The Beginning of the Journey & Diagnosis

We hope this page provides some background on the beginning of Mom's cancer journey and how she was diagnosed. Thank you to each and everyone of you for the prayers, positive thoughts, kind words, hugs, cards, gifts, food and well, everything!

Mom is such an inspiration to us and we are blessed to be alongside her through this journey. It has been a tough couple of months, but we continue to find joy in the small things, celebrate the good times and stay positive. We are with her and ready to beat it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Mom {Dianna} went to the hospital with stomach pain, thinking it might be an issue with the gallbladder. The ER doctor assumed the same after a physical exam and ordered a sonogram. It was not the gallbladder--the sonogram showed several large masses in the liver and the preliminary diagnosis of cancer was given to mom in ER. My sister {Elaine} was with Mom and Dad {Jerry} was driving back as quickly and safely as he could from a work-related event out of town. I {Kathleen} was able to meet them at the hospital, too. A CT scan and additional bloodwork was performed to gather additional information. The CT scan showed it looked more like an infection than cancer, so Mom began receiving several different antibiotics to combat the infection. Dad arrived safely at the hospital and Mom was admitted that evening. Additional tests would be needed to provide an accurate diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan.

Week of July 27, 2014
A biopsy of the largest tumor in the liver was completed on Monday and we anxiously waited for results each day. On Wednesday, a culture from the biopsy showed positive for E. coli, so her antibiotics were tweaked to manage this diagnosis. A PICC line was placed in her arm and she would be giving herself IV antibiotics daily at home to treat the infection. On Thursday, the biopsy result showed positive for cancer. After the MRI and cancer markers test, Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on August 1st with one site on the tail end of the pancreas and metastatic tumors in the liver. She stayed in the hospital over the weekend to ensure that as many tests, procedures and meetings with doctors could take place before she was released.

Monday, August 4, 2014
Mom was released from the hospital! They went straight to the Infectious Disease doctor's office to meet with him, receive training on her PICC line and pick up medications. Then, they finally got to go home and rest in their own bed! Yay!

THANK YOU to everyone that called, texted, visited, sent flowers and prayers while they were at the hospital. Your love and support during those first few days meant so much.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Mom & Dad were able to meet with not one, but TWO oncologists the day after being released from the hospital. Thanks to a friend of a friend {thanks, Josue & Isabel!}, she was able to get a second opinion and they ended up selecting the second oncologist and his recommended treatment plan. Mom was ready to start treatment right away and "kill it!" as she says! They were so kind and scheduled Mom for her first round of chemo that Friday, August 8th rather than waiting until the following week. Wow--what a whirlwind.

We appreciate your prayers and support on this journey!

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