A New Diagnosis

My mom has cancer.  I know what you must be thinking…the same thing I was…what do you mean, cancer?  We’ve already been through this.  They thought it was cancer, but then diagnosed her with pancreatitis.  There are no take backs, they can’t change their minds, can they?  Well, unfortunately, even in the medical community they sometimes get it wrong.  These doctors are human after all.  It turns out that when a needle biopsy is performed in the pancreas and cancer is present there’s a very big chance that they can completely miss the cancer cells altogether which provides a false negative result.  With that in mind, here’s what we’ve learned from the tests performed in St. Louis last week:

The CT Scan revealed a mass the size of a golf ball in her pancreas. 

The final results of the endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy confirmed that cancer cells are present.

Initially we thought my mom could undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments to try and shrink the mass so that it can be removed surgically.  However, then we were told that the mass has formed around the superior mesenteric artery and that it is inoperable.

My mom will go in tomorrow (4/14) to have the “cancer marker” test repeated to try and determine how quickly the mass is growing.

On Thursday (4/23) she’ll go in to meet with a physician at the oncology group (where she was treated for breast cancer) to discuss treatment options, medications, etc.

Please continue to pray for wisdom for the doctors as they make decisions about my mom’s care and treatment options, that my mom will not be in pain and that it will be controlled properly, for our family as we try to grasp this news…that we’d remain strong and supportive, and ultimately that God will perform a miracle and heal my mom.  We know he is quite capable of such a miracle!



Filed under Arkansas, Family, Health

4 responses to “A New Diagnosis

  1. kathy

    Hey – I’ve been keeping up through Sarah. I’m so sorry about your mom. We are praying for you all. We love you, aunt kathy & uncle steve

  2. Oh my gosh, Joanna, I’m so sorry. I know you must all be in shock. I have to tell you, though, your post is very gracious. I fear I would have a hard time not being angry, despite the fact that, like you said, doctors are human (I understand that more than most). It’s just hard, especially when something like this happens to one we hold so dear, to stay level-headed and to remember what’s true.

    What’s true is that our God is all-powerful. He is the ultimate Great Physician. He is the ultimate Healer.

    I respect and admire you so much for reflecting that truth, despite your disbelief in what is happening around you. The strength of your witness is powerful, my friend.

    I will be praying diligently for your sweet mom.


    “My hope in God is the anchor of my soul, both sure and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19)

  3. jill Weikel

    Jo, thanks for keeping everyone posted. i do not think i could do this as well as you have about writing and keeping everyone in the loop about mom. I know that if we as a family we can get through this together and stay strong for mom and Bill. we have a long road ahead, but I know if we just give it to the Lord he will take care of this and he will take care of mom too. Its like I’ve told mom do not worry about us let us worry about you. She is so worried about us kids, but I told her it is time for us to worry about her now. Thank you, for this post Jo… Love ya, Jill


    JO- I am so sorry to hear that. Just remember you all are in my prayers. We love you very much and if you need ANYTHING I’m just a phone call away. Love, Dana and Scoot

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