Tiffany Burr Tiffany Burr

Welcome to our CaringBridge website for our mom Tiffany. 
On July 20th (late) I ended up in the ER at Gundersen (we already own a wing there). I drove myself even though that probably wasn’t the best idea I have had but everyone else was sleeping. Nonetheless I made it there safely. I had lost a lot of blood and started getting dizzy and light headed as soon as I got there. They immediately did bloodwork. As I lay in the  uncomfortable “bed” I found myself all of a sudden surrounded by a group of doctors. The labs showed my hemoglobin to be critically low. It was 5.1. Normally, it should be around 11.8-15.1. At 5, you are at risk for heart failure and possible damage to other organs. These doctors informed me they were admitting me to the hospital. I was on vacation that week so all I could think was “shit, there goes my plans for the rest of the week.” They immediately started a blood transfusion in the ER while we waited for a bed to open in the hospital. They gave me a unit of blood, then another unit. Ran other tests (ultrasound, biopsy of the Uterus and who knows what else). I was over it at that point. Finally got a room and some much needed rest. Couldn’t eat or drink anything for a bit but was able to sleep some. Had an iron infusion and another unit of blood while in this room. My test results came back. Long story short, was informed that I had Uterine Cancer. The big fat “C” word. All I could think was “not me, not Tiff, how can this be?” Another obstacle to overcome. Just great!! In my room by myself (other than my awesome nurse who stayed with me). My first and only concern at the time was my girls. How do I tell them? When do I tell them? Omg…They are going to have meltdowns. Was able to leave the hospital on the 22nd around 5pm. Came home, said nothing to anyone. Not a soul. I had my follow up appointment the next Thursday so I thought I would wait as to not bother anyone if I didn’t know anything. Told 1 person that entire week then felt bad that I burdened him with being the only person to know. Appointment on July 28th, set appointment for hysterectomy and talked about the what if’s etc….went alone to this appt since I hadn’t told anyone. After that appt I had to make a tough decision to continue to keep it from Gate and the girls. Can’t tell them when I don’t know what I don’t know. Just told them I had to have surgery. Told a few people about the big “C”. They were very supportive. Needed an iron infusion so had that appt set for August 16th. That didn’t work out. I had an allergic reaction 3 minutes in and went into anaphylactic shock (basically). Saw jesus for a minute, I know that. Surgery was set for August 24th. It was robotic but there was a complication so they had to make a larger incision on my lower abdomen because my Uterus was so enlarged (over a pound in weight). While they were in there they took some lymph nodes to test which I knew they were going to do. Doc called me the following Monday to tell me that the lymph nodes tested positive so we would discuss treatment at my appointment on September 8th, yesterday. Shit…a week and a half for me to think about it and google the pathology report results. That’s what I did!!! I googled all the medical terms, etc….Luckily that week and a half went fairly quick and I had prepared myself for the appointment. They suggested I bring a 2nd set of ears with me so I took Carrie Minke-Davis for that. Forgot to prepare her. Not exactly what I expected to hear but here goes the rest of my journey…..they saw a suspicious lymph node near my aorta so they would like to remove that along with any other suspicious nodes they find.  What does that mean? Surgery again, Wednesday of next week. Into recovery I go, again. Following surgery, I will have a port placed on September 26th and start chemo on October 4th. This will be 6 treatments, 3 weeks apart. Soon after I am finished with that, I will start radiation to target the lower part of my body. 28 sessions of that. 5 days a week (weekends off). That treatment plan has been made by a board of professionals who’s goal is to cure me. They are very confident in this plan so I have confidence in it as well. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t give up on anything. Yes, it will be a long journey but I have a pretty awesome support group, family and friends, and will 10000% fight it!! The girls and Gate…yes, I finally told them. They were mad at 1st that I kept it from them but understood when I explained why. We all made promises we are going to keep and moving forward step by step and if anyone knows how to overcome adversity, they definitely do!!! They have been faced with enough of it throughout the years.
The AWARENESS point of this post: Any woman young or old, please do not let anyone dismiss your concerns with any portion of your health, especially women’s health. Never let anyone tell you “that’s a myth” or “it’s not as bad as you think” or let them talk you into “trying” things more than once that didn’t work the 1st time. I let this happen. I don’t know how long I have had the Cancer but can’t help but think if I would have advocated for myself more, would I be in this situation? So please, don’t let anyone put you in the situation to beat yourself up about it later. If you ever have any questions on the details of those statements, let me know, I would be happy to share and help anyone. These conversations aren’t easy, but they can be helpful. Thanks all for listening and I will definitely be keeping all of you posted as I go through this journey/obstacle/block in the road, whatever you want to call it.