Desi McGee was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer in July of 2020.
It all started in 2008 when she was first diagnosed with D.C.I.S. (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.) She was only 26 years old. Her treatment was a complete skin-sparring mastectomy followed by localized radiation therapy. She had thought that the worst was behind her and moved on with her life. Fast forward 12 years. While taking care of her dying mother Desi began to feel a constant ache in her abdomen. As a proud member of the “tough chic” group she stoically continued to go about her usual schedule only slightly inconvenienced by the constant ache of a gall bladder infection. Eventually the pain and discomfort became too great, she went about seeing a specialist to have her gall bladder treated and hopefully removed. The doctor performed tests and scans and could see nothing wrong; the scans would reveal that her liver was full of tumors. Testing would go on to prove that somehow Desi’s previous cancer, thought to have been properly treated, had somehow spread to her liver, hip and spine.
The excellent team at the Huntsman Cancer Center, lead by Dr. Sandra Buys, did everything they could to take care of Desi and work to treat her cancer. The cancer responded very well to treatment, unfortunately the liver did not. Scarring and damage left by the shrinking tumor has caused pseudo-cirrhosis. Her liver, now operating at below 50%, is struggling to keep Desi nourished. The ascites, or building up of fluid in the abdominal cavity, is causing complications and daily discomfort.
Having lost 60 lbs in the five months since being diagnosed, and the liver’s continued struggle, the
oncologist felt that it was best to stop treatment and encouraged Desi to get her affairs in order as her body was not able to handle further treatment. Desi refused to give up. She has been focusing on her diet and working with an amazing team of specialists. She continues to not just live but is enjoying life.
While the medical team does not believe her current health to be sustainable, Desi is happy to be alive and living her best life day by day with her loving husband and three amazing boys.