Shelley’s Story

Site created on July 7, 2019

Dear friends and family,

As most of you know, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA destructive/erosive type) in my mid-20’s.  I had symptoms for several years before a proper diagnosis was made.  Along with this disease can come several  “comorbidities” (known health issues associated with PsA) including: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Osteoporosis, Liver Disease & more. Unfortunately, over the years, I have developed many of these additional issues.

Over the past nine months I have been dealing with what was thought to be Irritable Bowel Syndrome, however, on Friday, June 21st a “significant” sized tumor was found in the upper part of my colon.  Preliminary biopsies showed the tumor as “pre-cancerous”.  More testing will be done on the tumor and lymph nodes after removal.

Surgery will occur on July 9th at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue.  I will be hospitalized for 3 – 5 days.  Normal healing should be at about 3 weeks with complete recovery at 6 - 8 weeks.  However, with my compromised immune system, it could be a longer recovery period.  Due to my high risk of infection, doctors have suggested limiting hospital visitors to immediate family. You are always welcome to call, text, email or Facetime me though!

I greatly appreciate your love and support.  I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life!

Love,

Shelley

“He nurses them when they are sick, and soothes their pains and worries.”  Psalm 41:3






Newest Update

Journal entry by Shelley Howe

Hello dear friends and family,

Mark and I were up at our cabin this past Friday through Tuesday; it was glorious to get away after being at home most of the summer recuperating.  Yesterday was 8-weeks post-op and my oncologist called right after we arrived home with the results of my most recent CT scan.  Everything looks good with no signs of cancer!  Needless to say, I’m very happy and grateful.  They will keep a close eye on me going forward with bloodwork being done every three months, CT scans every six months, and colonoscopies every twelve months for the next few years.  This will be in addition to my regularly scheduled appointments for the arthritis.  I’m thankful to have a great team of doctors who are looking after me and communicating with each other about my complex health issues! 

My heart has many things it would like to say to each of you, all of which pretty much can be summed up in just four words – thank you for everything.  I was really scared when I found out I had colon cancer.  Knowing I had your love, support, and prayers definitely made the journey easier to navigate.  I love each of you and appreciate you immensely.

Love,

Shelley

 

“For one minute, walk outside, stand there, in silence. Look up at the sky and contemplate how amazing life is.”

~Anonymous

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