Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Diagnosis

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm back home in Fayetteville now after a grueling day in Little Rock yesterday. For those of you who do not know, Mom went to the emergency room last Saturday, August 19, for some abdominal pain she had been having for more than a week. She was admitted later that night and the following day had about 1.5 liters of fluid drained from a pleural effusion on her right lung. Her doctors later determined that the fluid had collected as a result of a small tear in her esophagus which had occurred during a dilation the previous week. On one of the CT scans, the radiologist saw some abnormalities in her spine, so she had an MRI and subsequently a bone biopsy to determine the nature of the suspicious areas.

We met with one of her doctors yesterday, and here's what he told us:

1. The abnormalities in her spine are metastatic cancer. At the time of this posting, some pathology reports are still pending, so he couldn't be completely certain where the primary tumor originated but said it more than likely was breast cancer, either a new tumor or from her previous carcinoma 16 years ago.

2. After a swallowing study Friday morning, doctors determined that the tear in her esophagus has not healed but instead has developed a fistula (abnormal connection) between esophagus and lung. This is not a condition that will improve on its own, so she has been scheduled for surgery this coming Tuesday, August 29, around noon. During that operation, which is expected to last 3-4 hours, the surgeon will remove the diseased portion of her esophagus and move her stomach up very high in her chest. This will hopefully take care of all her eating issues and allow her to regain strength so we can focus our attention on the cancer.

At this time, she is trying to rest and build up her strength as much as possible for the upcoming surgery and has politely requested no phone calls and no visitors. You may, however, send notes to her at the hospital through their website, and click on the "Email a Patient" link near the bottom of the page. These are a tremendous encouragement to her and really brighten her day. (Note: If you send an email, you'll select Baptist Health Medical Center - LR as the hospital, Virginia Snyder as the patient, and send it to Room 320.)

Please bookmark this website and check back periodically. I will post updates as more information is known. On behalf of my dad, Kyle and Traci, thanks so much for all your displays of kindness and especially for your prayers.

For all the Snyders,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I left a comment yesterday, but it did not accept what I wrote. At any rate, thank you so much for the phone calls. They have meant so much to me. You KNOW we are praying for her full recovery.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous was me! I guess I am not too swift at blogging, since I botched yesterday's and today's!


5:51 AM  
Anonymous Shelly & Cassidi said...

We will keep ms.jewel in our prayers and thoughts, we hope the best for her. she is such a joy when she comes in for her allergy shots, always laughing and with warm hugs. If there is ANYTHING we can do please do not hestitate to call us. Love,
Cassidi & Shelly
( her allergy shot nurses)

8:47 AM  

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