Tessa Gray (LaBellarte)

First post: Sep 27, 2019 Latest post: Jul 11, 2022
Welcome to Tessa's CaringBridge website. We are using this to keep family and friends updated in one place.  Thank you for visiting!

Journey to Diagnosis
April 2019 
Tessa began having consistent lower abdominal cramps. She initially thought they were your typical menstrual cramps, but they persisted so she made an appointment with her OBGYN. They did an ovarian ultrasound  and found a cyst, but said it was nothing to be concerned about. The doctor told her it should absolve itself  and to take Advil as needed for pain.

August 2019
The previous "cramps" hadn't resolved so Tessa made a follow-up appointment. The doctor noticed swelling on her left side and said the area she was complaining of pain was her bowel, not ovaries. She was then referred for a full lower-abdominal ultrasound. During this ultrasound the ovaries looked normal, but they discovered multiple liver masses and a large mass in her descending colon . They immediately referred her for a CT scan, liver biopsy and colonoscopy. On August 27th Tessa was diagnosed with Stage IV Colorectal Adenocarcinoma. In Layman's terms: colon cancer that has metastasized/spread (in Tessa's case to her liver.)  

Tessa is being seen  by Dr. Coveler and the amazing team at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. While the details of her treatment plan are still being worked out the primary focus is her liver. In the coming weeks she will start ~4 months of bi-weekly chemotherapy  to try and shrink the liver lesions and colon mass before performing surgery to remove them. Another round of chemo will follow surgery. As the specifics of her treatment plan are solidified I will share them via journal entries on this site.

Support and the road ahead
Our family is eternally grateful for the outpouring of love and support we've received. To say it's unfair this disease has stricken our family twice would be an understatement. That being said, we're  fighters and plan to maintain our winning record against "the Big C." Thank you for your positive vibes, thoughts and prayers as we navigate the road ahead. Tessa will be over here kicking cancers ass!

Anna + Family