Rally for Milette

Dear family and friends,
I am starting a GoFundMe page for my dear cousin Milette Lafferty. Milette will be having major surgery on June 27th, to remove a cancerous mass in her left kidney. Milette has had some major medical scares over the last few years and this will be her biggest battle yet to fight. All of you who know and love Milette, know she is one of the strongest, most loving, hardworking women/mother/wife on the planet. I wish to raise funds so Milette can take her much needed time to rest, recover and have relief from all the worries of the day to day necessities, such as groceries, utilities, rent, daycare, and medications she will need.

Here is Milette’s story as it all started May 12th

 On Friday May 12th, I started noticing some discomfort in my lower abdominal area, possibly thinking I either had a bladder maybe a kidney infection starting or something else was going on.  I waited to see if the pain would subside, but as the weekend went on, the discomfort was getting worse.  My husband wanted to take me to the ER on Sunday May 14th, 2017 Mother’s Day mind you, and I refused.  With two daughters the age of 8 and 5, I just felt the pain might go away and if not I would call the doctor in the morning to see if I could get into my OBGYN.   
On May 15th 20017 I was at work and left work early due to severe lower abdomen pain. With my history, I’ve had with my female organs, the ER Dr. Wiser, ordered a blood work, CT Scan and I also had an ultrasound ordered.  When they received the test results of both imaging, they found a 5-cm cyst on my left ovary, about the size of a lemon, which was bleeding on the inside of my ovary, and a 3.3 x 3 cm Renal Mass on my left kidney.  
May 16th, 2017, I received a call from the nurse in the ER stating a Urologist, Dr. Nicholson, wanted emergency imaging on the Renal Mass on my kidney.  I was also scheduled an office visit with Dr. Nicholson the Urologist, May 18th. During this office visit with the Urologist, he informed me that there was a cancerous mass in my left kidney, and it needed to be removed. With the CT Scan, they found the mass to be in the middle of my kidney and he stated that, it was not looking good for the left kidney.  He also on the other hand gave me very positive hopes that I can live with one kidney, and informed me that if I hadn’t been doctoring with my ovary, they wouldn’t have found the Renal Mass on my left kidney.   Dr. Nicholson gave us a very informational consultation of the removal of the entire left kidney.  We also talked about second opinion with the only option of going to Mayo Clinic Hospital, in Rochester, MN for a robotic surgery called the da Vinci Surgery, but stated I would have to do consultation first, and more than likely further testing, which would not be all in one day.  

May 23rd, during the second office visit with Dr. Nicholson, he again informed me that the Renal Mass was inside the kidney, but now on another positive note, there now is a chance of saving a part of my kidney, which anytime you can save an organ you’re better off.  We talked about procedure of the partial removal, procedure of the whole kidney, and we talked about the Robotic Surgery with the da Vinci System. We talked about recovery time, which will be 6-8 weeks if all goes well, with a hospital stay of 4-5 days. We talked about the possibility of dialysis later in life. He also wanted me to visit his partner Dr. Lichter for a consultation on removal of the partial kidney, as that is what he specializes in.  My appointment with Dr. Lichter is scheduled for June1st, 2017, and he will also schedule my surgery date at this appointment too. 
June 1st, I visited a second Urologist, Dr. Leichter who specializes in the partial kidney removal.  He informed me that he is going to try save my kidney, but there is a possibility that my kidney will have to be removed.  He stated that my kidney tumor is close to a main blood vessel and if that vessel for some reason gets cut in the process and I lose a lot of blood, it will be removed completely.  He also stated that there is also a vessel from the bladder to the kidney that is close to my tumor and if that gets cut I will be coming out of surgery with a drainage bag and the possibility of going home with a drainage bag. I was also informed that he will have to break the bottom of my left rib to get at the tumor.  He stated when you are diagnosed with Renal Mass Carcinoma, you either have a slow tumor growth, or it is fast acting.   The treatment is partial removal or whole removal of the kidney, with no radiation or chemotherapy. I will have a 3-4 day stay in the hospital, with a six-week recovery and there will be restrictions of no duties at least the first 3-4 weeks.  I will have a post appointment six weeks after the surgery, with follow up appointments every three months for a year.  If everything checks out, I will have follow up appointments every six months, then continue to yearly appointments.  

June 27th Milette will have her surgery. Please help spread the word and support in any way that you can.

August (date to be determined) we are planning for a family & friends picnic at one of the Grand Forks parks. The picnic will be in honor of Milette’s tremendous journey and recovery. We will have lots of fun things planned for the kids and adults.


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Ruth Wirtz 
Fargo, ND
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