Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dear Friends and Supporters: I have not been feeling well for about 2-3 months now and at first they thought it was my gallbladder was infected, but it never settled down in a month of antibiotics and pain. My primary care doc sent me to a surgeon thinking it was still my gallbladder and needed to come out. He ordered a CT scan and then referred me to an Internist. I went to see the specialist on Thursday in Harare and after reviewing my Cat-Scan and a thorough physical exam he has concluded I have Lymphoma (Cancer of the Lymph system). He told me that in Zimbabwe there is no use doing any more investigations because most of the pathologists have left the country and the oncologists are not comfortable treating Lymphoma. She he suggested I go to a specialist in SA or US.
I have chosen to go to S.A. to get worked up, have an exploratory lap to take the lymph nodes near my liver out for histology and so they can visualize my spleen. The enlarged lymph nodes near my liver what was causing my pain originally so they thought I had gallbladder problems. My spleen is very enlarged. He felt that it was very urgent for me to be seen ASAP and intervened to get me an appointment with the doctor in Johannesburg who he knows and trusts and has worked with before. He has referred me to a lady doctor, Dr. Gunther and I am flying to S.A. on Sunday May 6th and will be checked into a private hospital in Johannesburg on May 8th (Tues) to begin the workup with the doctor. Karen Pennington, my fellow missionary friend from Masvingo, will be flying down with me and Ben, her husband will drive down Monday to join us. They will stay until I am discharged. Depending on what they find and what they recommend for treatment then I will decide about going for treatment to the US or have the treatment done in S.A. Depends on how I am feeling, how long the treatment is, etc. If there is going to be several weeks of chemo I might as well be home and not paying to stay in a hotel in S.A.
Right now I am not feeling that bad. I am not sleeping well due to pain on and off at night. Also our dirt road is so bad now so every time I go to or from Harare it seems I don’t feel well for some days after. It is now taking us 2+ hours to Karoi it is so bad and no one seems to be working on it. I get tired after working all day and trying to organized food for visitors and meals have been exhausting because I haven’t felt much like eating. My only visitor leaves on May 1 and then 2 arrive on May 10th.
  Major and Cheryl have volunteered to keep the visitors entertained and working hard and my cook can do the meals I will plan out before I go. Cheryl Kellert, our new doctor here wanted to go with me but we have an urologist, Dr. Palleschi from Santa Rosa arriving on May 10th for 8 days and so I want her to stay and take care of him as we have been lining up patients for him to see. When he leaves on the 18th if I am still in S.A. then Major and her will drive down to be with me. Until then Karen has “volunteered” to be with me.
Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts. Will keep you informed as things progress. I am bringing a big suitcase to S.A. so I can go shopping sometime-ha! I have this week to get things in order before I leave and there is a big wedding of one of our nurses and ministers on Saturday before I go. We are all helping to put it on. Love, Kathy

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Jill Miller, New Mexico

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