08/01/2014: 2014: The Year of Healing Teddi!


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 8 January 2014

2014: The Year of Healing Teddi!

Hello everyone!  Long time, no update!

Yes, it has been quite silent on this end of things.  Leaving many of you wondering what is going on in the world of HealingTeddi!  I’ve had many emails, texts and casual inquiries about how Teddi’s been over the past several weeks and it’s time to get in touch with all of you again.

We decided to make December a month of taking a break from our struggle with cancer and focusing on regenerating our energy.  The past few months have been such a whirlwind of craziness, I’m not quite sure how we maintained our sanity through it all.   But in the name of relaxation, I’ve stayed away from HealingTeddi.com, kept quiet on the social media front and let the ongoing politics surrounding peritonectomy surgeries in Australia drift out of my mind for a few weeks. 

Instead, we focused our energy on friends and family and LIVE-ing life to the fullest!!  We spent the last several weeks with some friends visiting from the U.S. in the name of HEALing Teddi!  Which GREATLY lifted our family’s spirits!  Thanks so much to Chelsea, Lindsey, Kayla, Terry and Sarah for your much needed support!  Your love, smiles, laughs and time here in Australia with our little family was such a bright spot in the past few stormy months and has left us feeling refreshed for a BIG 2014.  

2014.  Why is it a BIG one?  Because it’s a new year and time for a new evolution of the mantra of HealingTeddi.com. It’s the year where we LOVE Teddi more than ever.  It’s the year where we GIVE her all the support she needs as she seeks out the peritonectomy surgery we need her to receive so she can be HEALed of her cancer and go on to LIVE a beautiful, long, healthy life.  Can I get a Hell Yeah!/Amen! (pick your flavour  )?

So What’s Been Happening?

Good stuff my friends.  We’re on a well-established alkaline diet plan (posting info soon!).  Teddi has been getting oncology massages, visiting with a well established naturopath (all curtesy of Wellness of Woden!) and getting caught up on all the immunisations she needs prior to her surgery.  She’s been working out at strollerobics several times a week and spending time in mother’s yoga classes.  She had a greatly encouraging colonoscopy in November and a just had a follow-up CT scan in mid-December (medical data page updated).  With things getting started back up in St. George Hospital after Christmas – we hope to have some word back from Dr. Morris in Sydney about how the latest scan looks very soon (fingers crossed!).

We have been continually blown away

And we have been continually blown away by the amazing, beautiful acts of LOVE from our fellow humans.  Seriously, You guys are unbelievably amazing.  Teddi’s ante(pre) natal women’s yoga course ran a raffle event to raise several hundred dollars for Teddi’s medical costs.  Canberra’s Women in Action held a fundraiser for us raising nearly $300!!  $300 was donated from a collection taken up by the varsity rowing team at the University of Oklahoma.  Over $2k was raised by Teddi’s co-workers at the Canberra Hospital.  And a local American football club is planning a 5k walk/run to raise awareness about this disease and help with our medical expenses (more on that soon!).  Finally, we have continued to see the donations, cards and LOVE continue to pour into our mailbox/inbox (keep those letters coming!!).

Guys, you rock.  Seriously you are crazy awesome.  What an inspiring journey you have taken us on.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2014 brings.

In closing, I know one thing it will bring for sure!  The HEALing of Teddi (Dwyer) Engerer!  Let us continue to LOVE her, GIVE her our support and help her onto a better life that she can LIVE free of this disease!

  Teddi, Wyatt and Nick for Christmas 2013

Teddi, Wyatt and Nick for Christmas 2013

New Year’s blessings to you all!

-Nick-

15/11/2013: A HUGE Thank You


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 15 November 2013

A HUGE Thank You

Hey everyone, remember us? Sorry it’s been awhile!  The teaching semester has just drawn to a close, I have students finishing their theses, final grades to tally, a PhD to work on – phew, I’m gonna cut that out right now

Let’s get down to it.  We have some serious gratitude to express – some love to send back out to the world!  So many of you have done so much for us already, and I want to acknowledge a few of the most inspiring, people powered events that have been done in support of HealingTeddi.com!

1. OU Women’s Rowing

Teddi rowed with the OU Women’s Crew for four years.  She was voted MVP her senior year and her team of four won their heat at the Big-12 Championship in 2009 – one of Teddi’s favourite memories (they beat their arch-rivals – University of Texas).  She then spent the next two years as a coach for the novice squad.  Needless to say, Teddi’s positive energy and leadership inspired all the girls on her team.  And this past October the OU Sooners Women’s Alumni Crew rowed with Teddi’s initials on their oars, rallied for her in the above photo sending her much needed LOVE, and posted a high-profile article on soonersports.com to draw attention to her battle with cancer (a choice that drew nearly a hundred unique visits to this webpage).

