Colleen is on a challenging journey to recovery. In March of 2016, Colleen was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. She has been undergoing treatments since April and so far has shown some significant improvements. Her positive attitude has been amazing. We've created this site to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Colleen is now about to start the next phase of the journey. Sometime within the next few weeks, she will be starting treatments for a Bone Marrow Transplant. In her case, it looks like they will be able to use her own stem cells for the transplant procedure.
For those of you who know Colleen, you can appreciate how important her relationships are with her family and friends. Those relationships are what she holds most precious (maybe only second to spending time on the water). We will update this site as Colleen continues on the journey. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
CAREGIVER SUPPORT NEEDED
Colleen will need to have 24x7 help for about 45 to 60 days. For those of you who would like to help (or have already offered), please check out the planner and sign up if you are able to stay with Colleen (for either 12 or 24 hour shifts). See the link to the Planner at the top of this page. We are looking for Caregiver support from August 22nd through September 30th. Feel free to contact Teresa Ulrich (Colleen's sister) if you have questions about signing up to help with caregiving. 651-329-9129.Thank you to everyone for all you have already done.
A caregiver is a key component to Colleen’s full and safe recovery. A caregiver may be a family member or friend who can be with Colleen while receiving a stem cell transplant for the duration of treatment. Care givers can rotate, but are needed to support Colleen throughout the treatment process.
The plan is for Colleen and care giver(s) to stay at the Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, very near where Colleen will be receiving her treatments. Check out this link for more information about the Hope Lodge. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/hopelodge/minneapolis/minneapolis-about-our-facility#.V6eu2rXppMI.email.
The Hope Lodge has high speed internet, so that might be an option for those who can work remotely.
Being a BMT (Bone MarrowTransplant) caregiver requires a significant time commitment. A caregiver’sresponsibilities may include:
· Assisting with the scheduled oral and intravenous medication.
· Keeping an eye on the Colleen’s condition and identifying any changes or new symptoms. Knowing what to do in an emergency. Calling for medical help if needed.
· Caring for Colleen’s central venous catheter.
· Helping to prepare or provide meals.
· Providing transportation, as needed, to and from the treatment center or clinic.
· Going with Colleen to medical appointments.
· Updating the Caringbridge site with any status changes.
· Providing emotional support and encouragement.
Education and support is provided to the caregivers so that you can be confident in your responsibilities.
Note - the "Donate to CaringBridge" button is to donate to the CaringBridge organization, it is not a donation to Colleen.