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May 3, 2018 Latest post:
Jul 25, 2018
Hello, all wonderful helpers!
Thank you for being so kind and volunteering to support us during this time of big health challenges. Please know that any amount of help, in any shape or form, is greatly appreciated. If all that you can do is to pause and say a prayer for us, we would value it very much.
Here is a brief info about our family .
Our family lives on a ranch near Sebastopol, Sonoma County. It consists of Dennis, 63, a Second Generation Holocaust survivor, who is scheduled to go through prostate cancer treatment in Ventura, CA, during the week of May 14th,; Anna, 51, originally from Moscow, Russia, who had already went through breast cancer twice - in 2008 and 2010, and now has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia just two weeks ago, and immediately placed in Sutter hospital in Sacramento; our daughter Sarah, 22, with severe special needs, still in diapers and needing 24/7 supervision; and our son Daniel, 15 years old, who is being a normal teenager with his emotional ups and downs.
We live on a big ranch, in the countryside with 2 dogs, chicken, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, sheep..... you get the picture.
Anna will be kept in Sutter hospital another 3-4 weeks straight, while doctors doing their best to bring the leukemia into remission, using very aggressive chemotherapy (the first round of chemotherapy finished yesterday).
The chemotherapy drugs will continue to work in Anna's body for at least a week. We hope and pray that it will kill all abnormal cells in her body, which is possible, according to her doctor.
Early next week, (May 7) Anna will have another bone marrow biopsy. It will show how well chemotherapy worked.
They will either stop there and work on recovery of Anna's blood formula or send her for another round of the same chemotherapy, if it worked well, or would be searching for a different one.
Still they aim at 4-5 weeks of Anna's total stay at hospital for this first phase of treatments. Later, there will be another 6-7 week stretch in the hospital during the time of transplant procedure and healing afterwards.
Dennis is very overwhelmed and stretched between Sebastopol and Sacramento. He has lots of responsibilities at home and at his work, and can't come to the hospital more often than once a week, if everything is ok.
We realized right away that people who want to visit Anna have to be warned that this is not a typical hospital visitation.
Anna is in a Bone transplant unit, so most patients here either prepare for or recover after a bone transplant, which is a very complex and dangerous procedure. Patients here have their immune system completely obliterated by a strong chemotherapy.
We rarely see visitors here. It is a very controlled environment.
If and when Anna would go through a transplant procedure , there would be no visitors for her. However now, she still can receive visitors, but people have to use utmost care.
No live flowers or plants are allowed here.
If someone maybe getting sick or has been exposed to someone sick, it is better to wait.
Anna appreciates gifts of food but it is tricky too.
She is allowed to eat freshly cooked home food brought here right away after finishing cooking or soon thereafter.
Raw fruit and vegetables are allowed if they can be washed with soap and scrubbed well. For example, strawberries, raspberries and other porous fruit would not work.
A whole avocado would work, not overripe.
Anna can't be exposed to any fermentation. No kambucha drinks or sourcraut. Cheese has to be in an individual unopened package.
For example, one friend brought Anna homemade beef stew cooked with bone broth. It was great. Also she brought steamed yams, cauliflower and broccoli. We reheated it all in a microwave here. The whole meal worked very well.
Also, a visitor can be a blessing without bringing here anything, if he/she is willing to heat up food left in refrigerator from a previous visitor, and bring it to Anna from a Family room. Or willing to wash and chop green apples or other fruit that Anna has stored in the refrigerator. Or run to the health food coop nearby and pick up something that Anna developed a need for. For example, yesterday she developed an allergic rash, and doctors here do not care about minor things like that .
They say just put some moisturizer.
And you may be waiting a day or two for their moisturizer....
Aggressive chemotherapy makes people very tired, so Anna is not up to long visits and long talks, but a shot practical visit can helpful. The situation here is fluid, and Anna can be feeling much better and strong some days, and much more tired other days.
See below also a link on how prepare foods for patients with immune system problems.
Thank you so very much for everything and anything you are able to support us with