Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place so that disseminating news is not such a burden. We appreciate your prayers, support, and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. The first time you comment to a post it would be helpful to include how you know Amanda and Will.
At first we thought it might be COVID-19. If only it was. Amanda started worrying about COVID when she became short of breath riding their tandem bike over in Illinois with Will on Sunday 5/26. Then she developed a dry cough, chest pain and chills so she tried to get tested for COVID but did not qualify since she did not have a fever. The chest pain got worst on Thursday night so Will took her to the ER at Missouri Baptist. Will got Amanda to the entrance to the ER but they would not let him in because of the pandemic. She had to face this alone. She was admitted to the "COVID side of the ER" and staff only came in her room if absolutely necessary. Otherwise they used the room phone to communicate with her. The IV with Toradol helped with the pain and then tests began. The ER doctor was compassionate enough to actually come into her room to give her the bad news face to face. The CT scan of her chest showed a mass that was 7cm x 7cm x 4cm wedged between her heart and her sternum. That is a little smaller than her fist. The radiologist suspected that it might be caused by lymphoma and suggested that she get further testing. On Friday Amanda's preliminary results looked like she was positive for COVID but her final results of the genetic type test on Saturday showed that she was NEGATIVE for COVID. That was the first answer to many prayers. Praise the Lord (PTL).
They were getting nowhere with having a biopsy and PET scan scheduled as the first steps, until one of Amanda's close friends, Katie, asked her mother, Christine, to help connect Amanda with a friend who is an oncologist. It's a small world. Christine was part of a playgroup with Will's mom, Jill, when Katie and Will were toddlers! It's sad that connections make a difference in our access to the best healthcare but it is true. Late Monday night Amanda got a personal call from Dr. John DiPersio. He is the Deputy Director of the Siteman Cancer Center with specialties in lymphoma, leukemia, and bone marrow transplant. He had reviewed her chart from the ER visit and said he would have his office call the next and schedule tests. She is in good hands. Another answer to prayer, PTL!
In the midst of getting tests scheduled, Amanda developed severe abdominal pain and Dr. DiPersio's office arranged for her to be admitted to Siteman hospital on Tuesday 5/7. Once again Will was stopped at Registration and unable to be with Amanda as she was admitted. The separation from each other because of the pandemic was excruciating. Amanda was settled into a room on the eight floor and they started the IV with Toradol for pain. Will could not stand to be any further away from her than necessary so he could return as soon as possible if needed. He went across the street and waited in Forest Park. One of the tender blessings was when Amanda's nurse helped her flash the blinds so that Will could figure out which window was her's and they could at least see and wave to each other 100 feet apart. The tests were delayed until Amanda had another COVID test that can take up to 48 hours. But the next morning they already had the results - NEGATIVE. Another answer to prayer, PTL, and the cancer workup began. It looks most likely to be lymphoma. The lymph node and bone marrow biopsies will determine the sub-type of lymphoma which will dictate the chemotherapy protocol they will put her on. They put her port for chemo in on Friday 5/10. This is the beginning of a long and challenging battle of fighting cancer. We pray that the grace of God and the loving care of family, friends, and her medical team will carry Amanda back to health.