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10/3/2017 Latest post:
Hello Friends and Family,
Please note: For the time being, please do not share this site on Facebook or other social media. Dawn-Marie would like to keep this a bit more private for a while. Thanks
In an effort to keep everyone informed and updated, we have created this common place to post updates regarding Dawn-Marie’s health. This is also a great forum for you to post your notes of encouragement and well wishes for Dawn-Marie and her family to see.
As many already know, Dawn-Marie received a diagnosis for CLL in 2011. Since that time the CLL cancer has been managed well and kept at bay with medications (targeted therapy cancer drugs). In August (about 1 month ago) she had a new development in which she received a diagnosis of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. This is a more aggressive type of cancer compared to the CLL. The best treatment is traditional IV chemotherapy infusions with plan for stem cell transplant (otherwise known as bone marrow transplant).
Currently Dawn-Marie has received 1 of the planned 6 cycles of chemo. Chemo occurs every 21 days (or 3 weeks). Side effects of this type of chemo include mouth sores, dry mouth, nausea/vomiting, hair loss and neutropenia. Neutropenia is a side effect in which the neutrophils in the blood (infection fighting white cells) decrease so low that the body cannot fight infection like our bodies normally do. So this causes great precaution and sometimes a hospital stay to prevent infection. Dawn-Marie experienced neutropenia with Cycle 1, and was in the hospital for a week. The hospital staff acted quickly and efficiently helping Dawn-Marie to increase her neutrophils again and return back home where she is more comfortable. She is doing well, enjoying being with her family and cute little Cooper; and feeling much better than she did.
Round 2 of chemo will start on Monday Oct 2nd. She prefers on these chemo infusion days to have no visitors and be able to focus on relaxing and sleeping; allowing her body to rest while the infusion is completed. The next day she receives a Nulasta injection which helps to increase her Neutrophils. Then each cycle can be a little different-she may become Neutropenic again which could require another hospital stay in which they will again “tune her up” in order to return home. On the other hand, she could sail right through this 2nd cycle without the Neutropenic side effect at all. Prayers please that Dawn-Marie could tolerate this 2nd chemo cycle without any side effects.
Dawn-Marie will be meeting with the OHSU stem cell transplant team soon to discuss plans for stem cell transplant. Her doctor has already mentioned that they will be looking for donated stem cells that match her type. Research tells us that family are most likely to have a perfect stem cell match, so her brothers will be tested first. If they are not a match, then the transplant team will begin seeking other donors. There will be more details that we learn after the visit with the OHSU transplant team has been completed. Stay tuned.
For now, Dawn-Marie is most comforted by your prayers. Her prayer requests are: please pray for her healing, pray that her round 2 of chemo is free of side effects and she can stay in the comfort of her home, and pray for peace and comfort so that she does not become overwhelmed.
No meals are needed at this time. Cards and notes of encouragement are always welcome. Dawn-Marie is so comforted and warmed just knowing she has a team of prayer warriors fighting this battle through with her. Visitors are welcome at this time while she is at home: best times are during the week.
Please note the following visiting guidelines:
1. Please do not visit if you think you have a cold or are sick in any way.
2. Keep visits short-20-30 minutes is a good rule of thumb.
3. Please keep your conversation to positive things. Stay away from stories about those you have known with cancer or have died from cancer as these are not encouraging for Dawn-Marie and only make her feel badly that others have not survived while she has. Dawn-Marie loves to hear about the wonderful happy things in your family, your children she loves so dearly like her own, and all of their successes and adventures. These stories always make her smile and feel encouraged. It also helps her to feel a sense of normalcy and not so focused on her treatment which she is forced to think about all the time.
4. It is okay to give Dawn-Marie permission to sleep if she is tired. You can say “Please feel free to sleep, I will sit quietly and read while you rest”. This allows her to not feel like she has to entertain. Or, if it is obvious that she is tired-it may be a good time to make your polite exit.
5. Please check with Trevor or Dawn-Marie by text before coming to visit, as there are many doctor appointments and would want to be sure she is home before you visit. Also with the unpredictable nature of side effects from chemo-each day is unpredictable and may be a day not appropriate for visitors. Please check before you come.