
Deb is currently at the Mala Strana nursing home in New Prague, MN. She is being kept comfortable and having her pain controlled by the Hospice team.
We are surrounding her with friends and family, and smothering her with love.
Also, please visit Debs Go Fund Me page by following this link. https://www.gofundme.com/smith-family-2nd-cancer-battle-fund
Thank you again for visiting.