Join CaringBridge during this most important time of the year. Your support means that we can continue to provide free, secure websites all year long.
Hi, for those that don't know mom(Vicki Duchow) was diagnosed with stage 3 B lung , throat, and lymph node cancer on February 9th 2016 after going to the the hospital for what she thought was a cold. In March of this year she began treatment. She had chemo and radiation scheduled from March to May. In May she was placed on maintenance chemo and radiation was completed. In June she began to notice a slight difficulty swallowing. She talked with her oncologist and began ruling stuff out. By July the swallowing was getting worse. The oncologist scheduled a follow up with an ear nose and throat specialist and a scope and swallow study were done. There was a indication in the test that food was getting stuck but the part it was getting stuck was a GI issue. A follow up was sent to a GI Dr and an appointment was being set. Wednesday the August 4th mom began to get sick evens she ate it drank. Thinking it was related to the GI consult she didn't think anything of it. As of Saturday the 6th she was getting weaker and had increased shortness of breathe. Jerry (Grit) took her to the hospital where they admitted her. On Sunday the 7th they diagnosed her with trachesophageal fistula and aspiration pneumonia. That means there is an opening between her trachea and esophagus and everything she eats or drinks goes into her right lung and it began to form an infection. That is what was causing her to be unable to keep anything down. Rockford Memorial was unable to preform the surgery/Stent needed to fix the hole and she was sent to University of Chicago center for care and discovery. She arrived in Chicago in Wednesday August 10th. The Dr's have spoke with us many times and a CT scan and scope were performed last night and this morning to get a good look at the fistula (hole). As of right now a Stent is unable to be placed on her trachea(breathing) side. Tomorrow they will do another scope to see if the GI (food side) is able to support a Stent being placed. If the Stent is able to be placed it will. Mom does not want a feeding tube placed so a Stent is our only option. These are all palliative treatments to make her end of life comfortable. I ask if you have any prayers, comments, or concerns you send them my way or leave them in here, please do not inundate her as she is still processing everything. She is in good spirits as much to be expected. She is not in any pain and her biggest complaint is she is hungry and can't stop coughing. We will be in Chicago for a few more days at least and after she will be going to Reubens for recovery.