Back, neck and shoulder pain is something that everyone has experienced and dealt with at some point. Take some Advil, do some yoga, try using a heating pad and hope it goes away. During the later part of Summer 2016, Alexa started to experience these aches. A trip to her primary care provider and a Xray lead to indicate it was most likely a pinched nerve or strained muscle causing constant pain and numbness. She pain managed it as many of us do: yoga, chiropractors, and heating pads. Eventually, the pain became too overwhelming to bare, and her primary doctor advised her to get an MRI.
The visit to Baldwin Hospital occurred during the first week in December where the MRI was performed. The medical team at Baldwin decided that she would be best suited to be rushed to Regions Hospital for additional tests and images. The tests performed at Regions revealed tumors had decided to invade Alexa's body, starting in her breast and spreading to her spine, neck, lung and pelvis. This was where we also then discovered that due to tumors moving into her spine, some of her vertebra (T1-T2), decide to move out. At this point, Alexa was immediately admitted to Regions. Plan of attack: stabilize her neck and spine with surgery to prevent spinal cord injury, and to biopsy the tumors to determine if they are cancerous or not.
Friday, December 9th, biopsies were completed on the tumors in her breast.
Over the weekend, we had meetings with several Doctors about our plan of attack. There were many emotions flying each and every day. However, with all the recent instability, we found comfort and peace in knowing our amazing medical team will be giving our girl the upmost best care possible.
Monday, December 12th, the day of surgery. Today was the day that her neck and spinal cord would be stabilized with rods and pins. That day we also discovered the test results and were informed that Alexa has Stage 4 Breast Cancer and it has spread very aggressively. Needless to say, many tears were shed, but we still knew that she was in the best hands. Before surgery, Alexa had a Healing Touch practitioner come in an administer a session. Alexa mentioned to Erik that as soon as the session started, she was seeing the color purple. We have come to find that purple is the color of the crown chakra. The energy centers that are the most well studied are seven points starting at the base of the spine moving to the crown (above the head). The crown chakra is connected to spirit and higher self. It's also the place of infinite consciousness and spirituality. This is Alexa's Purple Vision and we know it is carrying her to health and happiness.
Surgery ended up lasting from 3:14pm to 9:48pm. They decided to extend the surgery an additional two hours, with the hope that she will not need further spine/neck surgery as we move forward. The surgery went extremely well. Even though it was more intense than they anticipated, having to fuse a stabilizing rod from the base of her scull to her T5 vertebra, due to not being able to find any healthy bone. During this surgery, they were also able to do a biopsy from the tumor on her upper spine. At the end of the day, our amazing team made her spine safe and stable again!
The next day, our team was hoping that Alexa would be able to walk to the bathroom, and our amazing girl decided to get up and walk around the entire eleventh floor at Regions Hospital TWICE! Nothing will stop her!
The eviction notice has been given to these tumors and cancer cells. Radiation treatment started on December 14, 2016. Alexa is currently fighting to kick these unwanted tenets in her body out while at Regions. Erik, Kevin, Carol and Carly's devotion of time and love to Alexa is as unstoppable as Alexa's good spirit, laughter, and fight. Many nights have been spent in the hospital chairs or on the floor; never wanting to leave her side. We have a devoted team of family and friends ready and willing to make her recovery smooth and full of clean, good energy.
In the near future, Alexa will be healing at their home in Prescott, WI.
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With much love,