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July 2006


   « June       Cherryl Ι Liz        August »


Cherryl's Story


as told by her husband, Walter


In 2002 Cherryl was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This has caused right sided hemiparesis (slight paralysis). This has gradually worsened and due to loss of strength and balance Cherryl now uses a quad-cane.


Cherryl worked for 10 years for a home medical supplier until May 2004. At that time she was experiencing a gradual increase in memory lapses that affected her ability to remember how to do her work. This would last for a few minutes or even hours at a time.


By July 2004 she was experiencing increasingly bad headaches(similar to a migraine). We were not able to control it once and wound up in the ER. This prompted a call to Cherryl’s Neurologist who ordered another MRI to determine if there was a new active MS lesion (spot) in the brain. With that done in the middle of August,she saw the neurologist on Tuesday August 31 and he said it did not look like an MS lesion as it was larger than that and he wanted her to see a Neuro-surgeon on Thursday September 2.



At that visit Cherryl was advised that the MRI showed a tumor lying just left of the center of the brain about 1 ˝ inches below the crest of the skull. We were able to see the radiographs and saw there a tumor about the size of a large apricot. The surgeon recommended immediate surgery to be scheduled as early as possible the next week.

The following Tuesday Cherryl was admitted to Yakima Regional Hospital. Surgery lasted about four or five hours. The surgeon came out to advise the family that it was a single lymphoma that was mostly removed but not completely. This is done to not disturb the surrounding healthy brain tissue and since lymphomas are usually treated non-surgically anyway.


Cherryl spent a few days in ICU and then a few more on the regular surgical floor. From there she was ‘discharged’ to inpatient rehabilitation for nearly two weeks so she could relearn to walk with balance and the use of the cane.


Next came chemotherapy; six treatments every two weeks and ending just before Christmas 2004. After the first of the year there was 5 weeks of radiation administered every week day. Finally there were two more rounds of chemotherapy.


Since then we have had a chance to have Cherryl’s mental function evaluated. Short term memory is impaired. She repeats herself multiple times in a short span of time (just minutes) although a great deal less often now than before. Certain misnaming of objects occurs. Numbers, date and times are difficult for her to correctly say or write. Some letters of the alphabet she is sporadically unable to produce without help. All these symptoms are very frustrating.


More recently Cherryl had her annual gynecological exam at which time she advised the doctor some recent lower right side abdominal pain. An ultrasound showed what appeared to be a rather large cystic ovary. So surgery was scheduled at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital for Tuesday May 30, 2006 to remove both ovaries (hysterectomy having been previously done in early 2003).


The surgery was going to be approximately 1 hour, after which the surgeon would come out to advise the family how it had gone. The surgeon did not appear for about 2 hours, twenty minutes. He called me (Walter) to a private room to explain that he had never seen anything quite like what Cherryl presented. It was a lymphoma that had infiltrated the right ovary. The tumor is roughly the size of a small flattened grapefruit. Again, surgery is not the treatment of choice and due to the heavy bleeding it presented the surgery was longer than anticipated in order to control the bleeding.


Cherryl was transferred from surgery to ICU where she received two units of red blood cells overnight. The next afternoon, Wednesday the 31st she was transferred to the surgical floor where she stayed until Friday afternoon.


One week later, we called the surgeon’s office to let them know that Cherryl was experiencing edema (swelling in the feet and legs). Her abdomen was swollen to about 3 or 4 times bigger than her normal looking lower belly. There was considerable bruising across the belly and even down the outside of her thighs. The doctor’s office called back and said to take her to the hospital NOW.


The ER was able to determine that there was no internal bleeding but that her red cell count was half what it should be. In consulting with the surgeon and the oncologist that will soon be starting chemotherapy again, it was determined to keep her overnight to infuse two more red cell units.


Cherryl is scheduled for a PET/CT scan on June 21 and will see her oncologist on June 26.


She has been married to Walter since 2003. She has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.




July 2006 Feature




Name: Cherryl D.

Birthday: January 31st



Updates on: Cherryl


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