On December 20, 2013, the Friday before Christmas, Tracie Trible Rivera was told by her OBGYN that she most likely had ovarian cancer. The Monday after Christmas her worst fears were confirmed by her doctor, based on an ultrasound and blood work. She was then referred to Texas Oncology, but due to the holidays was unable to get an appointment before the end of the year.
On January 1, 2014, New Years Day, Tracie went to the emergency room because her vaginal wall was prolapsing and she was extremely bloated from the ascites fluid. The doctors began to run tests and also drained 4 liters of ascites fluid from her abdominal cavity. During her 8 day stay in Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands, after many tests and a biopsy of the left ovary, Tracie and her family were told that the cancer had spread to her lungs and therefore was in stage 4. The biopsy came back inconclusive as to what type of cancer it was. Because it was primarily in the ovaries and had metastasized to the lungs, it was treated as ovarian cancer. On Thursday, January 9, 2014, Tracie was released from Memorial Hermann Hospital and on Monday, January 13,2014, her 44th birthday, Tracie had her first doctor's appointment with Texas Oncology. At this time, the doctor wasted no time and got her set up immediately to have her required blood work done, her chemo therapy education class done and to have her chemo-port-o-cath surgically placed in her chest that very Friday, January 17,2014.
On January 20,2014, one month from her original diagnosis, Tracie received her first chemo-therapy treatment. After a couple of weeks and some pretty nasty side effects, her hair began to fall out. She continued on to endure three more treatments over the next two and a half months. During this time her doctor ordered a CT scan and another biopsy. On Monday, March 31, 2014, her doctor told her that the second biopsy had also come back inconclusive. This meant that they still weren't sure if this was ovarian cancer or lung cancer. The chemo-therapy medicines that she had been receiving were stabilizing her cancer, but it was not killing it. At this time, the doctor felt it was in her best interest if he referred her to a doctor that specialized more on the lung side of it. She was referred to Millennium Oncology and had her first appointment two days later.
On Friday of that same week an MRI of the brain was done because of daily headaches and an ultrasound was done to get exact measurements before starting the new chemo-therapy drugs. On Monday, April 7, 2014, Tracie began chemo-therapy again. This time with completely different chemo-therapy drugs and a new doctor. She also began receiving regular shots to help boost her red and white blood cell counts. Fortunately, the side effects this time have not been as bad as the first chemo-therapy drugs.
After many months of continued prayers and an unshakeable faith in God, on Monday, May 19, 2014, we received good news! After only two rounds of chemo-therapy, a PET scan revealed that all the cancer on the lungs is gone and each ovary has reduced in size by over an inch! At their largest, her ovaries were over 17cm. and 9cm.. Normal size is 2-3cm., so she still has a way to go, but she is finally headed in the right direction. At this point, the doctor suggested that she continue the current treatments until she has completed six total of the current chemo-therapy drugs. At which time, he will order more scans and see if she is ready for surgery to remove the ovaries.
Tracie moved to Magnolia when she was only 2 and a half and grew up there her whole life. She is a Magnolia High School Class of 1988 Alumni. She grew up playing softball with Magnolia Sports Association and in her teen years was a member of the Magnolia High School Marching Band. She held officer positions every year including uniform chairman and band president her senior year. She worked at the local grocery store back then, Amato's, and at a local pharmacy, Pinewood Pharmacy. She attended and was baptized at Magnolia First Baptist church as a young child. She currently is attending the River of Praise Church in Tomball. Tracie is a 14 year employee of Frito-Lay. She has insurance and disability leave from her employer. She has been off work since Christmas and her short-term disability is about to turn into long-term disability, which means her percentage of her pay will go down even more. She has received some help from family and friends, but is struggling to financially stay afloat as the medical bills keep piling up. We are hoping that this benefit will bring in enough to pay off her medical bills and enable her to complete this fight without the stress of finances.
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