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Deanna’s Story

Welcome to CaringBridge. We have created this site to keep our friends and family updated about Deanna's progress. Please read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.As of Friday, December 12th, Deanna is still at Abbott Northwestern hospital in Minneapolis, staying on the Spinal floor, with her husband Neal close at hand. Several months ago (August of 2008), she started experiencing back pain. After an initial MRI, she was told she had a fracture in her vertebrae. For several months Deanna diligently wore a brace to heal the fracture. The past two weeks, the fracture, however, got worse.

On December 8th, Deanna had another MRI and at the doctor's request, a subsequent biopsy of the lower back. She was admitted to the hospital on December 10th because the biopsy had come back malignant. She was admitted by the Spinal doctor, but the Oncologist quickly became involved. It turns out, the bone in the vertebrae had weakened, and had fractured because of the cancer within the back. Running point on all the activity and follow-up testing was Dave Tetzlaff, Neal and Deanna's brother-in-law, who is a physician at Abbott. It has been a god-send to have Dave involved.

After a CT Scan, the news became worse, and that it was not only in the back, but had also gotten to the pelvis, with a couple spots on the lung. Because the form of cancer appeared to be estrogen based, the breast was still the likely culprit. This had not been verified. The doctors still needed to verify the source as the breast, so an ultrasound and biopsy of chest was proposed, and conducted on Thursday, December 11th. On the evening of the 11th, the Oncologist gave Deanna and Neal some positive news, that the lower back could and would be treated immediately with radiation. And Deanna would be feeling better in the back by Christmas. As of Friday, however, we still haven't heard back from Pathology on the biopsy of the breast.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, discussions around next steps for the breast cancer will be discussed. The real difficult aspect for Deanna, is having to deal with two sources of cancer and pain: the lower back (immediate) and the breast (longer term depending on the stage it is in).

We will update the details here and in the journal as they become known. It is obviously a fluid situation, and changing by the day, if not the hour. Please check the journal as well, since Deanna will be updating that as her pain improves, and she begins her radiation treatments. Please keep Deanna, Neal and their two children, Linnea (12) and Annika (9) in your deepest prayers as they move through this trying time in their lives.
Thank you, Noel Thompson (Deanna's brother).

Latest Journal Update

A Hopeful Start to Summer

Annika's Confirmation, April 2015

Annika's Confirmation, April 2015

Read more

Neal and I spent the morning at Minnesota Oncology, getting results from my lab work earlier this week and getting my once-every-four-month treatment in the chemo room. We’re so delighted to report that my numbers continue to be very low—17.5—far under the remission threshold of 38! Thanks be to God for that great news at the start of summer.

My oncologist continues to be very hopeful for my situation—we are all thrilled with how well the current drug—anastrozole—is working for me.This is the point (at 2 ½ years) where it often shows sign of not working as effectively. But so far it’s still working wonders for me. We hope this can continue for another year or so (and maybe even beyond).

It was also great news to hear there’s another effective drug we can turn to once anastrozole starts losing its effectiveness. The oncologist said that the landscape for stage IV breast cancer is changing rapidly, and that the new drugs being developed show great promise for me and many others like me. How fabulous.

The treatment I received this morning leaves me nauseous fora few days—the side effects having diminished some over the years I’ve been on it. But a bit of nausea for a few days (and a sore arm from more than one poke) is a very small price tag for a forecast of a healthy summer. So grateful for that news.

Getting great news consistently for the past year has allowed all of us in the family to exhale more deeply and move into more hopeful space. We also know that your continued prayers, kind words, thoughtful actions and more help nurture that hope we live in. Thanks so much for continuing to surround us with your love.

We wish you a most fabulous start to summer 2015. If the weather cooperates, we hope to take our (almost annual) Memorial Day 20ish mile bike ride to the chain of lakes in Minneapolis. Then next week Linnea and I fly to Amsterdam where I will present at a conference on Trauma and Religion. I’ll be talking about the links between trauma and serious illness that are emerging in both the medical and trauma studies fields, and join in the growing conversation about how religious communities can better understand and offer more support to those facing trauma in their lives. I’ll be talking about “the virtual body of Christ,” which involves this online community of Caring Bridge and beyond, and about how our connections virtually can help mitigate the deep and difficult effects of trauma. Know that I’ll have you all on my mind (and in my heart) as I do so.

Blessings to you all this most glorious day. Much love,Deanna   

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Comments

36 Comments

John Wanner
By John Wanner
BRAVO!!!!!!!
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Rick Skare
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Great news! Blessings on your summer and work and ministry!
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peter paris
By Peter.paris@ptsem.edu
Thank you Deanna for sharing this very good report which which is spiritually uplifting. We pray for continuing progress and many blessings in all your endeavors this summer and beyond.
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Susan and Jerry Windley-Daoust
By Susan Windley-Daoust
Great news, Deanna! So glad this is going as well as can be hoped!
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Diane Jacobson
By Diane Jacobson
Great news indeed!
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Gretchen Fogo
By Gretchen Fogo
what wonderful and encouraging news. Here's to a summer of strength and diversity as you travel, bike, present and share yourselves with others. Enjoy!
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Suzanne Robertson
By Suzanne Robertson
Okay, well this is the best thing I've read in a long, long while. Wonderful, Deanna!! My heart is light for you. Have fun with Linnea on this most important voyage. Happy Summer!!
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David Teel
By David Teel
Great news, Deanna! I wish I could be in Amsterdam to hear you speak on trauma, illness, and the virtual body of Christ (maybe someone will video the conference).
Peace of Jesus, my sister
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Tina Fahnestock
By Tina Fahnestock
Deanna, ahhhhh🌺🌺🌺🌺 such hopeful and beautiful news to start the summer off. We are all thrilled for you and hold you and your family in our prayers. Enjoy your trip and presentation with your daughter!!!😎
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Peggy and Patrick Dunham
By Peggy and Patrick Dunham
Wonderful news Deanna! Certainly a great start to summer!
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