Thank you for coming to Dawn's Caringbridge. It is through this site we hope family and friends receive facts and updates on Dawn's journey. Most importantly, we want this site to be a home base of prayer, support and love for Dawn. The cancer journey is a tough and scary one and we hope through your comments and messages, it will help bring strength to Dawn and her entire family during this trying time.
Please feel free to read journal entries written by Dawn (or family members) and check out the calendar for Dawn's schedule of chemo treatments and appointments. We appreciate all who have brought meals and plan to notate those on the calendar as well.
If you would like to donate a meal, view our meal train website at: https://mealtrain.com/1w57gw
For donations, you can venmo directly to Dawn at @Dawn-Arbuckle
Now, on to Dawn's Story... from the start.
In late November 2019, Dawn was experiencing pains in her lower abdomen. After having an ultrasound completed, her doctor found ovarian cysts. This was a simple fix as they planned to have them removed in the beginning of the new year. From the Thanksgiving holiday through Christmas, the pain increased significantly which started to take effect on Dawn's walking. Now jump to 2020...
On Wednesday, January 8th Dawn checked herself into the ER at Memorial Hermann Katy because her pain became unbearable. After blood work and a CAT scan, enlarged lymph nodes were found and she was checked into the hospital for further tests and pain management. After a difficult night of morphine and other various pain medications that no one can spell (let alone pronounce), Dawn finally felt a little relief from the pain. The hospital doctor immediately ordered to have a biopsy of the lymph nodes done. On Thursday 1/9 the biopsy was completed and she was discharged with pain medication prescriptions and a walker... FYI- we are taking donations to have her walker "pimped out" with blinker lights, a horn, and anything else that screams, "Crazy Lady Walking!" ;-)
Once home, Dawn and her family experienced what was probably the longest and most emotionally draining six days of their lives. Waiting for the biopsy results. Anyone who goes through this waiting period knows that your mind goes a million miles an hour thinking of the absolute worst case scenario of what the results could come back as.
On Wednesday, January 15th, Dawn's results were in and an appointment with her oncologist, Dr. Hsu, was scheduled for that late afternoon. The results concluded : Non-Hodgkin's Follicular Lymphoma. Per Dr. Hsu, this is a low grade, slow progressive cancer that she probably has had for quite a few years. No real side effects are noticed until the lymph nodes begin enlarging. The next step would be to have a PET scan and bone marrow biopsy completed. In addition, Dr. Hsu expressed a port to be installed to make chemotherapy treatment easier on her.
The PET scan was completed on Friday 1/24 and Bone Marrow Biopsy with the Port Installation was done the following Monday, 1/27. On Thursday 1/30 Dr. Hsu staged Dawn's Follicular Lymphoma as a stage 3. There were signs of the cancer in other lymph nodes throughout her body. He started the process to get Dawn on a chemotherapy schedule. It would entail two days, every four weeks, for six months. The chemo would be what he called a "BR Regimen" with the antibody Rituximen. The first day would take all day. The second would take a little more than an hour. At this point, Dawn was ready to get this process started. The quicker the lymph nodes shrunk, the faster she could walk, drive, return to work and get back to life!
Thank you for reading Dawn's Story. For updates, please read the journal entries as we will try to keep it updated as often as possible. Thanks and God Bless!!