A HUGE thank you to OU Women’s Crew!

 

2. The Fenner School – End of Semester BBQ & Cricket Match

 A car load of food for fundraising!

A car load of food for fundraising!

As I mentioned at the start of this post, it is the end of the semester here in Australia and students are about to head off on summer break.  The Fenner School of Environment of Society, where I am finishing my PhD and where I work as an Associate Lecturer, is a pretty social place – they like to have a party whenever they can (my kinda place!).  But this time around, my good friend Wal decided to dedicate an end of semester BBQ (that’s a grill-out for all you Americans) to raising money towards the fundraising for HealingTeddi.com!  What an awesome thing to GIVE!

The Fenner School ALSO organised a Staff-Student Cricket Match (no, I still have no idea how to play…) this year (big thanks to Keith Sue!) and is donating the proceeds from the match to the HealingTeddi fund!  Wow!

A HUGE thank you to the Fenner School!

3.  NICTA Melbourne Cup Day Fundraiser

At the beginning of November each year, there is a really important horse race in Australia - The Melbourne Cup!  It’s really more about getting together, ending work early and having  “drinks and nibbles” in the early afternoon than about horse races.  Most Aussies also like to bet on the race - buying into ‘sweeps’ that are usually something like $2, $5, or $10 a bet.  It’s really a lot of fun and a very unique Australian experience – this year, my friends and colleagues at NICTA (National ICT Australiadedicated the event to raising money in support of Teddi!

A HUGE thank you to NICTA!

4. Our LOVE Senders!

I can’t even keep track of how much LOVE all of you have sent us.  There have been so many emails, comments on this webpage and, of course, the BEST – lots of LOVE cards!  We have multiple places in our home where we have set up stands of cards for Teddi to see each and every day.  AND she even has a backlog of unopened letters to make sure she has some LOVE to start off each day.  That means so much to her, and I am so very grateful for your support.

A HUGE thank you to all of you supporters!

So to reiterate – we have overwhelming amounts of LOVE and support coming our way and it is HEALing our hearts and souls on a deep level – in a way we couldn’t do on our own.  And I’ve not even had the chance to mention all that has been done – there’s no way I could!  So once again, here’s a HUGE thank you to all of you who have supported us so far. Please, keep it up – Teddi needs it!  And it’s working – more on that tomorrow

For now, I leave you with this message from Teddi:

“I’m extremely overwhelmed by all of the love and support that I’ve received since my diagnosis.  I never could have guessed how much and how many people care about me.  I don’t even know how to begin to thank everyone for the emails and cards and thoughts and prayers and donations that have been sent my way.  Words fail me, but it has meant more to me than you could know.  Thank you so very much for helping me along this journey of healing.”

Much LOVE,

-Nick-

19/10/2013: The First Two Weeks of #HealingTeddi


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 19 October 2013

The First Two Weeks of #HealingTeddi

HealingTeddi.com has now been live for two weeks as of today!  And what a ride it has already been!

Thanks to all of YOU, Teddi’s cancer diagnosis, at first a tremendous horror,  has become an amazing period in both of our lives.  We feel so bountifully blessed to have the support of so many amazing people!

Teddi has felt more LOVE than she ever could have expected.  Each morning, we read at least one LOVE item that was sent our way (email, card, Facebook comment) and they really mean SO MUCH to her.  You have been great so far in lifting her spirits – showing her the LOVE I have asked you to (Psssst, have you signed up for the LOVE calendar – it’s looking pretty empty  ).  I truly believe this is one of the most potent HEALing medicines we can give her – please KEEP IT COMING! (need an idea?)

LOVE

Together, we have left more than 100 comments on this webpage and sent us nearly 75 emails of LOVE and support.

HEAL

Together, we helped overturn a poor Healthcare policy in New South Wales, Australia that would have left Teddi waiting too long for her surgery - now we can HEAL her with the miracles of modern medicine.

GIVE

Together, you have GIVEn over $10k to help cover the mountain of medical expenses that we are already accumulating.

LIVE

Together, we have been able to inspire Teddi to LIVE each day knowing that she is surrounded by a bigger family than she could have ever imagined.  You have no idea how badly she needed that.

