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peggysue2's Journal
peggysue2's Journal
October 19, 2023

Husband coming home tomorrow

Finally, after many tests and scans and opinions, my husband had his liver cancer surgery and is due for discharge tomorrow. After nearly 5 hours in the OR, his surgeon was pleased that 'they got the job done.' Clean though tight margins because of an already diseased liver, he can hopefully put this chapter behind him. We were lucky that this malignant tumor was picked up very early thanks to a portfolio of imaging and tests.

So now, he's joining our 3-year old grand-daughter Cassandra in beating the odds (she had a successful transplant due to a very aggressive liver cancer that totally wasted the organ).

Liver Cancer is Us but it hasn't beaten us yet.


September 2, 2023

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

I wanted to wait this time, not preempt a a Good News story before it was fully hatched.

Cassandra's received her liver transplant Thursday evening. Surgery finished up before the sun rose Friday.

No sooner had her parents returned to Philly, exhausted, thoroughly bummed out, that they got the phone call.

Another liver was available, a five-year old donor.

There's tragedy mixed with this miracle, of course, because another child died, a little boy, in order to provide this spectacular gift. For Cassandra, a pediatric transplant is the next best thing to a living donor.

The surgeons were very happy. Not only did the surgery proceed without a hitch but Cassandra had clean margins (no evidence of cancer) around the liver or lungs. Not anywhere.

The journey isn't done. Cassandra is in a medically-induced coma until Monday to give her body a chance to rest and heal. Weirdly enough, physicians did the same thing to her father after his traumatic brain injury 20+ years ago. She'll be closely monitored for infection and rejection or any other mishap.

I am completely humbled by the donor family. I raised little boys, can easily remember them at age five. I'm not sure I would have had the strength or grace to offer my child's organs while steeped in profound grief.

But this family did.

My daughter-in-law is committed to remembering this little boy as if he were one of our own. He'll be part of Cassandra and the rest of us, another child to cherish and remember.

August 30, 2023

Turns Out I Jumped the Gun on Cassandra

The 'perfect match' liver was rejected by the surgeons. Ms.Toad reminded me of the possibility last night. I knew this, too, after my brother-in-law's transplant experience--a perfect match (tissue match) does not equate to the quality or 'perfect match' aspects of the individual organ. The final determination was made by the baby girl's lead surgeon. We were all caught up in the elation of the moment but failed to ask the pertinent question.

Live and learn.

Disappointing? Yes. My son and his wife texted around 3 am thoroughly bummed out.

This surgery will happen; we just need to wait a bit longer.

Thanks for all the kind words and support.

I'll keep the DU family updated.

August 29, 2023

Some good news for the Liver Are Us family

I was just informed the Pittsburgh Hospital has found a donor for my three-year old granddaughter Cassandra. Her liver transplant surgery is scheduled for 2 am and will take 12-18 hours. Her mom and dad are on their way racing from Philly to Pittsburgh to see, hug and love on this tiny warrior before she's wheeled into the OR. Double the good news in that the transplant team and surgeons said this is a perfect match.

Any blessings, prayers you can spare please send them in the direction of Pittsburgh.

For the Warrior Princess.

August 29, 2023

A Win for Cassandra!

I was just informed that Pittsburgh Hospital has found a liver for my grand daughter Cassandra. The transplant will begin at 2 am, a surgery that will last 12-18 hours. According to the surgeons, the donor is a perfect match. My son and daughter-in-law are racing to Pittsburgh as I write this.

Thanks in advance for the prayers, good wishes and those of you who donated to Cassandra's GoFundMe appeal. The DU family is part of this.

August 27, 2023

Liver Cancer is Us

Earlier in the year, I wrote about my grand-daughter Cassandra, who at the age of three had developed liver cancer, a very aggressive cancer that immediately threatened her life. Chemo has pushed the cancer back but her liver has been trashed. She is now on a liver donor list awaiting a transplant.

Friday afternoon, my husband received news that he, too, has liver cancer. The cancer was found early, two relatively small tumors. His case is complicated by diabetes and pre-existing liver disease (fatty liver/ non-alcoholic cirrhosis).

Anyone here have experience with liver cancer--what to expect, questions to ask? We have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday morning and another appointment Wednesday with an oncologist.

Any words of advice would be appreciated.

July 26, 2023

An update on my granddaughter, The Warrior Princess

First the good news: Cassandra and my daughter-in-law are at the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. The surgical team has given the okay for a liver transplant (there was even discussion of a possible liver resection, but after a final MRI it was determined a resection wouldn't fly).

