Jo Dunstan

First post: Nov 1, 2020 Latest post: Aug 9, 2021
Anyone who knows Jo knows that this is not news she would want others to hear.  She would like to know how all of you are before ever sharing how she is feeling.  Her life-long work in education, various organizations, and raising a beautiful family reflects her love of people and thirst for knowledge.  She, John, and Paul all regretfully have to share that Jo is terminally ill and entering hospice care.

At the very end of August, Jo began to feel unwell.  She and John went to urgent care after symptoms worsened and after many hours and tests, they discovered that there was a growth on her uterus.  They met with more doctors and determined that on September 8th she would have a hysterectomy to remove the lump.  The surgery went very well, as did Jo's recovery.  They met with an oncologist and were told that the lump was a soft tissue sarcoma.  They were given options, and Jo felt that since she was feeling good at that time that they would wait 8 weeks and rescan before pursuing any further treatment.

In the meantime, they decided to get a second opinion from an oncologist at Mayo in Rochester.  After a morning of testing on October 17th, they discovered that the cancer was recurring at the original site, a very aggressive cancer.  The oncologist recommended chemotherapy immediately, working with the Park Nicollet oncologist.  She returned home, tired but very much ready to start treatment to fight this.  Unfortunately, she became ill the following week, pushing off a heart scan, the port procedure, and ultimately the chemo treatments.

The week of October 25th, Jo was finally able to have the port procedure done but scheduling to begin chemo was more difficult.  So when she began to feel unwell yet again, she was sent to the emergency room, to bypass the outpatient system.  On October 28th, a scan revealed that the tumor was growing and spreading and that she could try chemo, but it only had a very low chance of success.  She went forward with chemo on October 29th and felt she was doing well.   

However, on Friday October 30th, after many consultations, Jo made the decision that she wanted no further treatment and would enter hospice care.  Jo's spirits are good, but she is tired and experiencing some discomfort.  She moved to NC Little Hospice in Edina on November 1st.  Please keep Jo, John and Paul in your thoughts and prayers.