My Cancer Timeline

December, 2014.

Pain started in my lower back and left hip.  I figured it was just arthritis, as it was that time of the year that arthritis had bothered me in the past.  I would walk on the treadmill on the front porch for a half hour each night, and then the hubs and I would go into the hot tub.  The pain would go away for a while, but it would be back the next morning.

Going back to September, 2014

The hubs and I had traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, for his first convention for Electrical Inspectors.  The convention was held from September 21-23, 2014.

On September 24th, my birthday, we went to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.  I didn’t really feel well that day, but we had a great time regardless.  We had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel that night before we went to bed.

Thurs., 9/25/2014 – I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to have a bowel movement, and my stomach didn’t feel good.  After having a bowel movement, I went back to bed.  I was up again a few minutes later, feeling the need for another bowel movement, had another bowel movement, then threw up.  Again, I went back to bed.  Again, I was up a few minutes later and threw up again, and that is when the pain started in my left side.

I told the hubs that he needed to take me to the emergency room.  He is well aware that when I ask him to take me to the emergency room, that I am near death.  We went to the front desk and asked where the nearest hospital was.  We were given directions, and off we went – into morning rush hour traffic.

When we finally made it to the emergency room at Cleveland Clinics, I threw up more, had increasing pain, and the sweating and chills started.

A CT scan was done, and we were told that I had four kidney stones – the largest one at 4 mm, was stuck in the ureter, which was backing everything up into my kidneys.

Blood taken for blood cultures, and my fever spiked at 103.9 while in the emergency room; I was soon admitted to hospital.

Fri., 9/26/2014 – Dr. Bernstein, the urologist, came in to my shared room at 7:00 a.m. and told me I was going into surgery to put a stent in.  I was still spiking a fever.

Mon. 9/29/2014. – Finally, I was discharged from Cleveland Hospital to be able to return home!  It turns out that I had an E. Coli blood infection, and I was septic.

Wed. 10/8/2014. – I had another surgery to remove the offending kidney stones and place another stent to open up the ureter.

I have requested the records and scans from this stint in the Cleveland Hospital to see if perhaps my cancer was missed at that time…

Friday, March 27, 2015.

Went to the emergency room at St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.  We were told that I had several lesions on my left femur that were suspected cancer. I was immediately admitted to the hospital for surgery the next day, and not allowed on my feet as they were afraid that my femur would fracture.

Saturday, March 28, 2015.

Dr. Schick of Prevea Orthopedics performed the surgery on my femur, inserting a large nail (metal rod) inside of the femur, and a screw into my hip.  A biopsy of the bone marrow was taken to be able to determine what kind of cancer and where it had originated.

Monday, March 30, 2015.

I had a PET scan in the morning, then I went to the Radiology Department to be tattooed for radiation.  Afterwards, I had a spinal MRI.  It was a long day, and I was in a lot of pain.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

I had a brain MRI in the morning, and had my first radiation that evening.  In between, Dr. Volk informed us that I had Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.  I was discharged from the hospital on Saturday, April 4th, 2015.  I continued radiation to ten spots between my neck, ribs, and left thigh for ten days.

April 16, 2015.

I met with my oncologist, Dr. Brian Burnette, at Green Bay Oncology where we discussed my diagnosis and the treatment plan.

April 20, 2015.

I met with the oncology nurses to be taught about the medications I would be given for my treatment.  Zoladex, by a shot in my stomach, to remove estrogen from my ovaries.  Zometa, through IV infusion, to strengthen my bones.

April 23, 2015.

I had my first treatment of Zoladex and Zometa.

May 22, 2015.

Began Letrozole and Ibrance medications.  Letrozole takes the estrogen out of the fat cells in the body.  Ibrance specifically targets the cancer cells to try and stop their activity.

June 1, 2015.

I had surgery to place a Power Port on the right side of my chest.

September 30, 2015.

I had surgery to remove my ovaries, so I no longer had to have the Zoladex shot in my stomach every month.

February 15, 2016.

I had a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis, and a bone scan to see how things are going.  The original tumor on the chest wall has decreased in size and there are no new bone mets.  Therefore, I am currently stable, with no progression!  I will continue on quarterly treatments of Zometa, along with the Letrozole and Ibrance medications on a daily basis.

May 18, 2016.

I had an MRI of my right hip due to increased pain over the past three months.  There is a lesion in the cup of my hip, which is not new, but which is causing some pain.  I also have a torn labrum.  However, there is an increased probability of the cancer spreading if I have surgery to fix the torn labrum.  I chose to have a cortisone injection in my hip joint on May 31st, 2016, which has helped immensely with the pain.

October 21, 2016.

After three weeks of increasing pain in my knees, I finally emailed the oncologist’s office.  My morphine has been increased to 45mg, three times a day; also prescribed is a steroid to take away the inflammation and pain.  Thankfully, the steroid worked, and I see the orthopedic surgeon soon.