Journal

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

Corrine had her ileostomy reversal surgery today and according to the surgeon everything went well. She'll be in the hospital for a few days while she gets accustomed to using her "shiny new rectum". Please keep her in your prayers. Love you Corrine!
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Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

Update:
Corrine reviewed her latest tests and CT this week and has been cleared CANCER FREE! Such great news! She has her ileostomy reversal scheduled for the beginning of December  (and it can't come soon enough). She has a couple other procedures to endure prior to the reversal and is still in a lot of discomfort but is looking forward to moving past this stage. Please continue prayers to give her strength. Love you Corrine!

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

Hello everyone. And update on Corrine:

Corrine finished chemo treatments on September 4th.  She will be having some blood work done on October 1st and then meeting with her surgeon on October 4th to discuss the ileostomy reversal. She is still experiencing side effects but is thankful that this phase of treament is behind her. Prayers needed that all will go well with the reversal and that she can start to feel "normal" again.

Its been a long journey and I'm so proud of her for fighting through the nausea, pain, numbness, hot flashes, and all the rest of the special surprises chemo brought her. She's a rock star but the next phase cannot come soon enough.
Love you, Corrine! 

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

Message from Leslie Hagen:

Please join us on Mother’s Day (May 13) morning as we walk to support Corrine Hauck. Corrine is a Prior Lake resident. She is a mother to 3 boys and wife to Tony. In February, Corrine was diagnosed with rectal cancer. This has involved surgery, and chemotherapy started in early April. Take a moment to visit Corrine’s Caring Bridge page and read about her journey.

We would love to see all of your smiling faces on Mother’s Day. Our walk will begin at 9:30 AM in the Prior Lake VFW parking lot and take us through Lakefront Park. Please feel free to share this note with others so that they can join us. All are welcome!

The Pickled Pilgrims

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

Corrine began her chemotherapy treatments yesterday. One down, 11 (or so?) to go. The treatments are 3 hours long and then she wears additional therapy through her port for two days. She'll be getting treatments like this every two weeks.  Thank you to Christine, Mike, and Missy for helping keep her company for the first one. 

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

For those who were asking, a GoFundMe was started today. Like I said previously, the family isn't looking for donations but I'm sure will be greatly appreciated as bills start  (or continue) to roll in. Apparently there was a Corrine Haack (what are the odds??) fund (incredibly sad story if you read it) from a few years back so here is the link:
https://www.gofundme.com/corrines-cancer-fund
You may have to copy/paste to the link

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

A quick update--Corrine made it home to her family yesterday and so thankful for the awesome staff at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. They took exceptional care of her. She is so happy to be home and ready to heal her body to start the chemo process in about 4 weeks. She will undergo at least 4 months of chemotherapy with all the fun side-effects that are sure to also be included.

Her doctor was able to update the staging of her cancer to Stage 3-B (which I'm sure you all can Google if you want more information).

It was brought to my attention that there is a big "donate now" button on this website. While the family is not really looking for donations, please be aware that donations on this Caring Bridge site do not go to the family--they go to the website. If you feel compelled to do so (I'm sure the family would be extremely grateful) but please watch for a GoFundMe page that our cousin, Lisa, will be setting up in the next day or two.

All the best, T

Journal entry by Therese Holtgrewe

Just before Valentine's Day this year my 47 year old sister, Corrine, found out she has rectal cancer. She first became suspicious something was happening several months ago when she noticed a difference in the way her stool looked. She described it as looking like "little squiggles" and was concerned but not overly because, well our BM's can look different every day depending on what we ate. What really triggered worry and send her to her primary care at the beginning of February was that she then noticed blood in her stool. Her doctor couldn't really tell if there was anything going on but immediately ordered a colonoscopy. This was performed on February 12th. Within a minute of her awaking from the anesthesia the doctor was telling her that she has rectal cancer. A "large" mass. She, her husband, Tony, and their three boys were stunned.

So was I. Corrine is my everything--not just my sister but my confidant, my best friend, my keeper of secrets, memories,  and all things Zens, inside jokes, outside jokes, Don-isms, our families vacation together, my Uber driver when I'm lucky enough to be in town and I don't think I have to tell anyone reading this blog that she makes everyone around her feel special and genuinely loved. She has a million friends (it seems) and keeps in-touch with dozens of people regularly. How can this happen? Why? To this fun-loving, compassionate, beautiful ray of light in the world? It's not fair. Cancer never is.

