I have to admit, working for Mayo Clinic Health System, I signed up for Connect over a year ago, but never really did much with it. Here I am, 16 months later, finding myself seeking out others that share my story and understand. Friends and family can show love and support, but understanding comes from experience.
Last August I started physical therapy for pain in my right shoulder. As soon as my sessions were over, I was nauseated and some days, vomiting. After about 8 weeks over “working through it” and finding it to only get worse, I quit PT and started taking prescription strength Omeprozol. My symptoms improved so I went on with life as usual.
In December, hill preparing to celebrate my grams 100th birthday, I had immense pain, shortness of breath with short sharp breaths, and unable to eat. During the party I asked a cousin who was on the local ambulance to make a call to her crew and I snuck out to meet them at my grams house. I arrived at the hospital and was told they were certain it was a kidney stone. Because I was struggling to breathe, while waiting for urinalysis, the ER doctor had me do a Chest CT. The results showed the lining of my lung full of nodules, my lung was collapsed, and the fluid surrounding my lung was over 3L. I’m addition I had a rather large hall stone blocking the neck of my gallbladder. I was transferred by ambulance to Mankato, and spent the next 6 days trying to discover the cause.
I spent the next 5 months doing repeat scans to find out what was causing the nodules, and monitoring by a pulmonologist. In addition, in February I had a second gall attack and an emergency removal of my gallbladder. On May 2nd I had a thorocoscopy and wedge resection. On May 4th I was diagnosed with metastatic stage IV pulmonary adenocarcinoma EGFR positive. On May 16 I had a PET scan and Brain MRI, and discovered a cancerous lymph node in the lining that connects the liver and stomach, and tumors in my brain.
Tomorrow will be 2 months since D Day, and one month on Tarceva. Tarceva and I don’t play in the sandbox well, so my oncologist is considering a lower dosage when I see him next week. We will do a repeat of my scans in August to monitor tumor reaction. If there is progression on brain tumors, I will have a gamma knife procedure. If there is progression of any other cancer, I will have another biopsy to reevaluate the receptors and determine next course of treatment.
At 46, with two kids and a husband I am not done seeing the world with, it’s hard to hear I have 27-35 (-2) months to check items off of my bucket list. I am a realist, so I do t want sugar coating 🙂
Thank you for creating this community!