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4/2/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. In December of 2016, I was shoveling at church. The sidewalk was uneven and the end of the shovel ran into my stomach-dead stop. I think God was telling me to go to the doctor. I went for a month thinking I had diverticulosis since everything I ate was associated with the symptoms. In mid-January, I saw my obstetrician to have my physical and mammogram. Had to go back for second mammogram on left side. Radiologist said my left breast showed calcium deposits, probably benign but should have a stereotactic biopsy done. That showed in situ ductal carcinoma, which I got a hematoma from. Went to medical oncologist who talked to me about options. I told him I still have this pain in my lower right abdomen. When I laid down, he could see the mass sticking out of my stomach. He ordered blood work and a CT scan. The blood work came back normal. CT scan showed newly diagonised left breast carcinoma, several noncalcified lung nodules, very large soft tissue mass measuring about 3"x 2"x4" in right mesentary, which has probably been there for years. PET scan was performed which showed no other abnormalities. March 2, I had a biopsy of the large abdomen mass and ended up in the hospital with another hematoma in psoas muscle, which I still cannot walk fast. Radiologist who did biopsy must have hit a blood vessel when he did the biopsy. I remained in the hospital until Sunday. Biopsy showed Leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer. Medical oncologist said I would not be treated in Dubuque. He referred me to UW-Madison. They requested a CT scan and MRI before the appointment. Steve, dad, mom and Gayle went to UW-Madison on March 14 with me, doctors wanted to meet with a tumor board on March 27 which consisted of 9 other institutions including the 3 Mayo Clinics to discuss my case. In the meantime I scheduled an appointment with Mayo Clinic in Rochester on March 27. Steve's sister (Julie) lives 20 minutes from Rochester. I also had all my reports sent to MD Anderson in Houston, TX, a sarcoma hospital. I am so thankful for my husband, children, entire family and friends supporting me through this whole journey. Your love, support and prayers mean more to me than you will ever know. I WILL beat this~"We never know how strong we are until being strong is our only choice".