Darcie Pena

  • WARRIOR'S Story
  • Comments
  • Supporters

12/3 Update:


The calm before the storm/A Day in the life:


Thanksgiving was so much fun (as it always is) with lots of family, food, and of course music. The next day I joined my brother, sister-in-law & two of my nephews to Universal Studios/Harry Potter World! I was so excited because I grew up loving the books and later on the movie series. One thing about life with chronic illness(es) means there are often more hurdles to jump through in order to participate (at least for me). We ended up renting an electric scooter so I could conserve energy and not hold the kids back from having to wait for me. I was happy that I seemed to be able to have fun with my family while at the same time knowing I had limits. After spending a solid 3-4 hours there, I was exhausted and my body was screaming at me to rest. As soon as we got back to my Aunt & Uncle’s House, I immediately laid down and ended up napping for 2 hours! When I woke up , I wasn’t feeling good and my whole body was in pain and I just felt off. I decided to take a bath thinking that maybe I would feel better afterwards. I couldn’t have been more wrong! After getting out of the bath, my uncle noticed I seemed off and talked to my Aunt. She immediately came to check on me and I broke down in tears and cried because of all the pain/ symptoms I was feeling, while my Aunt just held and soothed me while getting me my meds/ water all set up for me. As soon as my meds kicked in and my symptoms improved, I quickly fell asleep. I then woke up around 6 in the morning unable to get a good breath due to all the coughing and congestion in my chest . My Aunt started up the shower and I let the steam open up my airways and help me get some relief. About 2 hours later I was traveling for 4 hours to come home in a car with my other Aunt and Uncle. As I was still feeling terrible, we decided that I should get checked out at an urgent care on the way home. After getting my vitals at urgent care they found that my temp was 102.3 and after they gave me a breathing treatment, they advised me that I should go to the E.R. since they were concerned I may be Septic(an infection in the bloodstream that can turn fatal quickly).


After arriving at the E.R., I had a chest CT, X-ray, blood work and blood cultures done. After hours of waiting for results, the on call Physician told me that the imaging revealed a blockage of my superior vena Cava (the main vessel providing blood flow back to my heart). He also explained that since I am a complex case and was having symptoms associated with this blockage as well as being sick, I would be better off being treated by my Oncologist and UCSF team since they know me and got to work on getting me transferred. By 1:30 am after many calls to my team at UCSF; it was arranged for me to be transferred by ambulance to UCSF. At 3:30 am I was all packed up and sent to San Francisco with hope for some answers.


Since arriving at UCSF they have been treating my virus that has been kicking my butt, as well as various complications have come up such as swelling, breathing difficulties, etc. It turns out the swelling of my eyes, face, neck that I have been experiencing over the past few months are all a result of this Superior Vena Cava blockage.


My current Doctors, Oncologist, and past radiation oncologists are now in talks to determine which treatment options are even viable for me and which combo of chemo, immunotherapy, or radiation is the best option for me. In the meantime their focus is getting rid of this virus 🦠.



Hi, if you don't already know me, my name is Darcie Peña and I am a 30 year old cancer warrior.


It all began in 2013 with a cough that would not go away. After many pulmonary tests and medications later, I was diagnosed at age 24 with Stage 3B Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. As a young, healthy woman and non-smoker, with no family history of lung cancer; it was shocking to say the least. I was quickly assigned an amazing Oncology team and started treatment with a high dose of Chemotherapy and Radiation. After this round of treatment, in January of 2014, I had surgery where they removed the middle and lower lobes of my right lung as well as multiple lymph nodes. Then after another round of Chemo, it seemed that I was in the clear until one of my scans showed I had a recurrence in my neck on the left side. I then underwent another round of Chemo and my scans were clear until a year later. At this point the doctors decided to try radiation alone.


Flash forward past two more recurrences and almost 5 years later, here I am facing yet another battle. My medical case has been a mystery to all of the doctors I see.


Update 2/11/19


I want to start this post by saying Thank You to my amazing family & friends for all the love, support, and checking in they have done❤️ love you all! Most of you don’t know, I have had a really rough and painful last 5 days. The pain was so unbearable, I kind of shut myself off from everything & everyone to try to get a handle on it all. This was not about not wanting or ignoring anyone, but was my way of coping with the pain I was having. The day after chemo, I received my second injection of Neulasta ( bone marrow stimulant) and awaited the full body bone pain to begin. While , at this point I don’t know if it was the Neulasta or the high doses of harsh chemos that caused my pain. It was unlike any other pain I had ever felt in my life and was unmanageable with at home medications/supplements. I was also unable to keep any food or water down. I contacted the on-call oncologist at UCSF ,who recommended I head to the ER. As always ER trips are dreaded because of the waiting in pain, overcrowding, and most of all risk of catching an infection.

So, onto the hospital we headed armed in my Vogmask and my fierce mama to advocate for me since I was unable to speak/walk/ move for myself. I was taken back to be examined,control the nausea ,vomiting and hopefully manage the pain. After over 10 hours in the ER, I was sent home and told to come back if necessary.


Since we live 40 minutes from the hospital and it was 6:30 in the morning, we decided to stay at a hotel in Visalia for the night just to be safe. I’m just about 3 hours , the pain was back with a vengeance, so back to the ER we headed. The nurses recognized me since I was just discharged 3 hours prior and immediately brought me to the back. After many hours and attempts at managing the pain, nausea and vomiting, I was admitted on Friday morning.

On Sunday afternoon , the pain was managed (not gone,but better) , my vomiting had subsided and I was discharged. I am now at home recovering and taking it easy. While I am not 100% , I am in contact with my UCSF physicians and working on getting to the bottom of my symptoms. Again, thank you to everyone who has reached out ❤️❤️

As always, Positive Vibes ✌🏽


Supporters (22)

  1. haley thorn 
    50 years ago
    $100
  2. Kenan Bal 
    50 years ago
    $10
  3. richard lewis 
    50 years ago
    $1,000
  4. Young Brave 
    50 years ago
    $2,000
  5. Young Brave 
    50 years ago
    $400
  6. kimberly stewart 
    50 years ago
    $50
  7. Deanna Bowers 
    50 years ago
    $50
  8. Patrick Murphy 
    50 years ago
    $25
  9. Susan Melican 
    50 years ago
    $50
  10. holly johnson 
    50 years ago
    $50
  11. Bailey donahue 
    50 years ago
    $50
  12. Mary Galvin 
    50 years ago
    $100
  13. Jessica Granados 
    50 years ago
    $50
  14. Shawn Wood 
    50 years ago
    $500
  15. richard lewis 
    50 years ago
    $500
  16. Young Brave 
    50 years ago
    $2,200
  17. Tisha Cotta 
    50 years ago
    $100
  18. Young Brave 
    50 years ago
    $2,300
  19. richard lewis 
    50 years ago
    $250
  20. william ackerman 
    50 years ago
    $200
  21. Young Brave 
    50 years ago
    $10
  22. Ashley Pena 
    50 years ago
    $20

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!