Since October of 2016, shortly after her 31st birthday, Deanna has been suffering through a variety of lingering ailments that the doctors had a hard time putting their finger on. In the spring of 2017, two days before our first anniversary, she became very ill and starting losing weight - this lead to a hospitalization in April that discovered a large mass on her liver and the accompanying area. On April 17, after some extensive biopsy work, we learned it was cancerous, and an immediate plan to stop the negative effects of the mass was put in place by the doctors.
After numerous consultations, a plan was put in place to remove a 10lb mass, a portion of her liver and sections of her diaphragm. The surgery was extensive, and appeared successful except for some small side effects that extended her hospital stay, covering 3 full weeks of the month of April.
Throughout May, Deanna rested and healed - from the effects of the surgery, and the aches and pains of 3 weeks of hospital beds. The surgery was very traumatic, and moving forward with chemotherapy or any other treatment was put on hold for 6 weeks to allow her body to recover. Aches took the place of more major pains, but with gradual at home therapy, she was starting to feel better and after Memorial Day, attempted to return to work.
Her brief return to work was met with an almost immediate backslide in her health - including an inability to hold down food, fatigue, tiredness, restless sleep, and forgetfulness she had never had before. In early June, the oncologist called with a full toxicology report indicating the cancer had spread, and based on the symptoms I described, recommended we go to the ER for an emergency CT scan.
The CT scan came back with brain swelling and lesions indicating tumors - combined with the cancer spreading to the healthy part of the liver, the lungs, the stomach and the spine. An overnight hospital stay and another barrage of appointments and consults lead to a quick decision to focus on abating the cancer in her brain thru daily radiation treatments, and we hope to jump straight into chemo when the radiation treatments are complete.
This cancer is aggressive - we have consulted with many of the top oncologists in the valley, and treatment is going to be an uphill battle. Deanna is currently unable to work, and it's unknown when she may be able to return. We find ourselves facing the struggles of managing the disease and unable to manage parts of our everyday finances. It's becoming difficult to keep up with our normal bills on top of the out of pocket medical expenses. Just today, we received a letter from the insurance company denying coverage for one of Deanna's hospital stays. We are not sure what the future brings, but would welcome your thoughts, prayers, and any financial help you are able to provide.
Nick and Deanna
- A Baxter
- Brad Stein
- Tabitha Ferreira
- Charlotte Havemann
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