Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The beginning.....

I will give a brief overview of the past two months to anyone who is not up to speed with my life. Mid February, I went to the e-room with pain in the upper right quadrant of my stomach. After being sent home with pain meds, the ER dr said to contact a gastroenterologist. I did so the next day and after seeing that doctor, he scheduled me for a sonogram of my gall bladder for removal as he thought this was the pain I was experiencing. My mother had her gall bladder taken out at appr. 43 years old so I thought nothing of it.  The morning of surgery, I get a call from the doctor cancelling surgery as they found a mass on my liver. After an MRI and CT at Good Samaritan Hospital, they would not tell me what they thought the mass was....until my husband called and requested that the doctor give his diagnosis. I had a mass (size appr. 9 cm X 10 cm) and he was 85 % sure it was cancer and maybe had come from somewhere else in my body (metastasis). They requested a biopsy and I then realized this was way more than a small problem so I called Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. After a biopsy in Rochester and meeting several doctors, they said I had intra~hepatic cholangiocarcenoma. It is a rare cancer that usually does does not occur in the U.S. They also said I was not a candidate for surgery to remove the mass. I was also not a liver transplant recipient. They had an oncologist talk to me about pallative care. WHOA.....that to me...meant end of life care.  Ever see the cartoon where the horse has a rope around his neck and someone is dragging him somewhere he doesn't want to go??? THAT is how I felt. My husband and two of my daughters just sat there...we didn't cry..we just sat there....said ok....and we left.
After much thought...not really...about 5 seconds and I knew I wanted someone who had a better plan of action. So Houston, here we come. Jenn (oldest daughter) called MD Anderson and they said to fax all info possible and they would take a look at my case. Within 3 hours, they called back and said when can you be here.  4 days later we were in Houston and meeting Dr. Javle. It was like he opened a window and let the sun shine in....He said with chemo and a small little pill I would take everyday , there was a 60 % chance for shrinkage to the place where it may possibly be removed. He stated if that didn't work, we would try proton therapy or radioembolization (where they implant little glass beads that are radioactive) to help shrink the tumor. He said with my age, good health, and no jaundice yet, that I had a better than normal chance of shrinking this monster in my liver. So...tomorrow, I go to an oncologist in Effingham (Dr.DY) to set up patient status and then soon after, I will start chemo and my little pill that is $133.33 a day.
You know....I raised my girls to be of the Catholic faith, go to the Catholic School, but was never one who prayed daily...only when I had time....if that even makes sense.  When I was at Mayo Clinic, Pat had went to Barnes & Noble and I stayed at the hotel to rest. I had just got off the phone with one of my daughters and was starting to drift off to sleep when God touched my hand. It was enough to make me open my eyes and become alert. I did not move, I was calm, and He said to me,  "Do not be afraid, for I am right here beside you". It was like I had a new energy. I jumped up all excited and had to tell everyone...so I got on Facebook and told everyone I could. I called people to tell them. I was overjoyed he touched me, he talked to me, and I have never been afraid since of what may be ahead for me. God is Great!


  1. You go girl! You're doing exactly what God was expecting you to do--Give Him Glory for your comfort and faith! Moving forward!!

  2. You are an incredible, loving, inspirational woman. Take your faith and run with it. Fight anything head on knowing God is with you, for sure. That's so perfect.