Some stories are hard to hear, but remember this, they are much harder to live...
Here's Lindsay's story as told to us by her mom...
"2015 has not been a good year for the DeLawter family. Bob’s sister passed away in January, on February 18th Bob had major back surgery on May 18th he had neck surgery. Then there is Lindsay.
Here is our story… four years ago Lindsay had an eight pound volleyball sized tumor removed from her ovary, they also removed her appendix. She spent five days in the hospital (University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle), and the tumor was benign.
She went to her doctor for her regular checkup in May and something was elevated in her blood test so an ultrasound was done and it showed a mass on her other ovary. Surgery was scheduled for June 8th. I flew out to Seattle on the 6th leaving Bob behind to recover from neck surgery.. Laparoscopic surgery was scheduled and the doctor was pretty sure it was a benign tumor like the 1st one. When she got in there, she saw that Lindsay was full of tumors and she immediately knew what it was. She took biopsies and closed her up. I was at the hospital by myself when I got the news from the surgeon. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. Later that night Lindsay asked me what the doctor found. She could tell I had been crying and knew it wasn’t good news. I looked at her and said “sweetheart you have cancer” she just looked at me and with a very soft and sweet voice she said “I do?” I shook my head yes. She patted the bed and wanted me to lay down next to her. I cried like a baby.
The next few weeks were hectic and emotional as we met with doctors, surgeons and oncologists; she had CT scans, which showed her whole abdominal cavity was full of cancer, her liver and colon were completely covered with tumors. She had blood tests, immunization shots (because they were removing her spleen) and a colonoscopy was scheduled. Lindsay was dignosed with a rare form of cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei (appendix cancer)! Only 1 in a million people are diagnosed with this type of cancer. Surgery was scheduled for July 1st; Bob flew out to Seattle on June 30th.
Lindsay has a needle phobia which was a real challenge throughout this whole ordeal. On the morning of her surgery they tried to do an epidural to help with pain control after surgery. They stuck her four times in the spine and could not get it in. We will NEVER get her screams out of our minds.
We knew this was going to be a long surgery and were told that there was a possibility that she wouldn’t live through it. Her surgeons referred to it as the (mother of all surgeries). It lasted 12 hours, with two teams of surgeons operating on her. They did a hysterectomy, removed her spleen, gallbladder, part of her pancreas and the entire lining of her abdominal cavity as well as all the tumors on her liver and colon. She had several tumors on her diaphragm which had to be repaired after they were removed. They then did HIPEC, which is heated chemo that is pumped into her abdominal cavity, for about 2 ½ hours to hopefully kill any remaining cancer cells, (doctors call it shake and bake); it is then pumped out and the cavity is washed with a saline solution. This cancer does not respond to regular IV chemo.
Lindsay spent two weeks in the hospital, five of those days in ICU. It was absolutely gut wrenching seeing her in so much pain. She had two chest tubes, a drain in her abdomen, NG tube, central line in her neck, three IV’S and a catheter, plus all the monitors that were attached to her.
This cancer has a 30 to 40% chance of returning within five years. On the flip side, that is a 60 to 70% chance it won’t! Lindsay will have scans every six months to a year for the rest of her life. The good thing is, she lives in Seattle where they have one of the best cancer research hospitals in the country.
Through all of our trials this past year, Gilead Ministries has been with us, from the death of Bob’s sister, his two surgeries and most definitely with Lindsay. We received many, many cards and words of encouragement from Gilead volunteers. We know that there were thousands of people all over the world praying for Lindsay, but it was nice to get phone calls saying “hey, we are praying for you guys and want to know if there is anything else we can do for you”. They didn’t just say they were praying but, they actually took the time to pray right then and there over the phone. This is what Gilead is all about: walking by your side during some of the darkest times of your life.
We thank God every day for not taking our daughter away from us.
Thank you Gilead Ministries!
Janice & Bob DeLawter
Click Here if you'd like to make a donation to Gilead Ministries in honor of Lindsay.