Paula’s Story

Site created on January 12, 2019

Welcome friends. Thank you for visiting this site to support Paula, Bob and their family. As they prepare to fight Paula's ovarian cancer we can support them most importantly through our prayers.  Paula has chosen Philippians 4: 4-7 as her anthem during this journey. It is her hope that as we pray for her each day we will join together in reciting these words and find peace in their meaning. "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ." (NIV)  

It is with great love and respect that I will be sharing Paula's news here, on Caring Bridge. Paula is blessed with so many family and friends so we thought this would be the easiest way to share information, taking the burden off of them.  Please feel free to write comments on this site which will be shared with Paula and Bob.

Thank you for your love and support of our dear friend at this very difficult time. 
Sarah Tellefson

Newest Update

Journal entry by Paula Fuessle

We finally have a shift and I have some news to report. For many months it seemed we were in a holding pattern. I had such overwhelming fatigue that writing in this journal was just too much. If I had a rare burst of energy there seemed to be something more pressing to do.

Recently I had a CT scan, the first since May 28. My new treatment had begun in the summer with weekly trips to Springfield for two drugs. Every Tuesday we make the trip, usually leaving between 6 and 8 AM and returning home mid-to-late afternoon. I now have 3 doctors in Springfield so we have other appointments down there as well. We've had quite a few weeks with two "Springfield Days" back-to-back even though we try to piggy-back the appointments so we do two in one day.

The results of this CT scan were good! We could hardly believe it since we have not received much good news in the past year. Since May 28 there is overall improvement with some lesions gone and others diminished. No new lesions were detected! We were speechless. My sister and Steve came for moral support. My doctor was surprised and happy too.

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice! Phillippians 4:4:

When we received the good news my spirits naturally lifted. Since that time I have had more energy and desire to be active. Firstly, Bob and I try to have an outing every day, especially now to enjoy the fall colors. We usually drive to a park and take a short walk. Our favorite is the one here in our own town, Washington Park. You won't find any prettier trees than those in this park. I make an effort to walk a little further each time. Bob is a stellar encourager. We also drive to Eureka Lake and Forest Park. I think about long hikes in Forest Park in past years and then push them out of my mind. I'm not supposed to look back on what I used to do. It's not helpful.

At home I try to do a little quilting every day as an activity that has movement in it. I do my own laundry and household laundry. So there is progress. Still, I have to rest a lot. Some days are a lot better than others, depending on where we are in the chemo weekly cycle. Other times, there is no rhyme or reason to it.

Next week I'll have another paracentesis in Springfield. This is where they drain fluid. It's not a painful procedure and eliminates pressure. I realize every day how fortunate I am that, except for headaches, I am not in pain at all.

Right now our main concern is my blood pressure which has risen due to one of the therapy drugs. We've been trying to get the bp down and monitor it 4 times a day at home. They had to take me off that drug, which keeps new cancer cells from forming, because with elevated blood pressure there can be dire consequences. So yesterday and the previous two sessions I had only one drug, which kills cancer cells. My oncologist is working with my nephrologist to see if we can get those numbers down a little quicker. She is very eager to get me back to it since I did so well. She's hopeful that we can start it again in two weeks.

Since I've been off Avastin, my hair has grown and I have a little pixie cap of gray hair flecked with brown. I like it. 

Your prayers, support, and encouragement mean everything. Knowing you folks are out there cheering me on bolsters my hope. Thank you for all you do. If you are helping on the Tuesday "Meal Train", please know that having a homemade meal ready for us after a long day has been more help than I had imagined. Thank you, ladies! You know who you are.

In heartfelt thanks and love to all!
Metastatic Ovarian Cancer Survivor since January 2018 (Official diagnosis) and long before that.
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