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Our Journey began a year ago, on October 29, 2015 when Dorothea thought she injured her back and was unable to walk. We quickly learned her "injured back" was actually a fractured hip, failing kidneys and a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma; a form of blood cancer. Due to respiratory problems she was Within 2 days she was moved to ICU, put on a ventilator and started on dialysis. Our priorities shifted from repairing her hip to just getting her stabilized. Until they were able to get her respiratory under control we could not go forward.
It was 6 days before she was strong enough to come off the ventilator and have surgery on her hip. Dorothea was able to leave the ICU and was transported to St Josephs main hospital to begin treatment for the Multiple Myeloma. While in the hospital her cancer treatment and kidneys were top priority over physical therapy forcing her to be bedridden for 6 weeks. It was a tough adjustment and very stressful having both dialysis and cancer treatments and now she would need to learn how to walk all over again. After five weeks Dorothea's kidneys regained normal function and she was able to come off of dialysis. The following week she was finally discharged from the hospital after 6 long weeks.
Dorothea spent the next 4 months at West Bay building up her strength to be able to sit up, stand and walk again. While in rehab she continued to be transported every Friday morning to St. Josephs Hospital to receive her cancer treatments. It was difficult spending so many holidays in the hospital and the rehab center, but we were grateful and we made the most of it.
After leaving West Bay Dorothea would have 3 more trips to the ER within 4 months, each one ending with something new. The first trip was due to a fall and resulted in a compound fracture in her spine; 12 weeks in back brace and 10 days in rehab; 2nd trip for sharp pain down her back and left leg would lead us to a myeloma tumor growing on her front right calf pressing on a nerve; 8 days of radiation to shrink tumor and relieve the pressure; 3rd trip for fever would bring us a MRSA diagnosis and an infection.