Viv Steinbach

First post: 6/25/2017 Latest post: 10/3/2017
Mom has not been well lately, and I've had to take her to the ER five times since April. Mostly the problem has been that her lungs start to fill with fluid and she has trouble breathing. A week ago Friday they included a CT scan of her chest in her ER workup, which they had not done before.

The doctor came back soon afterward to tell us that mom has metastatic cancer in her spine, her liver, probably in the lymph glands under her left arm, and possibly in an area on the left side of her chest (it could be scar tissue -- but they're not sure). They admitted her to the hospital and by the end of the day Friday we had seen the oncologist. This past week mom had a full-body PET scan and a bone biopsy.

The next step is to do genetic testing on the biopsy to determine the origin of the cancer. They need to know that so they know what options for treatment there are. Unfortunately, many cancer treatments are hard on the heart, and with mom's congestive heart failure, that will be an issue. The fluid that is accumulating is actually from the cancer, not because of her heart, and it is in the area between the lungs and the lining around them.

It takes time to prepare a bone sample for testing, so the earliest we expect to have more news is mid-week. Mom’s oncologist is on vacation next week, so we may not know anything until the week after that.

Needless to say, this has come as a huge shock to all of us, but mom is in very good spirits and has a good attitude. She has confidence the Lord is in control of all of this.

Mom is taking pain medication to help control the pain she is in, and she tires easily. Northwestern has been very kind about allowing me to have time off to help take care of her for the time being.
I will post more information as we have it. Meanwhile, please pray for her and the rest of us.

Carol (and Viv)

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