Moving forward, together, I know we will all continue the amazing work we have already started, so that we can HEAL Teddi!  #healingteddi

Your support is absolutely invaluable and is actively re-shaping my view of humanity. Inspiring in me a true realization of what we are collectively capable of.

Blessings to each and everyone one of you

-Nick-

17/10/2013: We Did It! NSW Health Minister Allows for More Peritonectomy Surgeries!


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 17 October 2013

We Did It! NSW Health Minister Allows for More Peritonectomy Surgeries!

Remember my last post, where I asked you all to help make a difference?  Well through your support and the persistence of many people fighting for a change to be made, the NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has worked out a deal with Dr. David Morris and Prince Wales hospital!  This will allow the backlog of nearly 40 patients to be caught up!

The news has just broken on ABC.

Ms. Skinner and Dr. Morris can be heard discussing the issue here.

Nearly 300 of you responded to my request to sign the Change.org petition and the petition has surged past 75k signatures!

This caught the attention of several high profile people (including actor Russel Crowe) and the Shadow Health Minister Andrew McDonald.  The Shadow Minister called me yesterday to discuss Teddi’s case and for permission to petition Jillian Skinner on our behalf.

In New South Wales Parliament yesterday, there were a few key players who questioned Ms. Skinner very vigorously (a few to the point of nearly being thrown out!  ).  You can read the excerpts at this link (I’ve pulled them out of the larger transript at this link).

From what I can tell, the key players working on our behalf during this session were:

1Mr. John Robertson

2Mr. Nathan Rees

3Ms Linda Burney

4Dr. Andrew McDonald

5Ms Cherie Burton

To each of you, we here at healingteddi.com offer you our deepest gratitude!

Another very important set of people to thank is Sara Bowers, a lawyer and former peritonectomy patient who has organised a petition of more than 15,000 original signatures – enough to force the issue to a floor debate in NSW.  Thank you Sara!  Check out her webpage at:  http://livesatrisk.com.au

Next, we need to Anna Patty, a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, for calling attention to this issue and being willing to talk to Teddi and I about our own case.

And lastly, thank you so much Ms. Jillian Skinner for hearing our pleas and responding to us!

 

-Nick-

14/10/2013: Sign. Share. #saveNicole #healingteddi


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 14 October 2013

Sign. Share. #saveNicole #healingteddi

To all the followers, friends and family visiting HealingTeddi.com, so many of you have asked what you can do to help us in our journey.

I am here to beseech you for your support.  I have a direct, actionable item that you can do in a few clicks.  I need you to sign a petition.

As I said in my previous post, Teddi has to wait 3-6 months for her peritonectomy surgery all because the New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner thinks dollar bills and balancing her budget is more important than funding the life-saving surgery that only one doctor in Australia has the skills to perform.  Dr. David L. Morris, the surgeon who will perform Teddi’s surgery has had the number of them that he is allow to do each month halved because they are deemed too expensive for the NSW government.

Due to this, people are at risk of dying, several people have become inoperable due to the spread of their disease while they wait.  Nicole Perko has become the most recent, prominent example.  Nicole has stomach cancer, was supposed to be treated within one month and now has waited more than three months.

So what happens when Teddi, who needs surgery in the next three months gets pushed back even further?  She could go from ‘curable’ to terminal.  She could lose her life.  Every day that we are forced to wait, more of her internal organs are at risk.  More of her is likely to be infected with the mucinous tumours that pseudomyxoma spread throughout her abdomen.

She’s already lost one and a half ovaries.  She is likely to lose part of her colon, her gallbladder and spleen.

How much more of my wife needs to be chopped out before the NSW Health Minister reinstates the needed funding for these surgeries?

How much longer does Nicole Perko, mother of five have to waste away in front of her children?

Learn more about it at this video and SIGN THIS PETITION.

Help me HEAL Teddi.  Help me make a difference.  Sign it here.

But don’t stop there, send this link to everyone you know.

-Nick-

 

11/10/2013: The LOVE Calendar is Live


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 11 October 2013

 

The LOVE Calendar is Live!

If you or a family member is diagnosed with Cancer, so many people will ask you “What can we do to help?“

I think all too often those offers to be a part of a person’s healing goes untapped. Mostly because people don’t know what to do, and organising the response can be a big effort.  But not at HealingTeddi.com – I’m providing you with direction for your concern, and outlets for your energy – giving you lots of options so you can do what feels best.  Today, I kick off one of the best ideas yet….

Yep, here it is, as promised!  The LOVE Calendar is live!

