Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
This post is hard to write, and undoubtedly incredible to read, but please bear with me. Last week, Yuanyuan and I announced our engagement with a short recap of the four years since we met. What we didn't include, was that an irregular pap smear and biopsy this August resulted in a diagnosis of stage 1 endometrial cancer, localized to her uterus. Scary, but treatable. Yuan began hormonal therapy, to try to preserve her fertility for our eventual children. We were told to return in November for follow-up.What we couldn't have known then, is what would happen last Wednesday, the day after we announced our engagement. Yuan was completely fatigued that night, so I took her to the ER.
An MRI showed the uterine cancer apparently hadn't spread - but a CT scan found multiple large solid masses growing throughout and taking over her body, too many to count. Lungs. Liver. An ovary. She took a liver biopsy Monday to find out exactly what we were dealing with, and while we waited for results, Yuan got sicker and weaker.
The liver biopsy just confirmed poorly-differentiated hyper-aggressive stage 4, terminal metastatic cancer. They've never seen anything grow so fast, or be so difficult to type. The entire NYU pathology team is stumped, but regardless of where it's from they say there's simply nothing they can do here. Our last hopes are immunotherapy treatment ASAP through Memorial Sloan Kettering (where they're trying new drugs with amazing results), and/or a miracle.
Barely a week after we announced to the world we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, it appears that that's only going to be at best, a few months. We were looking forward to seeing what the future had in store for us, but this isn't what we had in mind.
We both offer our sincere thanks to everyone who wished us well for our future. I've never seen such support and love (what was that, over 1300 likes on our engagement post?) and we're super touched. It's been so tough going through this, keeping such a developing tragedy secret from our friends and families while they congratulate us on our engagement, while we figure out how to proceed. And the cancer keeps growing.
The biggest request on the short bucket list Yuan has written up this week, is to LIVE!!! Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that's going to happen, unless we can get her into one of the MSK trials - or at least treated with these new immunotherapy drugs, and she has a fantastic response. Her second wish is to spend her remaining time with family - and eat her mom's handmade dumplings again. But Chinese bureaucracy means they likely couldn't make it to NYC in such a short period of time - besides, her parents still don't know she's sick at all, and Yuan wants to tell them in person. (They aren't on Facebook and don't speak English.)
So what we're going to do instead, is try like hell to get her into the only treatment that might save her life. If we can't, or if she worsens to the point where treatment is unfeasible, we're going to go to rural China on a one way ticket to spend her last days (If anyone speaks Mandarin and wants to join us as guide and friend on this last trip, I'm realizing Yuan might not be lucid the whole time and since I don't speak or read anything useful, it could be really helpful in getting us safely around.)
All the engagement and wedding gifts you lovely people would eventually have given us for our lives together, we can't use now. What we ask instead is this: put that money to a more immediate cause and help us pay for our expenses. Whatever you can donate we will need, for the weeks ahead (either to go to China or bring her family here) and the bills behind. Please give what you can. Website link is: https://www.youcaring.com/yuanyuan-sky-walker-wang-678763
Finally, if you have any strange aches or pains, please get them checked out. In retrospect it's easy to recognize her nausea and dizziness as warning signs we missed over the last few months. You've all got health care (Thanks, Obama!) so please use it. Yuan and I were planning a big wedding ceremony at Burning Man next year, and inviting all of you! Instead, it's more likely Leon will go alone, and scatter Yuan's ashes at the Temple. If it comes to this, and if you can attend, it would mean a lot to both of us.