More on Mary - surgery results

Hi everyone,

I’d like to give all of you the latest on Mary. So much happened, and I have sent so many sporadic messages at various stages–I think the best thing to do is just start from the beginning of this week, and take you all up to the present. So here goes.

We came to the Mayo Clinic this week for Mary’s three-month check. As you probably know, Mary’s pelvic exenteration surgery was almost exactly two years ago. It was a major success. That said, for a little over a year now, Dr. Langstraat (Mary’s superstar GYN Onc surgeon at Mayo) and her team have been tracking a tiny little spot on her right lung that showed itself in a high res CT. Mary had already had a couple of spots show up in the high res CT scans that were not cancer, and this tiny spot was so slow growing, the team had not been particularly concerned about it. In fact, as recently as three months ago, this spot had grown so slowly, Mary’s docs said “we don’t think this is cancer. But we have to be sure of what it is.”

Sure enough, after the scans, the spot was still there, and now it was 8mm. The decision was made to surgically remove the nodule and biopsy it once it was out. Simultaneous diagnostic action and treatment. We were nervous enough to ask Kiri to fly in for the surgery, and she arrived Thursday.

Friday morning, Mary had the surgery. A right lobe resection of a pretty small area of the lung. Unfortunately, the nodule was a tumor. Adenocarcinoma. Probably from the tumor that was removed two years ago. Mayo get’s prelim frozen section results instantly. The good news is it’s been extremely slow growing. It literally grew 4mm in 14-months.

I spent last night in Mary’s hospital room, and more than a few tears were shed. Afterwards, it was tough to say the least. Phone calls were made to closest friends. Last night I also discovered on the portal a PET scan has been scheduled for Tuesday. (So, we will be here for a few more days! Mary needs to recover more anyway, but Mary is so toughened from the big pelvic surgery, she amazed everyone to the point that they released her this afternoon. We are in the hotel room. Staybridge Suites. Home away from Home. Watching an old Dr. Who on Iowa PBS).

This morning, Dr. Langstraat consulted with Dr. Alpa Nick, the first GYN onc surgeon that treated Mary back at MD Anderson. Many of you will remember Alpa’s name. Alpa, who practices in Nashville now for family reasons, has offered us hope twice when things seemed their most dark. Alpa was the whole reason we wound up at Mayo. She and Dr. Langstraat presented us with three options: 1. Continue to simply observe–which they didn’t recommend; 2. Chemo–again not recommended for a variety of reasons, and 3. A two-year cycle of immunotherapy, which they did recommend.

So, after some family conversation, we have decided to do immunotherapy, pending the recommendation of the Mayo tumor board which meets on Friday and pending the PET scan results. Alpa said there will be minimal and possibly no side effects. Dr. Langstraat also said there was no risk. Since the high res CT scans have never shown anything else, this treatment will be strictly to heighten the chances that a new metastatic tumor will not show up again. I can tell you Mary is here beside me right now and you would never guess she just had surgery. She is an astounding woman.

I will say this: before we came here our prayer was that Mary would be cancer free, that the nodule be gone, and her previous surgical site would be further healed (which it is). While this is not the path we envisioned for all of those things to come true, assuming the PET is clear, they have.

Having Kiri here has been a huge help. She is nothing but pure positivity and love. A wild fountain of love, splashing everyone that comes near. And Mary is so determined and deeply spiritual. She keeps saying “God is in this. This is part of our spiritual journey.”

Allow me to say we are so appreciative of so many that have reached out. We have so many wonderful, incredible friends. (And this board…wow…it has been a safe haven for so many years). We value you all. We also appreciate your prayers.

This is our feeling: Mary’s immune system was really beat up for a good while after the huge surgery two years ago, and it was likely in those following weeks and months that this metastasis occurred. Now, her immune system is back to normal. And normal for her is super strong. Add in immunotherapy–and I believe it when all of Mary’s docs have said that there is every reason to be hopeful and optimistic that this prophylactic treatment will work, and Mary will never have another tumor.

That is our hope. That is our prayer. That is our sacred intention.

Love to all of you. Thank you for supporting my family.

Namaste and God Bless

Rob Taylor


God is good, Robbie. Mary will get through this! Hang in there.


Thanks for sharing. Prayers for Mary, and to all!


You and Mary are in my thoughts and prayers this morning! Glad you all have a solid plan.


MDA and now Mayo. You’re in the big leagues of that business. Mary is in very good hands,


Robbie, all of you are in my prayers. Your hurt is our hurt. Blessings for all of you.


And Namaste to all of you. God Bless for strength, healing, and recovery to full health.


Happy for Mary and you. News is great to hear about the status and outlook. Thanks for sharing as good news is needed in world we live today. Best wishes and enjoy your time and freedom together in finding your new normal.

I am more reassured having Alpa remain on board, she is one of my favorite residents and a great friend still (her husband has Arkansas hunting connections). I cannot further emphasize how much is involved in pelvic exenteration (not an exoneration as many wish to call it). It takes a lot of tenacity and faith to be willing to see an exenteration to medical success.

It is a mixed message that has been delivered (but I sense that it was not unexpected by ya’ll or the Mayo team), but it seems this pair Mary and maestro (M&M’s) has what it takes to make the most of the diagnosis. Excepting some of the peds cases that I have been involved in, the most poignant was a 26 year old single mom who underwent pelvic exenteration (cervical cancer) to just try and make 5 more years to let her daughter have/make memories of her. She succeeded also. She was the epitome of determination despite a lot of kicks to the gut that she had suffered otherwise.

I wish you continued resolve and tenacity hogmaestro and for Mary a good course and to enjoy her life to the max. I would love to tell you Alpa stories but leave it at you have a winner on your side. Tell her Ray and Naomi are on your team if you remember the next time you have a conversation.


The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN is an amazing hospital! Took a daughter with cancer there 3 years ago. Family was not happy with level of care in Dallas. Took too long for a slot into MD Anderson (Houston).
Was totally surprised by Mayo’s TEAM approach to diagnosis and treatment. First meeting there included her surgeon, endocrinologist, oncologist, radiologist, etc. All members of the Mayo team attended and patiently answered questions and addressed our concerns.
Just finished another “cancer free” checkup. Go MAYO TEAM go! They are #1 to my family.


Thanks for sharing. You and Mary are in our prayers. Such strength and resilience are rare. You are both amazing. May you continue to have peace and rest.

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After reading Robbie’s post, Ray’s post, and ohhmyy’s post, I am convinced that Mary is getting the best possible care. May you have many more years together in good health.

Mary also has great support from Robbie and daughter. It warms my heart to read him describe his love for Mary. So special.


God bless you both.

Prayers God Bless Mary, Yourself & Family.


Even though Houston hospitals, including MDA, have great quantity care, Mayo is light years ahead when it comes to the best quality care. Learned that first hand from our Houston Family physician who went to Mayo to eradicate his cancer. Mayo saved my Mom’s life 40 yrs ago. She is now 90. Can’t speak highly enough about Mayo, especially per realizing how many friends’ lives they have saved.

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Prayers for you and your wife. May God heal​:pray::pray:

Yes, Mayo is an amazing place….My grandson went there and was cured……stay strong. :pray::pray::pray:

Keep in mind that Alice Walton & Cleveland Clinic have just announced a partnership to open a new regional medical center with Washington Regional in NW AR to provide specialty care. According to ratings, Cleveland Clinic is comparable to if not better than Mayo.