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On December 7th, Shyra had a laparoscopic surgery to remove a cyst that was growing on her right ovary. The surgeon discovered upon examination a suspicious growth and decided it was best to remove the whole ovary. After sending the biopsies to pathology, the test results were devastating, positive for an aggressive form of ovarian cancer. Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Doctors & her family are baffled as to this diagnosis since there is no family history.
The cancer had metastasized & spread to the outer lining of her abdomen as well as her lungs. It is a linear cancer, which can lay dormant and undetected in regular exams. At first they recommended another surgery to remove her appendix and fallopian tubes after the results of a CT scan and MRI, the results showed ovarian carcinoma cancer between stage 2 and 3.
Unfortunately, on Jan 15th, Shyra's stomach got swollen and she began to bleed out of her belly button. In a matter of days, her stomach was growing rapidly and she was in so much discomfort she couldn't even walk. She went to the ER and they did a lower abdominal scan and CT scan, which showed a mass growing under her belly button. After meeting with her oncologist to discuss treatment (only 5 days later on Jan 20th), the mass had grown to such a significant size that the doctor said it would be too dangerous to operate.
After meeting with a few different oncologists, specialists, and getting 2nd and 3rd and 4th opinions from the medical and holistic fields, the diagnosis and urgent need for action were the same.
Chemotherapy needed to happen ASAP to shrink the growth so that a successful surgery can take place. Due to the seriousness and aggression of the cancer her life was at stake and it's going to be a lengthy road to fight & recover from this. Her first round of Chemo was on Jan 21st. It would take place every 3 weeks, for 6 hours for 6 months. About halfway through, the oncologist planned to do another set of scans to determine if operating is a possibility. We rallied around her as a family, each day, to support and encourage Shyra and her husband Michael through this difficult season.
March 4, 2021
Shyra had a CT scan, which showed more tumors growing in her lungs and liver. It also showed that her tumor in her abdomen (surrounding the belly button) has grown to the size of an avocado, and had been pushing its way out of her belly up button, causing extreme discomfort. The oncologist recommended switching to a more concentrated chemo treatment (used for GI tumors) to shrink these tumors more effectively. This meant that every 2 weeks, Shyra would be going in for chemotherapy. She had one round of this more concentrated chemo and it seemed to be working at the time, shrinking the tumor growing outside her belly button, but the side effects were awful.
April 14th, 2021
The results from the PetScan showed that the chemotherapy did not have a huge effect or dramatically shrink things down as we hoped.
The main area of concern, the umbilical mass growing out of Shyra’s abdomen, had only shrunk 0.6mm and that is after 5 rounds of chemotherapy (which started on January 21st). It is still too large to operate, measuring about 5.5cm in diameter. Basically the size of a peach.
The Pet Scan also showed that her cancer is in fact in her tissue (lymph nodes), as the original report from pathology showed back in December.
She had several hyper metabolic (cancerous) lymph nodes throughout her body. The Pet Scan revealed that the cancer had spread to her lungs, liver, chest, pelvis, armpits, and her spine (L4 to be precise), and would continue to spread if left untreated. The cancer was now stage 4.
Due to the rapid metastasis activity in Shyra’s lymph nodes, surgery was not possible at this time.
Shyra planned to start radiation and clinical trial immunotherapy next week, on May 11th. Both treatments would work together to hopefully speed up the results and get Shyra comfortable and without pain. If her body responded well, the radiologist will then work on targeting the other cancerous lymph nodes in Shyra’s body.
May 8th, 2021
Shyra was hospitalized due to loss of consciousness for an extended period of time. Turns out she was going into septic shock, showing heart arrhythmia and also battling pneumonia, on top of everything else (cancer!) attacking her frail body. She was in the ICU in critical condition, until this morning, May 11th, Shyra took her last breath. She fought hard, but her weakened immune system could not fight the pneumonia.
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