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Posted 2018-08-03T02:29:34Z

Cancer stinks

Wow, I really have some catching  up to do! Looks like I last posted right before the Fourth of July holiday.  I will try to do a brief synopsis of July (you know, though, that brevity is not my strong suit!).

I was able to enjoy the weekend before the Fourth with the Sommers/Sawicki side of the family up at Todd Lake.  We were fortunate that all of our kids were able to join us as well!  I had lots of help getting around, up and down, in and out of the boat, etc from my boys and all our Todd Lake friends.  I continued the BRAF meds, did not have any negative side effects, and just had a great time.  Managed the pain by increasing the pain meds as instructed by Dr. Lao's office.

For the weekend after the Fourth (since the Fourth was on a Wednesday, wasn't that grand), we joined our high school friends at the Myny's new lake house.  Again all of our kids were able to join us, and we had lots of hands and manpower to help me get around.  I took it very easy on the Fourth, I stayed on the boat and didn't even go on the sand bar, but despite my best efforts, I woke up Thursday morning with terrible neck and shoulder pain.  Thought I busted up my right clavicle again.  I think, though, that I was turning my head constantly on Wednesday to chat with people, follow the sand bar action, watch impressive boats go by, and watch all the other fun things that go on at sand bars in the lake on holiday weekends.  Not even my pain meds could bring the clavicle/shoulder pain down.  It got a little better each day, and it was about 7 days before I started being able to use my right arm and hand.  It's all better now, I'm happy to report.

I was also fortunate enough to spend the weekend of July 12-15 at a horseshow in Kentucky with my daughter.  Now that might sound fancy, but don't go thinking that I was running through the bluegrass-covered hills of Kentucky like Maria in the Sound of Music.  Again I lined up many hands to attend the show with me and help my daughter Natalie with any and all horseshow things. Jill drove us down and would have taken Natalie to the show even if I wasn't well enough to go.   Another of my besties, Shannon, and her daughter drove up from Georgia to join us for the weekend and helped groom for Nat.  Carla, the owner of the wonderful horse that she let Nat ride and show this season, trailered the horse and tack down and was always there to lend a helping hand.  My only job was to sit in the golf cart and supervise from afar.  This show was a bucket list item for me (maybe I wrote that somewhere before, it feels familiar).  This horseshow is a show that my bestie Jill and I used to attend with our horses back in the early 2000's, and it takes place on the same competition grounds that the best riders in the nation and the world come to compete on in April each year.  I wanted desperately to be there the first time my daughter rode that course.  I'm so grateful that it worked out that I could be.

That sounds great and fun, right?  Well, I guess to a certain extent it was, but don't be misled: there were challenges each time I was away from home, I'm just grateful that I always had a lot of help around me to get through them.  So, a few days after returning from Kentucky, "it" started to hit the fan. I started having the shortness of breath, and it wasn't going away this time. At first it happened only upon exertion, like walking a distance or having a lengthy conversation.  The shortness of breath just continued to increase in frequency and severity, it started including a cough that really rocked my whole torso each time.  My lower back became more and more painful, and I still had pain in my upper back that harkened back to the spinal fusion surgery.  During this time, my radiation oncologist noticed a spot in my lower back on the edge of one of my scans, so she ordered a more detailed scan of the area in question.  That revealed a small tumor in my spinal cord near the T8 region.  As you can imagine, this is not good.  It is not causing any problems or symptoms right now, but if it continues to grow, it will be a significant problem.  So, radiation of that area, ten treatments.  First treatment was Monday, July 30, and I was scheduled for radiation each day that week as well as each day the following week.  Not really great timing, but I'll make it work.

Upon concluding my radiation treatment yesterday (August 1), Dr. Kim noticed my breathing was very labored.  She sent me over to the ER and I was promptly admitted.  So, I sit here typing this update from the hospital.  Long story short, I have a pretty large tumor in the lower region of my left lung that is putting pressure on the breathing airways.  I went through a lot of diagnostics today.  There isn't much they can do other than - can you guess? -  If you said radiation, you're a winner!  The thing with radiation is that it is a slow process, can take 10-12 weeks for max effectiveness.  There isn't any short-term relief they can offer me.  Also, and this is the worst news:  the lung mass grew significantly while I was taking the BRAF meds.  And it grew despite the immunotherapy (nivolumab) that I had in February and March.  Dr. Lao says this tells him that immunotherapy isn't really working for me. (Insert tears and swear words here.  By me, not Dr. Lao.)  Dr. Lao did say that a  new BRAF med was just recently approved, there isn't much info about it and there are no stats, but it is supposed to be a bit more "strong" than the other BRAF meds that I have been taking, so we are just going to try it and see what happens.  Otherwise I could try traditional chemo.  Yay me.  Of course the revolutionary breakthrough cancer-fighting immunotherapies would not work on me. That is how it always goes for me.   It's too much to wrap my head around.  I guess just please pray this new BRAF inhibitor WORKS and SHRINKS my tumors.  I need it to work.  It's my only hope, Obi Wan.