Now you can sign up for your own day where it’s your job to LOVE on Teddi.  What exactly that entails is up to you! As long as Teddi feels the LOVE then you’ve done your job!

What does it entail? Simply, it’s a direction for your helpful desires – it revolves around the first part of the mantra: LOVE

If you know Teddi really well, perhaps you can send through some photos, fun stories of past times together or schedule a phone call/Skype/FaceTime.  If you’re local, come take her out for a cuppa, visit to a bookstore or walk around the lake with Wyatt.  If you’re just an acquaintance or casual friend, send through encouraging emails/notes or small gifts.  

It’s really up to you! Be creative, I’ve just given you some examples to get you started.  How do you do this? I’m glad you asked…

Here’s How you Sign Up:

Once you decide a day that works for you, you just need to sign into the webpage using one of the options on the top of the right hand column of the Home page

Click on the link and create a LOVE day!

You’ll see a page like this one: Add an Event Title and Description

Pick a day, and tick the ‘all day’ box!

Select the “LOVE on Teddi Day” category

Tick the “This event does not have a physical location” box

Add a photo to jazz it up! (Please do this)

That’s it! Time to “Publish”

At the top of the page, you should be able to view your post – “View Post”

Your event should show up on the Calendar on the right-hand side of the main pages of HealingTeddi.com!

And there you go!  The whole thing should take less than 5 minutes.  Then you are all set to do something about Teddi having Cancer.

So many people have asked me “What can we do to help?” – This is a GREAT idea and it’s easy to do! So do it!

 You can create a LOVE day at this link!

If you have any troubles, email me with your questions.

After you sign up for a date, I will send you all of Teddi’s contact information via your email address used to register at this site

Much LOVE,

-Nick-

07/10/2013: Teddi’s Path Forward: Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Interperitoneal Chemotherapy


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 07 October 2013

Teddi’s Path Forward: Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Interperitoneal Chemotherapy

So now that I’ve broken the big news, that Teddi has Appendix Cancer and a condition called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, I’m sure that many of you have searched the internet for more information about her condition and the treatment options that exist. 

  Cancerous appendix tumour, with omentum overlaying it

Cancerous appendix tumour, with omentum overlaying it

We are fortunate that over the past several years, there has been a lot of progress in the treatment of this disease.  The modern approach consists of a few stages, undertaken by a specialised team in Sydney at St. George Hospital.  This team is their Peritonectomy Unit which is lead by Dr. David Morris, who has performed over 700 surgeries to treat this disease – one of the more experienced surgeons in the world in this area.  This is quite a blessing to have this resource so close to us (only a 3 hour drive), with Australia being one of only 13 countries in the world that has specialists in this area.

However that doesn’t take away from the fact that the surgery and treatment Teddi will have to undergo is enough to scare the crap out of you.  So grab an extra pair of undies…. here we go.

“These tumours originated from tumour cells which have ‘leaked’ from Teddi’s appendix and implanted on her various organs - this is called ‘seeding’.”

Teddi requires a peritonectomy, which consists of a full clearing out of the peritoneum of all the disease which is present there.  The condition, pseudomyxoma peritonei is characterised by the spread of mucinous tumours throughout the abdominal cavity (aka peritoneum).  These tumours originated from cancerous cells which have ‘leaked’ from Teddi’s appendix and implanted on her various organs – this is called ‘seeding’. 

The problem with this is, that over time, there is a build up of mucinous material in the abdomen.  As tumours grow, they rupture and seed more tumours elsewhere, filling the belly up with mucous, hence the disease’s nickname: “jelly belly”.  Unlike other most other cancers, this one does not kill you by spreading to your lymph nodes and the rest of your body.  Instead it restricts your paristolisis (gut motion which moves food along) to the point of bowel obstruction, which is the killing blow.

 “In order to remove the mucinous tumours, this peritonectomy surgery opens Teddi up from the base of the sternum to the top of the pubic bone.” 

  Peritonectomy surgery, the black line is the incision

Peritonectomy surgery, the black line is the incision

In order to remove the mucinous tumours, this peritonectomy surgery opens Teddi up from the base of the sternum to the top of the pubic bone.  From there, the surgeons start scraping, burning and cutting out all of the disease that they can see.  If the tumours are superficial (at just the top of the implanted organ), this is good enough.  However, for more mature tumours, the implantation/mutation of the site is too far gone for the organ to be saved, and the entire area must be removed.  This was the case with Teddi’s right ovary, in which no ovarian tissue was left (read the pathology report), so it all had to be taken out. It was also the case for the upper half of her left ovary (please consider giving to Teddi’s Fertility Cause).