We're now waiting for insurance approval.

Bad news: the insurance delay is making the entire family, extended family and close friends Nervous Nellies. And then additional information: the aggressive chemo therapy (which has pushed the cancer into remission) has damaged the baby girl's kidneys.

Which means? She is likely looking at renal failure in the future.

I have this sinking feeling we're playing whack-a-mole. Correct one thing and then something equally awful raises its ugly head.

I want to be as courageous as my three-year old grand daughter. I want to be Miss Smiley Face pushing through every dire prognosis, dancing down hospital corridors to Beyonce and/or Taylor Swift, embracing every moment like it's the best thing ever.

But I'm not.

Instead, I'm composing last words for my grand-daughter's funeral, searching the words of others for answers I know I'll never really find. Yes, I'm a bookworm. Whenever I've been faced with the inexplicable, the sort of things you can't get heart or mind around, I run to books. It's just what I do; it's what I've always done, even as a child.

I'm beginning to think I stink at this role as Nan because I never allowed negative thinking when my son suffered a brain injury, was told several times by the medical team that his future--at best--was long-term nursing care.

They were wrong. But this?

My reading list has concentrated on hope, faith, grief and joy, universals that seem to sum up the present moment.

As for Cassandra? She's still dancing. I need to learn those steps.

June 29, 2023

My Family Needs Your Help

Never did this before but the life of my granddaughter hangs in the balance. Certain events humble you. This is one of them.

Cassandra, my three-year old grand baby was diagnosed with liver cancer four months ago. She has received 5 rounds of chemotherapy and withstood every medical intervention and insult with an elvish smile and silent giggle. The ‘silent’ part is due to the ventilator and trach she has endured most of her short life. As a preemie, she was handed a rough hand—defective heart (corrected), damaged lungs (healing) and now this: cancer.

But as Dickinson wrote: Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Though initially turned down for a liver transplant at Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital (CHOP), Cassandra is scheduled to be evaluated by Pittsburgh’s pediatric team of surgeons and oncologists. They believe they can get this done.

We’ve gone from grim days to hopium days.

The problem is financing the outside medical costs. Insurance covers a goodly portion but most people know, what’s not covered can break a family’s back—medical transport, food, lodging, etc.

So, I’m asking for any assistance the DU community might be able to offer. A friend of my son and daughter-in-law has started a GOFUNDME page. You’ll see a pic of Cassandra there. We’ve nicknamed her the Warrior Princess. It’s a name the child has earned a hundred times over.

Anything donated will be deeply appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Peggysue, aka Nan to this sweet but remarkably fierce baby


March 9, 2023

A Turn on Alternative Facts

This time from the infamous Jenna Ellis, former legal aide to Trump's Death star.

Though censured in Colorado for her part in Trump's Passion Play and admitting to 10 false statements during the disciplinary hearing, Ms. Ellis is shocked that the media has said she admitted to lying about the 2020 election (read this in another WAPO column, Aaron Blake, The Fix). According to Blake, she 'merely admitted her public claims were unintentionally false.'

Even though . . .

Ellis signed a legal acknowledgment that “she made a number of public statements about the November 2020 presidential election that were false” and did so with a “reckless state of mind” and with selfish motives, according to documents released by Colorado’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

She maintains . . .

“This was politically motivated from the start from Democrats and Never Trumpers,” Ellis said in a statement to The Washington Post on Thursday. “They ultimately failed to destroy me and failed in their attempt to deprive me of my bar license. I’m glad to have this behind me and remain in good standing in the State of Colorado.”

The grievance whine is loud and strong--all politically motivated, Ellis claims, even though she signed off on making false statements, did so in a reckless manner and with selfish motives.

She may remain in good standing in Colorado, was able to retain her license but her reputation is pretty well shot.

Good Lord I'm tired of these people!


March 7, 2023

Oh, get this!

Doug Mastriano is seriously considering a run for the US Senate, a run against Bob Casey from the great state of Pennsylvania.

Not sure what is more infuriating--the gall or the continuing delusion. Mastriano was clobbered in his run for PA Governor. Now he thinks he can compete for a senate seat.

Bring it on! I'd love to see all these MAGAts clobbered a thousand times.



Profile Information

Name: Peg
Gender: Female
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Current location: Wilmington, DE
Member since: Sat Feb 6, 2016, 08:31 PM
Number of posts: 10,862

About peggysue2

Retired writer/editor, avid reader, political junkie, Mom to grown kids and endlessly kid-like puppies and Nan to our sweet Cassandra.
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