Teresa's Journey: O'Donnell Teresa's Journey:

First post: Sep 6, 2019 Latest post: Feb 24, 2020
It started for us in late May of this year, 2019.  I was experiencing some digestive issues and started using a medication to help the problem. The med worked almost immediately, but within two days of taking it, I started experiencing stabbing back pain.  We tried to lower the dose, by skipping a day or cutting the pill in half, etc. The back pain persisted for about a week and a half, so we discontinued the medicine and went to the emergency room late that night. At the ER, I was treated for pain, had an x-ray and told them my story.  They sent me home with five days worth of meds.  The pain was gone for several weeks, and we just thought it was the meds.

Around the end of June and early July, the pain came back intermittently, but was very manageable.  I began my TMS treatments for Major Depressive Disorder at the Bradley Center, and since this was a daily treatment plan with weekends off, I occupied my mind with the process and dealt with some issues through counseling that had been haunting me and making my depression far worse. Midway through the treatments my family and I started seeing signs that the treatment was working and we were hopeful for the first time in many years of battling this disease.

It was then that the back pain started to worsen with some relief from non-narcotic pain medicine from my doctor. It still worsened. So on August 1. We headed  for the ER again. As before, they stopped the pain, took x-rays, and gave me 5 days of meds. About a week later, I consulted my doctor about the pain and she helped me with a stronger pain med, and I asked for a referral to Hughston Clinic. HC called me the next day and set up an appt. the following Wednesday with Dr. McGrory. Using the x-rays from Piedmont ER, and some shots he took himself, he conjectured that the pain was probably in the soft tissues of my pelvis, but since we couldn't see anything on the X-ray, he ordered an immediate MRI for Friday of the same week.

The MRI happened, and the HC set me up for seeing The doc on Sept 4. That's not what happened. Unbenownest  to me, Dr. Stay, a radiologist at HC, got my results at 5 p.m. the day of the MRI, and long story short, I was in front of Dr. McGrory at the Jack Hughton Hospital on Monday where he explained to me that I had a large mishapen lump on my spine. He wanted a needle biopsy, and I asked if we could do it that day. They couldn't, but they brought me back to the same hospital to do the needle biopsy the next day.  Several God things happened that day, that I will always be grateful for, but that is the subject of another blog post. Long story short, I found a great deal of peace even before the diagnosis was given.

After a pretty long wait, I kept my original Sept. 4 appt. with Dr. McGrory and he showed me the pathologists report. I have multiple tumors on, in and around my lower back spinal column.  Some of the cancer is also in my bone marrow.  There is at least one on my pelvis, which is where the biopsy was taken. The pathologist opined that it was lymphoma, a blood cancer, but will need another week or so to make a final diagnosis.  That means it is lymphoma, but needs to be specified further.  The rest of the journey will be shared in the journals to come. Thank you for visiting this site and sharing your faith, positive stories, affirmations and prayers. This means the world to me on this rocky trail. God bless you.