  Mucinous material at Teddi’s Omentum, surrounding the cancerous appendix. I extracted this from her CT scan.

Mucinous material at Teddi’s Omentum, surrounding the cancerous appendix. I extracted this from her CT scan.

In Teddi’s case, there is are still several areas of disease that are apparent on her CT scan (download it) and from the C-section surgery.  There is mucinous material between the liver and the diaphragm, next to her gallbladder and spleen – so both are at risk being removed, as is a portion of her liver.

There is also tumour material on the right lower quadrant of her Omentum right next to the appendix.  This material contains poorly differentiated, low grade adenocarcinoma (cancer). This portion of her Omentum will be removed, as will her appendix.

“Here is where it gets tricky - Teddi has lumps in her Cecum“

Here is where it gets tricky – Teddi has lumps in her Cecum, which is the connection between the small intestine and large intestine, the first portion of the colon just after the appendix.  I saw the surgeon find three lumps there during her surgery.  This could indicate that Teddi will require a hemicolectomy – meaning that the right half of her colon is removed.  This would be mean she would have to have a temporary stoma so the rejoined portions of the intestines heal.  And that her recovery time, infection risk are more elevated. We’ll know a bit more after she has a colonoscopy later this month.

And the bonus, the kicker, the real doozie – not all of the tumours show up on the CT scan.  Because many of them are very small, or hidden in other fatty tissue layers, we won’t know what Teddi will lose, nor the total extent of the disease Teddi is facing.

“She will then receive a few litres of of high temperature Chemotherapy injected straight into her abdominal cavity (called HIPEC).“

At the end of this 8 – 10 hour surgery, Teddi’s abdomen will be closed up, but she will be connected to several different tubes that are connected to her peritoneal cavity.  She will then receive a few litres of of high temperature (Hyperthermic ~100-110F, 40-44C) Chemotherapy injected straight into her abdominal cavity.  The purpose of this is to kill any remaining cancer cells, the high temperature chemo is particularly effective at doing this.

In the 5 days following the surgery, Teddi will have daily cold-chemo flushes that last for a few hours, all flushing through these tubes.

She will also have a few tubes under her ribs to drain fluid away from the diaphragm-liver region.  She will be on a breathing machine and will come out of the surgery and spend a few days in the Intensive Care Unit

In short she will be part machine for a day or so and I will temporarily be married to a cyborg.

  Teddi for a day?

Teddi for a day?

I think we all needed a laugh.

So, phew.  This surgery is rather terrifying.  I don’t blame Teddi for being very upset and anxious about the whole thing (so send her some LOVE!).  It is about as major of a surgery as you can get – so much so that many of the PMP (short for pseudomyxoma peritonea) support websites out there have titled it: MOAS – the Mother of All Surgeries.

Teddi will be in the hospital for a minimum of three weeks, with another week at the Beezina Cancer House (sponsor us for a night!), with the chance for that being extended to six weeks if there are additional challenges to the surgery (e.g. parts of the colon removed, etc).  It’s gonna be one helluva a ride.

“Okay, now for the good news…”

Okay, now for the good news.  If we do this surgery, Dr. Morris believes Teddi, with her stage, type and extent of disease has a very high chance of being cured.  Meaning the disease is gone and never comes back.  If it does come back, we still have another chance to get it again (albeit with greatly reduced success rates).

So, for those of you who are terrified (as I was at first!!) – take a collective breath with us.  Despite what you may have read online about PMP, its survival rates, etc – this disease is highly variable and depends on each case – we feel Teddi has a great chance to beat this thing if we go through with the surgery, which is going to be in 3-6 months time. 

As side note, if you think that is a long waiting period - blame the New South Wales Health Minister.

So, in closing, Teddi has an immense struggle ahead.  She has a very major surgery to go through, with months of apprehension to face.  With that, she has to spend the waiting time concerned about the spread/extent of her disease (although Dr. Morris says he is confident the spread is not rapid and she will be fine).  And then, when she does finally have the surgery, it will take her 6-12 months to be ‘back to normal’.

But let’s not forget, Teddi has a good chance at being disease free after it all!

So if you empathise with Teddi, please send her some LOVE.  If you have a medical background, help contribute to the HEAL wiki and take a look at Teddi’s medical data.  If feel motivated to do something, head over to the GIVE page, and do whatever feels right to you.  I’ll keep you all posted with this blog (have you read the first post?)

