Teresa Harkins

First post: Aug 30, 2017 Latest post: Sep 5, 2017
We have created this Caring Bridge site in order to make it easier to communicate with everyone about what is happening with Mom's health. Texting everyone and trying to explain everything over and over again can be overwhelming. We truly appreciate everyone's thoughts, prayers, and their concern, but here we can put everything together in one place and make it accessible to you all!

Mom was diagnosed in late April of this year with pancreatic cancer. The mass was blocking her gallbladder and revealed its nasty self by causing obstructive jaundice which is what led us to the discovery. A stint was placed to open the blockage and while inside they were able to see that the bastard had attached itself to her main artery. Due to that discovery the mass was considered inoperable.  Putting her at a Stage 2.  She was given  two options, one was no treatment and 6 months of life, or  starting chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumor hopefully get it to release the artery so it could be removed, obviously mom proceeded with that route.  It has been a bumpy ride but she is strong and determined to defeat this bastard!

On the morning of her sixth chemo infusion we met with her oncologist and gave us the news that we had been waiting for. The last CT scan had shown that the coward had either shrunk or just moved away from the artery that it had wrapped it's nasty little paws around and that she was now a candidate for surgery to remove the tumor.  She had to gain some weight and be chemo free for a couple weeks prior to the big day. 

Surgery day came, and then ended quickly. When they went in to start the procedure they discovered that the cancer had spread into her liver. Now putting her at a stage 4. They closed her back up and came out to deliver the devastating news. With heavy hearts and damaged emotions we headed home. We are a very strong willed family, and Mom has so many family and friends to support her. We do anything and everything we can to keep her hopeful and positive. We aren't backing down, we are planning to get second and if needed third or fourth opinions from Mayo and American Cancer Centers.   

Last week they started Mom on a new recipe of chemotherapy designed to prolong (as Mom say's) her ticking time clock. We are aggressively planning to move forward from here. The first infusion of the new drug seemed to be way milder at first, but around 5 am the next morning Mom developed a bad reaction and became violently ill. I rushed her to the ER in Detroit Lakes, where she was administered fluids and other medication to try and control her nausea and stop her pain. Nothing seemed to work for the nausea and she was loosing a considerable amount of body weight from loss of fluids, going from 127 lbs down to 116 lbs in a matter of hours. Her blood pressure and heart rate were triggering all sorts of alarms and bells to go off in her room. She was unable to keep any type of blood pressure medicine in her system and was transferred to Fargo by ambulance. She was so bummed out because she doesn't remember any of it, and she had never been in an ambulance before. She stayed in Fargo where they were able to get her system going back in the right direction. Her oncology team are unsure of why she reacted the way she did. She is back home now, and feeling much better! 

It has been a difficult journey so far, but Mom is fighting it hard and we are all there behind her, like her own personal little army, and we trudge forward with hope and dedication. We truly appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we fight this fight. Thank you everyone!

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