Peyton's Road To Recovery
On April 28th, 2016 (Peyton's 16th Birthday), she was diagnosed with High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer with metastasis throughout her lungs and abdominal cavity. She had not been feeling well for 6 months leading up to diagnosis, but with every appointment, was told she had just had abnormally large ovarian cysts. She started sleeping 12 - 18 hours a day, had no appetite, no drive, little nodules started appearing on her ribs and diaphragm, and finally, it looked like she was 5 months pregnant from all the swelling in her abdominal cavity.
At this point, she and I both knew that something was really, really wrong so we went straight to the ER at Children's Hospital as I knew that if anyone, they would take the time to figure out what was wrong.
After an ultrasound and CT scan, we were delivered the news that it was cancer and that it didn't look good. She was immediately admitted to the oncology floor of Children's, with a biopsy scheduled the next day. When the results came back as Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, Children's Hospital knew that although they could effectively treat Peyton, her best chance was across the street at UC Health with Dr. Saketh Guntupalli, one of the leading GYN oncologists nationwide. We first met with him on Monday, May 2, she had a liter of fluid drained off her lungs on May 3, her port installed on May 4, and chemo started on May 5. Quite the busy week.
Given her age and severity of the metastasis, Dr. G wanted Peyton to go through 3 rounds of chemo to try and kill off as much of the tumor as possible before surgery. Chemo is hard for grown adults, and her regimen proved very taxing for her body. She suffered a collapsed lung, was hospitalized for 3 days, and put on oxygen full time. She never fully recovered, as weeks later, on June 13th, was re-admitted to the hospital, this time for a small bowel obstruction. Surgery to remove the tumors had already been scheduled for July 5, but Dr. G knew that her bowels could not be safely operated on this early as she still needed more chemo.
She is such an inspiration!
An NG tube was inserted to draw out all food, liquid, and stomach bile that had been building up in her intestines with the hopes that releasing the pressure would "unkink" her bowels. Unfortunately this did not happen as there were too many tumors surrounding her intestines so she stayed admitted with the NG tube inserted until surgery. One thing to note is that with a small bowel obstruction and the NG tube, Peyton could not eat or drink anything. She was given food and liquids via IV and as a mother, might have been one of the hardest things to watch. Throughout it all, she remained strong, never complained, never cried, and quickly became the favorite patient on the oncology floor during her 6 week stay!!
Surgery finally happened on July 5th and was very successful. Peyton wound up having a full hysterectomy, 8 inches of her colon resected and sewn back together again, her spleen and all lymph nodes in her abdominal cavity removed, and every spot of visible cancer on every other organ removed. She stayed hospitalized for 2 weeks of recuperation and was able to sleep in her bed again before chemo started again.
It's been a long road, but her body has responded extremely well to chemo, her labs and blood counts look great, and Dr. G couldn't be happier with her progress. Even he calls her a miracle!!!!!!! Our goal is to get in into remission and keep her there as long as possible, as Ovarian Cancer has a high percentage of reoccurrence, especially in Peyton's case given her initial metastasis. She has started going back to school for 2 classes, with getting home tutoring for the rest of her classes, going to Homecoming, hanging out with her friends, and looking forward to traveling over the holidays.
Krimson Klover is very excited to help Peyton and spread awareness on her behalf. She has a very inspirational story and is an astonishing girl. During the month of October, 10% of ALL sales will be sent to Peyton to help with her treatment. Now it’s your turn! How do you help?? Show your support by shopping away.