Love and Peace to you all.  Thank you for your prayers.

Bye for now,

-Nick-

05/10/2013: The Most Amazing-Terrifying Experiences of My Life: All in 30 minutes


This is an archived post from the webpage "healingteddi.com", which is no longer online. Since the posts have been moved off of the original webpage, some of the links may no longer work.  You can still navigate through the blog through this webpage, by searching through the blog posts.

I hope these entries can continue to encourage those facing appendix cancer


Original Post: 05 October 2013


The Most Amazing-Terrifying Experiences of My Life: All in 30 minutes
 

Alright, to the first question that everyone will have for us:  What Happened?  Here’s the low down.

baby wyatt

My wonderful wife Teddi gave birth to our beautiful baby boy, Wyatt, on the in mid-September via Cesarean section.  She had complications during the pregnancy that made the C-section necessary – namely a greatly enlarged right ovary, which was diagnosed as an ovarian dermoid – which we watched growing on her ultrasound scans over the course of the pregnancy.

So we prepped for the surgery, and went into the C-section thinking that all of it would be over soon. We’d have our baby boy, and Teddi would have this ovarian cyst taken care of.  No more pain.  Baby boy. End of story. Time to start our life as a family.

“The birth of baby Wyatt was the most amazing experience of my entire life…“

The birth of baby Wyatt was the most amazing experience of my entire life.  The anticipation was incredible and the moment that we first heard him cry is unforgettable.  I cut his umbilical cord, carried him to his mother and we watched in awe as he opened his eyes for the first time to see us, his loving parents.  His cries calmed as he heard our voices, and we revelled in a joy of unimaginable magnitude.  What an experience! The most amazing experience of my life.

The plan during the second half of the C-section was to take care of the ovarian cyst.  It was supposed to be a fairly straightforward process, in which the dermoid was removed.  However the initial diagnoses proved to be incorrect and things began to change fast.

First, the cyst turned out to be an extraordinarily large mucinous tumour (> 25cm) that had completely engulfed her right ovary.  Then, to our great surprise, they also found with another smaller (~6-8cm) mucinous tumour on her left ovary.  With that, things began to spiral out of control.  Taking us from joy to terror as we descended into the unexpected.

“Teddi’s appendix was greatly enlarged, covered with more mucinous tumour material“

The surgeons began to explain to us that things were not going as planned – Teddi’s appendix was greatly enlarged, covered with more mucinous tumour material, that had spread to her omentum and appeared to have created lumps in her cecum.  Another two surgeons were brought in, they discussed removing her appendix and explored her peritoneal cavity further for any more evidence of these tumours.  They found more of the material on her liver, and took biopsies of it all for further analysis.  It was during this time, that I first heard the C-word:  Cancer.  My blood ran cold.  My knees felt weak.  

I was terrified.

How could this have happened?  Weren’t we supposed to be drawing to the end of this struggle?  Wasn’t it time to move on, growing a family?  Was this real?  There were so many questions, with almost no answers. Not even the doctors in the operating room knew exactly what was going on.

But I knew I had to be strong.  Teddi was still awake on the operating table, starting to get the shakes, and Wyatt was wrapped up in my arms, and would start crying whenever I grew too close to tears.  So I held it all in.  There would be time to cry later.

So they began to close Teddi up, while some of the doctors started doing some research.  Wikipedia was consulted.  Medical journals were searched.  Towards the end of the surgery, I was finally delivered the initial diagnosis:  pseudomyxoma peritonei - a disease that originates in the appendix and spreads mucinous tumours throughout the peritoneum.    I would spend the next week of my life researching every aspect of it.  The biopsies would return to show the appendix was cancerous – a low-grade Adenocarcinoma.  And I would then pour all my efforts into making it right.

It was the most amazing-terrifying experience of my life.”

It was the most amazing and terrifying experiences of my life. All within 30 minutes of each other.  What a whirlwind.

Now, there is much left to discuss, many questions for me to answer for you all.  As I write right now, word is spreading like wildfire.  I know you are concerned, scared and wonder what you can do.  I will use this webpage to give you answers to all of those questions.  So stay tuned.  Subscribe with your email at the right.  Follow me on Facebook as I keep you up-to-speed. And come back to this site for more.  I will discuss the disease at the Wiki and post more blog posts on this soon.

For now, welcome to HealingTeddi.com.  Let’s help Teddi beat this disease.

-Nick-

 

 

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