I am writing this on behalf of my amazing sister in-law Samalena Sullivan. On May 5, 2020 Sam was diagnosed with a rare type of Uterine Carcinosarcoma (stage 4), meaning her cancer started in the uterus but grew to surround organs. She was then airlifted to Huntman’s Cancer Institute in SLC where they started her treatment with an emergency surgery. At the time of her diagnosis Sam had cancerous masses growing on her lower intestines as well as a large mass under her liver, the doctors believe she went undiagnosed for about 5 years due to poor medical attentiveness and lack of proper testing at her local IHS hospitals on the reservation. She began her chemotherapy treatments at San Juan Regional Cancer Center in the beginning June and has received chemo every three weeks since.
In the beginning of October after her 4 month check-up we received bad news. Her cancer stopped responding to the chemotherapy and has grown at a rapid pace for being 4-months post-op. After lots of poking, prodding, and scans the doctors found new growths developing in her lungs, lower left abdomen, as well as her lymph nodes. The new growth on her lungs caused her left lung to collapse sending her to emergency surgery, the surgery and recovery went fine. However, the most concerning news was that the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes which means it now has train ride throughout her entire body. Because of this the doctors can’t give us a time frame for how long she has, but basically advised us to do as much as we can while she’s still walking and able to enjoy things.
This news hasn’t and won’t stop her from fighting, so now we try a new kind of chemotherapy medication that will hopefully slow the growth of her masses and stop or slow the spread of cancer throughout her body. Sam’s next chemo infusion is on Dec 2nd where they will have another update on her condition.
We understand this year has brought difficult times for everyone and we understand not everyone has the financial ability to donate money but words of affirmation, a share, positive thoughts or even just your favorite soup recipe would be very much appreciated during these hard times. The funds collected will go to Sam, her medical expenses, travel expenses to get to appointments, PPE and any remaining will go towards her bucket list.