Our family put this space together so you might occasionally stop in and leave some words of encouragement. Many of you know that Cherie’s myeloproliferative disease Myelofibrosis had progressed to the ASXL-1 mutation. This is a new aggressive change that develops into Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Cherie was scheduled for a Hematopoietic stem cell transplant this past May 2020, but Coronavirus delayed the transplant. Thankfully she is now scheduled for September.
What is a stem cell transplant? A bone marrow or hematopoietic stem cell transplant is a medical treatment that replaces your bone marrow with healthy donated cells. Transplantation is often used to treat certain types of cancer such as leukemia, myeloma or lymphoma. Cherie needs a transplant as her bone marrow no longer makes the blood cells needed to survive.
Is a stem cell transplant risky? Yes! This transformation from old cells to new donated cells is difficult. Cherie will undergo a process called Myeloablative Conditioning therapy with intense chemo and radiation 24 hours a day for 4 to 6 days. Cherie will be very, very sick. This process brings a patient to death’s door so the medical team can destroy the old cells. This is necessary to make room for the new healthy cells to cure the body. The first 30 days are the most risky part of the transplant, when she will be in the hospital with the doctors nearby. Will these new healthy cells fight? Will they play nice? Will the new cells gently take over to cure her body or will they attack her vital organs? We are confident the doctors and team will bring her to a cure. We know in our hearts the new healthy donor cells will love our mom just as much as we all do.
In the words of my dad's friend Brent. " New cells? It sounds like a software update!" We love this image. Our mom Cherie is having a software update!
How can you help? We need your prayers, positive thoughts, happy vibes, wishes and good luck as she undergoes the fight of her life. We love her and we know you do too, or you wouldn’t be stopping by to say hi. Please post a message. We will read these to her and when she is up to it, she can go back to re-read the love we all have for her. Still want to help? Visit the Ways To Help section above on our caring bridge for ideas we will update as needed.
Thank you for your kindness and encouragement,
With love and friendship, Rich, Nicky and Alec Wholey