Sunday, April 1st - Rhianna, Chelsea and I head to the ER due to the lingering nausea
that Rhianna has had
for the last several days. After 7 hours in the ER she is admitted
for a colonscopy that is to be performed on Monday
morning. Our lives have been
changed forever after this.
Monday, April 2nd – Colonscopy is performed early Monday and the detection of a mass
in her colon is found,
with the additional finding that the cancer has metastasized to her
liver. After meeting with the surgeon, it is
determined that she will undergo surgery on
Wednesday morning to remove the tumor in her colon and put in a port for future
chemotherapy into her chest.
Tuesday, April 3rd - Our first discussion with the Oncologist brings the news of the
severity of the situation
and the journey we will be on. We notify family and friends of
Wednesday, April 4th – Rhianna’s colon surgery is performed and the surgeon indicates
that all went as
planned. He was able to remove the tumor and biopsy the liver.
Thursday, April 5th – Recovery day from surgery, but it also appears that Rhianna’s
kidneys, while healthy,
have been impacted by the trauma of surgery and we are
scheduled to have her go into surgery again on Friday morning to
put in a catheter that
will allow dialysis to begin as soon as possible.
Friday, April 6th – Surgery to put in the dialysis catheter is performed. Rhianna’s body
through significant trauma already, but due to the severity of the liver cancer,
she is in need of starting chemotherapy
Saturday, April 7th – Her first chemotherapy session begins which entails a large mix of
various drugs to attempt
to prevent some side effects of the chemo, and in addition an
aggressive from of chemo is started. She also has
her first dialysis session.
Sunday, April 8th – Easter at the hospital. Rhianna has dialysis in the morning. She with
the first round of chemo and was able to participate in a small picnic in her room to
visit with family and friends.
She is not hungry and has not eaten anything substantial
since before arriving at the ER. She also has the second
round of chemo started.
Monday, April 9th – Dialysis once again, as her kidneys are not rebounding from the
trauma of the last week.
Tuesday, April 10th – An off day from dialysis, but the side effects from chemo are
beginning, with nausea.
Wednesday, April 11th – Dialysis begins again. We have a small dinner in Rhianna’s
room, but she
is still not hungry and doesn’t eat.
Thursday, April 12th – Dialysis again, and in addition the side effect from chemotherapy
continue as her blood
levels drop for her white blood cells. She is diagnosed with
neutropenia which increases her risk for infection.
Friday, April 13th – Dialysis again. She is still neutropenic and they place a PICC line in
arm so that they can begin feeding her intravenously. During the night she is in
pain from a distended stomach,
they bring in an X-ray crew around 3 AM to diagnose the
situation. She is shown to have an ilius in her stomach
which is painful. She is also given
three units of blood to try and lift her blood counts. Her spirits are
being tested as each
day brings a new challenge to her body and psyche.
Saturday, April 14th – Dialysis again, to continue to try and remove the additional fluids
that have impacted
her legs and feet. She also receives a platelets transfusion.
Sunday, April 15th – Dialysis again, and she begins to be more feverish and neutropenic.
We are continuing
to be with her 24 hours a day.
Monday, April 16th – Due to her temperature and the identification of two infections
(bacteria and yeast) in
her blood, Rhianna is transferred to ICU. She is fighting to stay
awake and battle the infections, but her blood
count is still very low and is not helping
Tuesday, April 17th – After a somewhat restful night, Rhianna wakes up and feels a bit
better, she brushes
her teeth and wants to get up out of bed for at least a bit. It wears her
out and the afternoon brings on a restless
sleep and fever.
Wednesday, April 18th - Rhianna is still battling to bring her white blood cell count up. Without improvement,
it is difficult for her to fight the infections that she has been struggling with for the last several days. She is
also restless after being confined in bed for such an extended period of time.
Thursday, April 19th - Rhianna is experiencing a dynamic of having her days and nights mixed up in the ICU. She
tends to sleep through the majority of the day and then struggle to get rest and comfort through the evening. Her white
blood cell count has gone up over the last three days, but not to the extent required to help her fight the infections.
She had what they call "a twelve pack" of platelets transfused this morning and has a day off from dialysis.
Friday, April 20 - Rhianna's white blood count goes down a bit, which is the opposite of what we need to see. All other indicators
remain stable, so we are now in a waiting pattern for the white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells to improve. She
goes through another round of dialysis, and is up for most of the night coughing and is worn out again by Saturday morning.
Saturday, April 21st - Rhianna sits up a couple of times during the day in her bed, although she would like to get out of
the bed, but is still too weak to do so. Her white blood cells are still not improving as of this morning. The oncologist
indicated it could be up to an additional two weeks before we see a turnaround.
A note of thanks:
To all of you that have sent cards, flowers, gifts, and voicemails, we can't thank you
enough. We never knew how important it was to have the love, strength and power of so
many individuals supporting and praying for Rhianna and our family. We view each day
as another challenge and another step. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we
continue the most difficult and challenging journey of our lives.
Rhianna's younger sister, Chelsea is struggling to make sense of what is happening. She
is continuing to attend her classes at Front Range Community College, but as you can
imagine it is extremely difficult for her to concentrate and stay engaged with all of the
other changes we have had in lives.
Brad and Jodi are both at the hospital full time, and are grateful for the companies that
they work for that have allowed them the time and flexibility to make Rhianna their
number one priority. While Jodi stays at the hospital at night, Brad returns home and
takes care of Chelsea and the animals that are still wondering what is going on.
Please continue to pray for us.
April 22, 2007 - The Schillings would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends and family for the
comforting words, support and outpouring of love for Rhianna. Our loss is immeasurable. Rhianna was truly an amazing young
woman and she will be deeply missed