Tami Strantz | CaringBridge

Tami Strantz

First post: Jun 25, 2018 Latest post: Jul 12, 2018
https://www.gofundme.com/tami-strantz  (https://www.gofundme.com/tami-strantz )  this is the link to my moms gofundme.com page for those who would like to help with medical costs. Thanks so much!

Welcome to our CaringBridge site for Tami (my mom). We (her daughters and friends) are starting this site to help keep everyone up to date with how she is doing! I'm going to do my best to catch everyone up to date. On Saturday June 9th my mom text me asking if I could come over to talk I was out of town but instantly I had a bad feeling and knew something was wrong. I called her around noon, that's when she told me she had cancer. She told me it was in her brain, lungs, ribs and the lymph nodes around her heart aorta and that’s all she knew at that point. This was so unexpected. She's so young still, 51 years old, how could she have cancer in so many spots? Leading up to this day she had some signs there was something going on. For the last few months she had blurry vision, little bit of chest tightness and back soreness but the last thing I would think was she had cancer. The biggest issue was with her eye she was having problems with her right eye bothering her she would see flashing lights and blurry spots also losing some of her peripheral vision. She was diagnosed with something in her retina of her eye and was told she needed to lower her stress levels and get rechecked after a couple weeks. When she was rechecked, it looked fine and the eye doctor said he was surprised by how she managed to lower her stress and make it appear better. So, thinking it was nothing major to worry about she continued to keep her stress levels low, but her eye slowly started getting worse. So, a couple weeks ago she went back in and had it looked at because the sight and flashing lights in the eye were becoming worse. The doctor noticed something in the eye that was not normal, and he ordered a MRI of the head when the results came in they were devastating. She had cancer not only in her eye but also in her brain (7 spots they could see), lungs, bones and lymph nodes around the heart aorta. Instantly we thought it must be breast cancer, but we were told it could also me Melanoma. For those of you who don't know my mom as well she is a 10-year survivor of stage 2 breast cancer. She had a mastectomy on her right breast and went through all the chemotherapy, surgeries and reconstructive surgery to get rid of all the cancer. It was a process I never would have understood until I seen it firsthand. She fought it and she won! So, I found this out Saturday June 9th and her first Oncology appointment was Monday June 11th. We met with a wonderful oncology doctor at the Cambridge Clinic and started the plan of what kind of action we would take. He said we had to start radiation on the brain right away (10 sessions so Monday through Friday and weekends off), get a PET scan of the body and a biopsy from the lung to diagnose the kind of cancer it was. So, her first radiation appointment was the next day where she was fitted for the mask and they explained everything to her. Wednesday June 13th was her first session of radiation and they also took the biopsy from her lung to see what sort of cancer we would be dealing with (we were praying it was breast cancer). So, it was hopeful that it was a reoccurring breast cancer. So,  she continued her radiation Thursday and Friday. Friday June 15th, she had her PET scan done and then it was time to wait for more results to see if it had spread to any more parts of her body. Saturday night she got a call from one of her doctors telling her it was breast cancer and it was NOT melanoma. That was a sense of relief but dealing with cancer even the news you hope for doesn't give you the relief you want. So, she had the weekend off of radiation and continued radiation on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday June 20th after her radiation appointment Wednesday we met again with the Oncologist doctor for the first time since finding out the cancer was breast cancer. There he set a plan in place with the next steps of treatment. We are still waiting on one test result and that's whether her breast cancer is HER2 positive or HER2 negative. Her cancer previous was HER2 negative and we are praying that it is again HER2 negative. The oncologist said that cancers can mutate and become HER2 positive, so we have to wait for the test results to know. If its HER2 negative she will start a chemo pill form as soon as her radiation is done so Tuesday June 26th will be her last session of radiation that will be 10 total sessions on her brain. If she is HER2 negative she will start taking the chemo pill immediately after radiation and it will have less side effects than the IV form and she wont need a chest port for chemo put in her chest. The most important part about the pill form is it has better chances of crossing over the brain layers into the cancer spots in her brain the IV form can not do that as well. She will have cycles of 2 weeks on the chemo pill and 1 week off the chemo pill this will continue for 4-6 months.  As of right now Thursday June 21st that's what we know. So, we are waiting on the HER2 test and should hopefully know by this weekend. The oncologist also said there will not be any more body scans or MRI's until after 4-6 months of treatment because sometimes the treatment makes the cancer swell and appear to be getting worse, so he said they wait the 4-6 months to get an accurate idea of how well treatment is working. So Please everyone keep my mom, family and friends in your prayers! We will keep this site updated and feel free to message with any questions!


A few things I would like to share about my mom.
-She has raised money and walked the Susan G. Komen 3Day 60mile walk for breast cancer FOUR times ( raising $2,300 EACH time)  and volunteered in 2009 on the medical crew with her friend DeeAnna who is also a survivor of breast cancer. 
-My mom has hosted many bake sales to raise money for friends, family and others in our community in situations similar to hers. She has spent so much of her life helping others and raising money for others. Any time she hears of someone in need she is always organizing a way to help whether its a bake sale, garage sale, event at a local restaurant, having shirts made or baking multiple meals for families she always finds a way to help anyone and everyone. 
-My mom is going to continue to try and keep her work schedule and keep working as a nurse at our local clinic while going through all this treatment. She is seriously the strongest person i know and i just love her so much. Please keep my mom in your prayers. Thanks so much!
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