Deb’s Story

Site created on August 23, 2019


Dear Family and Friends,

Welcome to Deb's CaringBridge website. We are using this page to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 

Deb's doctors at Virginia Mason in Seattle and at Mayo Clinic in Rochester have confirmed that Deb has a hilar tumor on her liver bile ducts. They have also confirmed that she is fighting stage IV malignant bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) that has spread to her abdominal (pertioneum) walls.  She is currently receiving chemo alongside stent replacements in her bile ducts whenever they get blocked or infected.  As you can imagine, Deb needs to completely focus on her treatment at this time. She appreciates your prayers for healing and words of love. 

 Thank you for visiting and your continued support during this journey.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Kathryn Benson

Thank you all for your continued prayers especially this week. My mom had a successful stent replacement surgery on the 5th. The wonderful Dr. Law who has done many of her other surgeries was able to replace all 3 stents to help the bile flow once again. Within 24 hrs post surgery her bilirubin went down from 9.2 to 6.2 (the healthy range is 0.3-1.2). 

They also drained 3 liters of liquid from her abdomen which will hopefully help dissipate some of the ascites pain. 

My mom will stay in the hospital for a few more days, as she has an E. Coli blood infection (likely caused by the bile backup). The cultures from her surgery are still growing in the microbiology lab.  They will help determine what the exact infection is so that she can go home with a 6 week regiment of IV antibiotics. She went through this same at-home antibiotic routine in Nov 2019.  We are excited for her to get out of the hospital to heal at home where it is more safe, quiet, and calming. Especially since she can’t have visitors in the hospital due to covid. 

The newest hurdle this time around is that she also has an abscess near her bile ducts. This means her current stents will likely become occluded more quickly than before as it moves and hopefully shrinks. Hence, another stent replacement will likely be needed again in the coming weeks. 

With so many hospitals around the country at capacity with covid patients right now we remain so grateful that she is able to be in a hospital, in a single room, and receiving great medical care. 

A huge thanks to all of you who are medical workers and on the front lines during this unprecedented time. 

While there is so much out of our control, we remain focused on what we can control: being kind and being understanding of others. 

Sending big hugs with love to you all. 
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