Vanessa’s Story

Site created on February 7, 2019

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.

My journey started over a year ago. In November of 2017 I was diagnosed with chronic diverticulitis with an abscess. Through multiple doctors and ER visits my symptoms only got worse. Treatment only consisted of pain medications and antibiotics. I had lost my job in the process of all of this as well. Then after losing more than 40lbs and suffering, finally in February 2018 I underwent surgery for what I was told would be a simple colon resection to remove the bad part of the colon. Once in there the surgeon found a significant decaying mass that when they tried to remove it, it fell apart. The pathology came back and that's when I was diagnosed with stage 2b colon cancer. At that time it was decided not to do treatments as the imaging after surgery showed no signs of residual. I healed from my surgery, got stronger, gained weight, and even found a new job. Then in November everything changed. I found out my current contract for work would be ending at the end of the year and I started having the same complications as the prior year. I had to wait until after the 1st of the year once my new insurance plan started and then appointments were made, tests and more imaging was done. After seeing a new surgeon and oncologist at MD Anderson in Jacksonville we have more details and information than we felt we've had over this past year. Unfortunately it pains me to say, there is evidence the cancer has spread and at this point it is now staged as a 4b colon cancer and is considered a high risk complicated case due to the addition of Peritoneal Disease (an incurable cancer). Therefore I will be starting chemo treatments at the end of this month with a treatment every 2 weeks for the next 4 months and then at that time it will be decided if they can proceed with surgery. Providing positive progress, 4 months of chemo will be repeated with localized radiation where my malignant left ovary now resides.

I have a high insurance deductible, we are now living on my husband's income through self-employment; and, we have recently taken on the responsibility for my ageing mother who has progressive dementia, with rising costs.

I will continue to keep everyone updated as I climb this new mountain in life. We appreciate everyone's love, support, and donations that can be made to help us along the way. May you all be blessed as you pray along with us. Thank you!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Angela Williams

2 treatments in. My hair has started to fall out over the past 6 days and now is coming out in masses. It has thrown me into another phase of emotions. As I write this the tears are streaming down my face. I try to keep telling myself that it is a sign that the chemo is working! Now the neuropathy feels minor compared to losing my hair.
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