Monday, June 25, 2012

One Negative but Many Positives

I finally had an answer. I had been having this pain in my lower stomach since about February and nothing the doctors were doing was helping. I had been treated for a UTI two times, nothing. They thought I may have interstitial cystitis and had me change my diet, nothing. I was referred to Dr. Evangelidis who is a urologist here in Manhattan. He had me get a CT scan of my stomach and a cystoscopy of my bladder. The results from the CT scan were good, but the results from the cystoscopy were not as good. Dr. Evangelidis saw a tumor on the top part of my bladder that he felt needed to be removed as soon as possible. I had the cystoscopy done on Monday June 11th and was having surgery to remove the tumor the following day.

I had a follow up appointment on Friday June 15th to get the results from the biopsy. As Kyle and I sat in the room waiting for Dr. Evangelidis, every possible thing was running through my mind. I knew the chances of it being cancerous were pretty high but I wasn't sure if it would be the low grade or the high grade. If it was low grade I would just have follow up appointments every 3 months to keep an eye on it. If it was high grade they would perform another surgery and I would have to start chemotherapy.

The tumor turned out to be high grade cancer and my surgery to remove the rest of the tumor, the urachus, and part of my belly button was now scheduled for Wednesday June 20th and on that same day they would insert my Port, which is used to give me the chemo. This was not the news I had wanted, I was scared and not sure how to react. I was scared to let my family know because I didn't want to let anyone down or scare anyone. I was scared to let all my girls know at the gym and disappointed I wouldn't be able to be there for them as much as I wanted to be. I was scared to let everyone at work know, I didn't want to disappoint any of them either. And I was scared for Kyle because he has and still is going through this stupid cancer thing with his father. I didn't understand why I was the 1 in 5 million people to get this type of cancer and with it being so rare would they be able to treat me as well...

The type of cancer I have is adenocarcinoma of the bladder. Adenocarcinoma beings in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids and only about 2% of cancers are considered adenocarcinoma. My cancer was caused from a birth defect in the urachus, which is the tube that runs from the bladder to the belly button that drains the bladder of a fetus. The tube is suppose to close off before birth, but mine did not. I was really lucky to where the tumor was found. If it was in the urachus I wouldn't have had any symptoms which would have meant they wouldn't have found this. The doctors believe we caught it real early and will be able to be aggressive with the chemo because I am young and healthy.

During the surgery they had found that the cancer had spread to one of my lymph nodes so they removed both of those but everything else went good and they feel really confident that got all of it out. I will be able to start the chemo on July 2nd and my doctor doesn't think it will make me lose my hair or make me sick. I will be on for 5 days and get 2 weeks off. That news made me feel better because it is killing me not being in the gym with the girls or being able to go racing right now. They aren't putting any resistrictions on me during this process, it just all depends on how I am feeling.

I have had so much support from family and friends and I am very thankful for that. Kyle is loving all the food and goodies we are getting.

This blog is going to be used to keep everyone up to date on how I am doing, so make sure to check back for more updates.



  1. I am so glad to hear you are being so brave.God won't bring you to something or put you through something if he won't take you through it. Lord please give Jeryka the strenght to fight like she has never fought before, and take her across that finish line to win the biggest Walley she will ever win. Lord please hear our prayers. Love Ronnadaye and Bobby

  2. You are in our thoughts and prays. Keep your head up and stay positive. Love The Hobbs

  3. Jeryka, I know that you and I don't really know each other very well at all, but I want you to know that I'm praying for you, and my whole church is praying for you. Desirae & Sara keep me updated on your condition too, so that I'll know how to pray. Keep fighting and having a great attitude - I know others with cancer too and it just seems like the attitude has to be positive. A positive outlook always help, but prayer is the best!! Lots of love and prayers for you...Deana Foster (Desirae's mother)

  4. Yeah I was hoping I would not have to continue to stalk you via texts, although I still might, please also mention anything you are wanting, we want to bring you anything and everything you need. Im going to put a link from my blog to yours if you don't mind, so my family and friends can follow you too, they know how much you mean to Monroe & me too!!

  5. Jeryka,
    Thank you for starting this blog. I am sure this has been an emotion time and I could never say that I understand what you are going through. I just want to share two things with you. One you have our complete support, if there is anything we can do to help you please ask. And second some advice from a friend of mine who is winning his battle with cancer. Keep looking at the positive, and don't get sucked into telling or listening to any "poor me" stories. Focus on your blessings and you will make it through this.

    We love you and we are glad you continue to be apart of Jo Beth's life.

    Mark Rose

  6. Dear Jeryka,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and always. Stay strong and keep the faith and know that all of us that love you are praying for you and sending positive thoughts your way.

    We love you.

    Becky and Jamie

  7. Jeryka, prayers for you, try to smile, laugh, and stay positive!! I am sure Kyle can help ya with that! You have accomplished a lot in your young lifetime, make this your next Big Win!!
    -Dan Moore.

  8. Jeryka, I just heard about your diagnosis of cancer from Danny here at work. Then Steph told me about your blog. Anyway, I just want you to know that you have been consistantly on my mind and in my heart since hearing of this news. May God give you the strength and courage to face this head on! God Bless ~ Paula Rhodes

  9. You are in my thoughts every day, Jeryka! I know we've grown apart over the years, but you and all of our teammates will always hold a special place in my heart! It truly saddens me that you have to go through this, but I know that you are extremely strong and will fight this like a champ. Just stay positive and don't ever give up! Love you, Jerky!!! xoxo

    <3 Kelsey Richardson

  10. Jeryka-
    Thank you SO VERY MUCH for taking the time to do this blog and keep all those who love you and believe you can fight this in the loop. My heart breaks for you knowing so well what you're going through given my profession. If there is anyone healthy enough and strong enough to get through this it is YOU. If you or ANYONE in your family needs to ask me questions etc, please do not hesitate. I hope the PET scan goes well today. Enjoy your holiday tomorrow and know you have always been in my heart but now you are front and center both there and in my mind. YOU CAN AND WILL BEAT THIS JERYKA!

    Love, Shannon