Would you like to participate in a research study about gratitude? Learn More
Dalayna Graham Pierce
This all began two days prior to Thanksgiving in 2016, when my co worker return from a 6 week Fmla leave of absence. On the first day she came back, she was concerned about the weight I had lost in those six weeks she was gone. The second morning when we arrived back at work together, she asked if I was ok?!? I said yes, why? She explained to me that my color was not good. That I looked jaundice and that I should get in to see the dr as she thought something wasn't right. After her being persistent that I call and get in, I finally made a call to get in to see my normal dr Brad Hoff PA at Carrington Health Center, the soonest I could get in was the Monday after Thanksgiving at 730am. So Monday I went in and they ran some blood work. The results didn't come back in my favor, this lead to more testing and further testing in Fargo ND at the Roger Maris Center. They diagnosed me with Myelodysplastic syndromes......In MDS, some of the cells in the bone marrow are damaged and have problems making new blood cells. Many of the blood cells formed by the damaged bone marrow cells are defective. Defective cells often die earlier than normal cells and the body also destroys some abnormal blood cells, leaving the patient with low blood counts because there aren’t enough normal blood cells.
In about one-third of patients, MDS can progress to a rapidly growing cancer of bone marrow cells called acute myeloid leukemia. Because most patients do not get leukemia, MDS was previously classified as a disease of low malignant potential. Now that doctors have learned more about MDS, it is considered to be a form of cancer.
I had some really tough times after that with being really weak, feeling like passing out, which led me to having several blood transfusions and then Chemo treatments 5 days straight, then three weeks off. Several bone marrow biopsies had to be taken. With that my numbers came down a little each time. They told me I needed to do Chemo until my levels reached a certain level and the dr's at university of Minnesota would take me for a stem cell transplant. After three rounds of Chemo my levels were at a good spot to go ahead with the stem cell transplant process.
Monday April 24, I arrived there for my first day of testing and day two was spent touring the campus, day three was consulting with all the people who will be helping me and going over the process that I'm going to be going through from here til I'm done. I will be in the hospital for a period of time after and then to a place where my mother will be my care taker for the most part along with my husband taking turns, so my mom can get sone time away from there as well. This is a place where I will be spending time with other patients who are dealing with the same terrible disease of cancer.