After the stunning news at the colonoscopy, her doctor ordered a CT scan to see if they could see any lesions in her major organs (liver, lungs) which would indicate a possible metastasis (where the cancer spreads to other organs) and they did see a couple of small suspicious spots on her lungs and also a noticeable suspicion on her liver. Not good news and very scary. However, the MRI of the liver she had the following day (Wednesday) indicated that that lesion did not appear to be cancer and was probably a hematoma. The lung lesions were so small they were not concerned enough about them to address them yet.

So, her doctor made a plan to surgically remove the cancer and her entire rectum including all attached lymph nodes (they sit on the outside of the rectal walls and act to filter out harmful substances and help fight infections). Her entire rectum you ask? Yes. They then attach the colon to the anal cavity. In order to let this heal without the waste product possibly infecting it all the doctor would also perform and ileostomy (this is a procedure where a part of her intestine is diverted to an opening in her abdomen where a bag is attached to collect her waste product (basically, poop collects in a bag attached to the abdomen). Once healing is complete, the ileostomy can be reversed and pooping goes back to coming out the regular way (but with more urgency for a while).

This surgery was performed on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018--two weeks after diagnosis. Her surgeon says everything went "as-planned". They removed the cancerous mass and rectum with supporting structures and performed the ileostomy. The tissues they removed--all of it--was sent in to be examined and biopsied. We are still waiting on the Lymph node results.

Corrine was in a LOT of pain the first 48 hours. I volunteered to stay with her in the hospital for moral support (and calm my own fears) so Tony could be at home with the boys and our elderly father who lives with them. She's such a strong woman. Fearless in so many ways. I cannot even imagine what this kind of situation does to a person's morale but she was making jokes with the nurses even as they were wheeling her in to surgery and again that evening after she was settled in her hospital room. Things have happened so quickly I don't think she's even had time (or the desire) to think about everything all that much.

Today (Friday) her surgeon came by to check on her and also to deliver some news on the disection that was performed on the tissues (the cancer, her rectum and lymph nodes, etc) that were removed. I wish he had waited for Tony to be there when he told her because she needed support when the doctor told her that they staged her cancer at Stage 3 (because it had penetrated the fatty tissue on the outside walls of the rectum). The node results are still not back--probably next week. Because her cancer is stage 3, she will undergo chemotherapy beginning in 4 weeks (her body needs time to heal from the surgery first). The doctor feels like he did get the entire mass of cancer during the surgery and all the margins (for you lay-people) but it is still very scary news. Corrine handled this news like a champ and as Tony put it: "Well we just go forward with the plan to do chemo like we anticipated". These two amaze me.

Speaking of my awesome bro-in-law--he called my phone at 3am the second night we were in the hospital to let Corrine and I know he had to take our father to the ER (he had an infection that was blocking his bladder). What next??

Tomorrow (Saturday) Corrine comes home from the hospital. She isn't up for visitors just yet. She hasn't even been up to answer many calls or texts which is why she and I thought I should start this blog for her--to keep you all updated. She reads your texts but don't be offended if she hasn't answered them just yet. As you can imagine, she's dealing with this in her own way--strongly, mind you--but that may not include much communication for a while. She may be calling on the aid of some neighbors/friends/family to help her out in the coming weeks and cannot believe how many people have already offered to bring meals to the house--its truly overwhelming the love and support she's receiving from you all. The flowers and gifts that were sent to her hospital room and home--astounding. She has read every card.

The last thing I wanted to say--and I'm sure she wants you to hear--
If you notice your poop changing--discuss this with your doctor
If you notice blood in your poop--go to your doctor (and get a colonoscopy)
If you are over age 50--go get a colonoscopy (she's only 47 so maybe even sooner)
If colo-rectal cancer runs in your family--go get a colonoscopy
If you've ever had HPV (or have not been tested for it)--get a colonoscopy. Studies are showing that a high percent are likely related.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment --Corrine will also be reading.

With Love, Therese
Corrine’s Story

Site created on February 19, 2018

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