January 25th, Kacie headed to the operating room under general anesthetic to have the mass removed from her throat. Doctors performed what they call a "Quick Freeze" biopsy and the growth was determined to be non-cancerous. This was fantastic news but meant they were still without a diagnosis. The next day Kacie again entered the OR for a biopsy of the lung tumor which also, after a QF Biopsy was determined to be noncancerous. It was then that Infectious Disease was brought in, they quickly started her on a regimen of almost non-stop antibiotics while they waited for the final biopsy results. At this point the "Waiting Game" began, X-rays to ensure the lungs were healing appropriately, blood tests to confirm Kidney and Liver function had not been impeded by the stringent regiment of antibiotics. Cultures were sent to the Mayo Clinic for a 2nd opinion in anticipation that they were dealing with something exceedingly rare. Cultures can take a very long time to develop, as bacteria takes awhile to grow. On the 30th another MRI was run and it was determined that the growth in her brain had grown and the decision was made to go into surgery before test results were received. Kacie was transferred back to the new medical center that houses Sanford's Neurosurgery team and on February 1st the lead neurosurgeon was able to remove the brain mass in its entirety and send it out to pathology for testing. Post-surgery, the surgeon commented that the mass had "popped out like a marble" and he was 100% confident that the mass had been removed completely.
4 days later, on the 5th of February, Infectious Disease confirmed a Diagnosis of Nocardia, essentially a rare bacterial infection that is normally found in the lung but in rare cases can travel to other parts of the body and organs making it extremely serious. Due to the fact that the infection had spread all the way to her brain, doctors felt moving forward, Kacie would have to be treated both extremely and cautiously.
In summary; Kacie also has 17 new additions in the form of staples on the side of her head where doctors entered to remove the brain mass. She has been on IV Antibiotics since January 26th and a PICC line on February 7th. She will continue to receive antibiotics for at least the next 6 weeks, then tests and scans will be run to determine if she can then be moved onto oral meds or continue with current treatment. Due to the severity and complexity of antibiotics being administered she cannot be discharged but will be moving to a nursing home for the next 6 weeks.
Friends, Family and Co-Workers have banded together to start this Go-FundMe page to help Kacie and Larry cover insurance deductibles and living expenses as Kacie will not be able to return to work anytime soon. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and donations.