In early June, Adrian LeQue came down with what she thought was a bad case of the stomach flu. Adrian missed three days of work in a row, which is unheard of for her. When her symptoms hadn’t let up over a week later, her primary care provider decided to order a CT scan. What they found was shocking, and has turned Adrian’s life upside down completely.
Within two days, Adrian was prepping for surgery at Mayo Clinic. On Tuesday, June 20th, 2017, Adrian went under the knife for an operation they initially estimated would take surgeons two hours to complete. A little over four hours later, Adrian came out of surgery. In addition to a total hysterectomy, doctors also removed two masses from Adrian’s ovaries and surrounding organs. One of these was a little over five centimeters, and the other was just less than thirteen centimeters. For size comparison, the masses were the size of a large plum and a large cantaloupe! To ensure they’d gotten good margins, Adrian’s team of surgeons also removed a number of lymph nodes in the surrounding area. The surgery also involved a large incision from her breastbone to her pubic bone.
Upon biopsy of the masses and lymph nodes, Adrian was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Adrian’s doctors at Mayo quickly came up with a treatment plan, which involves Adrian and her loving husband Kevin traveling from their home in Nelson, WI to Rochester Mayo every Tuesday for chemotherapy. Due to the immunosuppressive qualities of chemotherapy, Adrian has been limited in her activities and her guests. Unfortunately, this includes Adrian’s beloved dogs, Olive and Leah, whose visits have been limited to those from behind a gate in Adrian’s bedroom doorway. This has, quite possibly, been one of the most difficult realities of Adrian’s recovery. Fortunately, Adrian has had an amazing support network standing behind her throughout this difficult journey. In addition, she’s had her number one supporter, her daughter Chelsea, by her side from day one.
Adrian has had a number of setbacks in her recovery due to complications with wound healing. Between the incision splitting open on its own, to doctors having to reopen large sections of the wound to allow it to heal, to packing the wound with sterile dressing, this has been a painful process for Adrian. Now, over two months post-op, Adrian has been prescribed a wound vacuum to help the healing process, which requires a health aide to come to her home.
Those of us who know Adrian know just how motivated and headstrong she is. She’s always lending a hand to those around her, and is passionate about serving others. Adrian is very reliable and has dedicated over ten years to her residents at Samaritan Bethany, working in various positions from cook to caregiver, and now as a Registered Dietician. In addition, throughout her service as Squad Captain with the Western Buffalo County ambulance crew, Adrian has dedicated innumerable hours to saving the lives of others and helping those who need her help the most.
Unfortunately, Adrian has been out of work since the middle of June and the bills have begun stacking up. It’s our turn to help Adrian through this unimaginably difficult time, as she has helped so many others through their own adversity.
One last thing…it’s incredibly important to remember that the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are “silent.” Ovarian cancer can mimic other illnesses, or normal bodily changes. The signs and symptoms to look out for are:
-Pelvic or abdominal pain
-Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
-Urinary urgency or frequency
TAKE ACTION if you notice the occurrence of symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks. Experts suggest a combination of pelvic and rectal exams, a transvaginal ultrasound, and a CA125 blood test. If ovarian cancer is suspected, please contact a gynecological oncologist. For more information, contact (612) [phone redacted] or visit mnovarian.org