Just as she was reaching the peak of her music career in January of 2006 singer songwriter Katie Reider was struck by a rare tumor. Over the course
of the last year, this rare tumor has taken away her left eye, her voice and her ability to perform.
An indepth timeline of what KATIE REIDER has had to endure with her rare medical condition for OVER 2 years.
Katie goes to see Doctor. #1 (the dentist) for a toothache…
Go to see Doctor #2 (the family doctor) to get a scan for what he suspected might be bone cancer.
Doctor #3 (primary ENT) does a biopsy and determines this is not cancer but rather a bone infection or osteomylitis of the left upper jaw.
July 2006 – Dec 2006
Katie is prescribed high doses of Cipro for the next 9 months, while she continues to tour with her band on the east coast.
She is prescribed hyperbaric oxygen Treatments (2 hours a day Mon-Fri for 6 weeks) for the “bone infection” that doesn't get better...
Doctor #4 (the allergist) does an MRI because of annoying headaches, but there is no sign of anymore infection.
An appointment is setup to fix the damage to her jaw, but Doctor #5 (the dental surgeon) says the damage to the mouth is a major problem
beyond their realm. A specialist is referred in New York City
May 2007 – Katie performs on stage for the last time
Katie begins to have headaches worsen and constant vomiting begins for no explained reason. Doctor #6 (the maliofacial surgeon) and
Doctor #7 (the ENT Surgeon Specialist) schedule a biopsy for a possible parasite.
Doctor #8 (the gastroenterologist), Doctor #9 (The psychologist) and Doctor #10 (the radiologist) are all perplexed of the infectious disease.
It is FINALLY given a name – a Myofibroblastic Inflammatory Tumor that has progressed from the sinus and upper left jaw to behind the left eye.
Steroids are prescribed with radiation to follow.
Katie undergoes 7 weeks of radiation treatments – constant throwing up and extreme fatigue are the main side effects
Radiation is complete and aside from occasional pain in the head/mouth, Katie begins feeling better and is weaned OFF all pain medication.
January 2008 - Katie sings for the last time
A Scan shows the tumor has shrunk significaltly in size! Katie gets up to sing a song she has written called “so weak”, which is the last
song she has written and been able to sing.
The pain returns. Doctor #11 (the primary doctor) is assigned because of Shingles, and the facial tumor is growing once again.
Another dime-sized lesion is found on Katie’s esophagus and L4 Vertebrae. IV antibiotics are administered for 8 weeks
Doctor #6 (the facial surgeon) removes the rest of Katie’s teeth on the left side. Doctor #8 (the gastroenterologist) puts in a feeding tube. A biopsy confirms it is still a myofibrblastic tumor. Not metastic cancer.
Doctor #12 (head of oncology and a rare tumor specialist) and Doctor #13 (a fellow oncologist) join Katie’s team and consult with many sarcoma specialists from around the country to prescribe the first dose of chemo to shrink the tumors after taking about 2 weeks to come up with a good mix...
May 2008 - One year since Katie Reider has been up on stage and performed
Within the last 5 months she has dropped from 125 lbs to under 90 lbs.
More than 1/2 of Katie's upper palate is gone.
Katie has gone blind in her LEFT EYE. She can no longer speak clearly and communicates with writing and with sign language.
Doctor #14 (the nutritionist), Doctor #15 (the Pathologist), Doctor #16 (the pain management doctor) and Doctor #17 (the psychiatrist) have also joined her medical team, as she undergoes three rounds of chemotherapy to treat the non-cancerous tumors.
After three rounds of Chemotherapy an MRI shows that the tumor shrinks significantly and a 4th round of chemo is considered
Katie gains 4 pounds bringing her in at 92 lbs and the family go on vacation to Maine
Katie plans to have her first surgery scheduled in a few weeks to repair her upper palate to hopefully help her to speak clearly, as well as replace the skin in her cheek to fill her face out a little more.
July 2008 - Katie's Fight Ends on July 14, 2008
MRI revelas FURTHER SHRINKAGE of the tumor....in fact so much that the tumor appears to be 95-97% GONE.
While they thought they had progress with the major shrinkage of Katie's tumor, there have been some major complications. While on vacation in Bethany Beach, Delaware over the 4th of July Holiday, Katie had some bleeding from her mouth. Apparently the tumor shrunk so much, that it partly dislodged causing Katie to SPIT THE TUMOR OUT. After holding the tumor in her hand she decides to get rid of it by flushing it - leaned over to flush it down the toilet and WAMO the bleeding started again and this time didn't stop.... Katie began to severely hemorrhage from a major artery in her brain.
After being taken to a local hospital to get the bleeding under control, Katie was sedated and put into a medically induced paralysis. She was then airlifted to a more-well equipped hospital in Wilmington Delaware where she underwent 3 hours of surgery to stop the potentially fatal bleeding all together. From this point Katie had to be transported her back to her doctors in New York City as soon as possible.
Here is a detailed account of information sent in from Katie’s family about Katie’s experience.
This is a glimpse into what Katie Reider has found herself up against over the last 2 years. Fighting for her life, living a medical mystery.
Return to the main page to learn more about Katie's journey.
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