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12/25/2016 Latest post:
Hello All: This message is coming from Charlie M. - Helen's not so "better half." Putting it mildly - the Murray's have been on a roller coaster for the last 2-3 weeks. Helen had flu like symptoms for over 3 weeks. Decided to go to ER - 12/11/16. Blood work revealed low platelet count. Further tests including BM biopsy revealed diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). We were referred to a terrific Oncologist at U of P - Dr. James Mangan. Ultimately met Dr. M. Thurs., 12/22. Chris, Bern, Helen & myself were expecting the worst but hoping for the best. Without a doubt - we heard the best from Dr. M. He was extremely optimistic during our session and stated several times that Helen's blood disorder is completely curable. Dr. M. initially agreed to let Helen go home for Christmas, but blood work revealed elevated creatinine which reflects diminished kidney function. Dr. M. said this was caused by increased doses of ibuprofen Helen was taking for discomfort she was having in lower back. Decision was made to admit Helen - administer lots of fluids to clean out kidneys and get ready for chemo. Chemo actually started today - 12/24/16. And so - remission begins on Christmas Eve - 2016. Everyone' good wishes thus far are most appreciated. Helen will be in U of P Hospital for 30 days for first cycle of chemo. Then off two weeks - then 2nd round will start. It will be a challenging journey but one we feel very good about the outcome. Keep the prayers and well wishes coming. Helen is in Rhoads 3 - room 13 @ U of P Hospital. I will let everyone know about possible visitors down the road. Best wishes to you all for a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and blessed 2017.