I'm not sure how long I will be in the hospital.  If I've learned one thing, it's that if I don't get out of here tomorrow (Friday), then I'll be here until at least Monday (no one is around over the weekend to do discharges!). 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  Wear your sunscreen, folks.  Love you.



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Comments (38)

  • Lauri Strauss
    Lauri Strauss

    I’ll pray this new treatment works! Every day they are coming out with something new and better! You are in my prayers! X

    one year ago · Reply
  • Karen Hanosh
    Karen Hanosh

    Amica, sending you lots of love and prayers.❤️

    one year ago · Reply
  • Patrick Zaremba
    Patrick Zaremba

    Hi Molly, know that we love and continue to pray for you. I’m believing in a positive movement guided by the power of the Lord.

    one year ago · Reply
  • susan Hedges
    susan Hedges

    Sending you love and prayers !

    one year ago · Reply
  • Katey Foster
    Katey Foster

    Triple Shits. I'm sorry to hear this news. I'm sending you big big love from my heart right now and wishing you some peace and ease with that breath. There's no way to comfort that....I realize. I'm sorry for what you are going through....You are tough as nails and for some reason you keep having to prove it. Praying for a turn, for an uplift, a shift in the right direction that brings you some lightness....You are a beautiful being....xo from Vermont.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mary prophit
    Mary prophit

    Craaaaapppp! Damn girl you can’t seem to catch a break with this shit. Glad you got to see Nat ride in Kentucky. I put you in our prayer book every week at church . . You have prayer warriors in Washington!! Love you Bucci.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Lisa Cratty
    Lisa Cratty

    Mol - fingers crossed for the new treatment. Who knew you would be stronger than the meds (answer: we all did)?!? You’ve got this, keep up the fight. You’re awesome. xoxo Sleeza Cracky

    one year ago · Reply
  • Molly Bosco OConnor
    Molly Bosco OConnor

    How ironic (maybe not?) when I sent you the text today that I just had to sit and pray for you. Well, we are all praying and we will keep praying. You’ve always been a leader so I won’t be surprised when that “Chief” comes out again and you lead the way with this new and amazing drug to match how amazing and strong you are! It is just rotten that you aren’t catching any easy routes in this battle, but what you can control you do with such grace, strength, humor and love. Thank you for letting us all be witness to your awesomeness!!! Prayer warriors are lifting you up!!! You just revel in that 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ I love you Bucci!! ❤️💋🐴

    one year ago · Reply
  • Ashley Patterson Hayball
    Ashley Patterson Hayball

    If we are measured by the friends we have, you are the KING! I love reading about all the people who are there to help you be anywhere, do anything. And I really love that these are women you met decades ago. Camp ties bind, don’t they?! I’m grateful for your fire. Your courage. Your honesty. And I’m praying for and your family.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Peg pfeiffer
    Peg pfeiffer

    Mol, you can beat this thing. I have so many stories from ppl I have met in the last year that had melenoma and were given the worst fate. They have survived. Miracles exist and God loves you. You are strong and beautiful. I believe you will be healed and so should you. You deserve it keep asking God. "Ask and you shall receive" I will be doing the same for you. Good has a plan for you. Ask him what it is. I love you and I believe you will be cured. You are in my thoughts and prayers always. See you in a few days. You have always been my strength. Peg Ann

    one year ago · Reply
  • Kim Kemper Parrish
    Kim Kemper Parrish

    You are a goddess! I’m so sorry this crap keeps turning up and am awed by your strength. You are never far from my thought and always in my prayers. I love you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️😘😘😘😘😘😘🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴

    one year ago · Reply
  • Michael Hodor
    Michael Hodor

    Always praying for you and your family. Keep fighting, we love you!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Tammy Nader
    Tammy Nader

    Always praying for you Molly. You are the bravest woman I know. We all love and miss you at the FOC.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Angel Danaj
    Angel Danaj

    We are praying for you Molly! You are truely an amazing warrior! Praying this new treatment kicks these tumors butts. Thinking about you every day!🙏❤️ Angel

    one year ago · Reply
  • Beth Graves
    Beth Graves

    Cancer Sucks. I am praying and praying and praying. Love you, Miss Molly! LKH

    one year ago · Reply
  • Kim Gergar
    Kim Gergar

    Molly, I continue to pray for you. Trust in God. He loves you. May you be overwhelmed with strength and comfort. Much love from us❤️

    one year ago · Reply
  • Deborah Hamameh
    Deborah Hamameh

    I'm praying for you Molly, and I miss and love you dearly XOXO

    one year ago · Reply
  • Lynne Yaverski
    Lynne Yaverski

    Prayers, hugs, and love sent to you and your family. Your openness and honesty is incredibly. Love you from the east coast

    one year ago · Reply
  • Sherrie Connelly
    Sherrie Connelly

    You have been and will continue to be in my prayers each & every day! Love you!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jeanne Blasciuc
    Jeanne Blasciuc

