"Pain from my wounds and the lymphedema had gotten increasingly worse. The pain had gotten so bad that on February 10th, I went into the ER, thinking there may be an infection. They ran tests and the results show significant c***** growth, on the liver, on the spleen, and on the sac that holds the lung. Although there was no infection, they did find almost a liter of fluid in the sac. I was admitted overnight and they drained the fluid the next day.
During that stay I met with surgical oncology and radiation oncology. Surgical oncology told me there was nothing they could do for me. Radiation oncology said they felt they could effectively shrink the tumors in my breast, but because it is targeted, it would do nothing for the c**** on my liver or lungs, and would make the lymphedema worse. Not an option I wanted to pursue. After spending so much time in the hospital, I wanted to go home, and decided to make an appointment to see medical oncology.
At this following appointment with medical oncology, they felt that chemotherapy would be effective. However, there was only a small window of time in which chemotherapy would work. This was still an option because the c***** hadn't spread too bad in my liver. (The chemo is metabolized through the liver, so without the liver functioning, the treatment won't work.) The doctors felt that if I didn't start treatment within a month, chemo would no longer be an option.
As the days wore on, I continued to feel worse. And it happened very quickly. Breathing was extremely difficult, as fluid was building back into my lung's sac, and the lymphedema caused significant pain and considerable swelling in my right arm. The breathing and pain compilation make the simplest of tasks difficult.
This past Tuesday I went back in to have my lung's sac drained again. By this time, I could tell by the amount of pain I was in, accompanied with the doctor's test results, that the c***** had grown considerably, since my visit on the 10th. One physician said, "I think we can both agree that this has grown like wildfire." This time, only two short week's later, there was over a liter of fluid in the lung's sac; however, they could only drain a liter because I was an outpatient and not receiving overnight care. An appointment for chemotherapy was made.
Today (Friday) a port was placed, and I received the first round of single agent chemo. I chose this type, that has less side effects, because I didn't feel my body could handle a stronger double agent treatment. The doctors seem optimistic that this will shrink the tumors because, since I haven't had much chemo, my body has not yet built up resistance to it. As of Friday evening, I have not felt any side effects, and am hopeful I will continue to feel well."
* * * * *Hi, it's me (Bridgette) again. Allow me to share with you what I have seen this past month.
Since leaving her job a month ago, her health has been in rapid decline. Her situation is very serious. It's hard to believe that just in January she was waking around the schools, and now she can barely get off of the couch. Bob her husband dresses her every morning, prepares her meals (a very strict diet), and changes her bandages. On top of that, he gets the kids ready for school, works long hours for a home that is now reliant on 1 income, then comes home to feed the kids, help with homework... and the list goes on. I don't have a husband, but I know a good man when I see one. This dude is a saint.
Additionally, a nurse visits her home daily for wound care. Tara rarely leaves home, except to go to the doctors, and there she gets around by wheelchair. Between the pain, the shortness of breath, and overall physical weakness, the smallest of tasks (standing up, walking from the car to the house, or from one room to another) is literally exhausting. And because of this battle, she has experienced some weight loss. #silverlining ;-)
Many of the women at her church come sit with her during the day, to run a vacuum, give her her meals, and keep company. I come twice a week, and it's a highlight for me. We talk about our favorite (and not so favorite) students, we read the Bible and pray together. Or sometimes just sit in silence. I guess that's what "being there" for someone is.
It has been quite a humbling month for me. Watching one of the kindest people I know suffer with this horrible disease. Feeling like running the dishwasher is nothing in comparison to what she and her family are going through. Feeling honored that she trusts me with this part of her life.
Tara undoubtedly has great difficulty in her body, but, BUT! her spirit is incredibly resilient. In the midst of such anguish she still puts one foot in front of the other and keeps her eye on the prize. She's a fighter in every sense of the word. By faith, she's going to come out on top. Pray for this woman. For healing, for her strength to come back, for wisdom in the decision making. For her husband and kids who also exhibit tremendous strength and support.
Lastly, I ask you to please consider making a donation using the GoFundMe box at the top right. "You make a living by what you earn, you make a life by what you give (Winston Churchill)." God bless!