    Bucc, I am sorry to hear all of these set are one strong woman! I love your honesty and strength!!!! I am here as always fighting this awful beast! Stay strong my warrior sister. I love you girl. a note to everyone from you and me, wear your sunscreen and get your mammograms.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Erika Beauchamp
    Erika Beauchamp

    Love love LOVE you Miss Molly & thinking of you always and constantly praying! You are so strong🌸❤️🌸❤️

    one year ago · Reply
  • Val Berishaj
    Val Berishaj

    Praying for you Moll! Love and miss you!!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Marjorie Schneider
    Marjorie Schneider

    Molly, you have inspired this Scottish lass to schedule a body scan!!! I keep you in my prayers daily and hope that this new stuff does the trick!! LKH!!!!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Susan

    Thinking and praying for you often! 💕

    one year ago · Reply
  • Faye Cooper
    Faye Cooper

    Positivity breeds positivity ... yours is amazing, Molly! <3 <3 <3

    one year ago · Reply
  • Zaira Maio
    Zaira Maio

    Each day my thoughts, my prayers and my heart are with you. Love Z

    one year ago · Reply
  • Amy haneline
    Amy haneline

    Aww Bucc- So happy to hear that you were able to spend so much time with friends and family over the summer and check a big item off your bucket list. It sounds like your tribe spans many territories and is always available to assist you....that warms my heart. Your spirit brings people like that into your life....because you've been that person for others in the past and your personality is infectious. So much love going around. Sorry to hear that your treatment is not keeping the 'bad-guys' away and praying OUT LOUD IN HIGH VOLUMES that this new treatment will start helping you turn the corner. Go away 'bad buys'! Leave our Bucci alone!!! Much love much love.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Julie Riordan
    Julie Riordan

    Bucci, you do have prayer warriors in Washington! Praying for strength, healing, love-for you and your family. I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this. You are beautiful & strong-Keep fighting.

    one year ago · Reply
  • mickey sobieski
    mickey sobieski

    boy, w/all that radiation, you must shine more than usual!! miss your smiling face & smart comments. love you, & will continue to pray for you & yours. mickey

    one year ago · Reply
  • Catherine McGee
    Catherine McGee

    Ugh! This really wasn't the post I was hoping to read, yet I love your openness and honesty. Praying for the new treatment to finally work and no new problems to creep up and hinder progress. Sending lost of hugs across the keyboard. <3

    one year ago · Reply
  • Katherine Baldini
    Katherine Baldini

    What Peg said! Miracles exist. God loves you. You are strong and brave. Praying praying praying for you. xoxoxoxo

    one year ago · Reply
  • Cindy Millns
    Cindy Millns

    Darn it! Sending you love and prayers.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Margaret Dewey Wielenberg
    Margaret Dewey Wielenberg

    Hi Molly. So glad you had so much fun with family and friends in July. That seems to be the best medicine. I was also in Kentucky (Lexington area) in July, for a tour of some Bourbon distilleries on the "Bourbon Trail." Beautiful part of the country and I was admiring all of the rolling green hills and horse farms. Let me know next time your headed that way - it's not too far from Indiana. I'm continuing to pray for you and I hope you are home now or going home today. Lots and lots of love my friend!!!! xoxo Margaret

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jessica Calvert
    Jessica Calvert

    Bucc, your strength and honesty blow me away as always. Praying that this new treatment works for you! I’m glad you were able to have some good times so far this summer and know that more good times are on their way! I love you so much!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Elizabeth Cook
    Elizabeth Cook

    Love you my dear friend! I'm so happy to hear about Nats ride, YAY! SO glad you got to see it. I'm praying for you,and the new treatment....much Love! I'd say that you are amazing,, though I know you must be so very tired of being amazing, just want this over with...XO.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Linda Wallis
    Linda Wallis

    Thanks for the update Molly, you've been through so much. I continue to pray for your healing and also that God continues to give you strength through all of this. I miss you being here at FOC and look forward to the day when you are well. Take care my friend. xo

    one year ago · Reply
  • Erin Dial
    Erin Dial

    So glad I got to see you and Nat at BR a few weeks ago. And so awesome about KY. I continue to think of you every day. LKH- MAC

    one year ago · Reply

    Just reading this, Molly. God, I hope you are feeling better, my friend. I have pony stories for you, so you hang tight and fight that fight. xoxo

    one year ago · Reply