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1/12/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website on behalf of our sister and daughter, Julie Dopp Koziel, age 40. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting this site; and more importantly - we thank you for your continued prayers, and love. Please visit the site frequently for updates on Julie's journey; and to send her your love. For those of you that yet don't know, Julie was just diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) this past weekend (January 7th, 2017). The bone marrow biopsy confirmed that it is AML, which had been packed with abnormal cells. She had been really sick for the last month, chalking it up to a never-ending sinus infection while also battling nausea and low-grade fevers. She had also been burdened with tremendous back pain since late summer which had been attributed to her herniated disc. So many of us struggle with herniated discs and we couldn't understand how that could be causing her so much pain. I wish (speaking as her sister) that I had urged her to have additional blood work done at that time though her CBC was normal in July 2016. As they say, hindsight is 20/20; and we can never look back - ONLY FORWARD. Realizing that this continued sickness was surely not right, and beginning to feel even weaker, Julie REQUESTED a blood draw from her PCP on Friday, Jan. 6th. She went back home, and even out to dinner with friends to try to get back to some normalcy in life. Upon returning home from dinner and promptly falling asleep, she was awakened to incessant ringing of both her home phone and cell phone to the on-call nurse demanding she go to an ER because she needed a blood transfusion right away. Her hemoglobin was only 5.3, and her WBC and platelets were also extremely low. She was admitted to Huntley-Centegra that night where they continued to monitor her vitals. She was then consulted by Dr. Veerpal Singh, Oncologist and Hematologist, of IL Cancer Specialists who diagnosed her AML. Once confirmed, everything is a blur to all of us. He wanted to get her admitted right away to the Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL to begin the induction therapy which means she will be in the hospital for a full month. Following that will be the consolidation therapy. We pray this will put this ugly disease in remission where she can then get the stem cell transplant for which Dr. Singh will refer her to his colleagues at the prestigious Northwestern University to follow up with this treatment. For stem cell transplant, they immediately look to the siblings for this first before going to the stem cell registry donor list. We hope and pray that one of us, sisters (Christina or myself) will be a matching donor for her. If only we could know this right away; so that we can feel like we are truly helping her through this terrible nightmare that will become a journey of Faith and Hope. Unfortunately, everything is a process; and we can't even think about the stem cell transplant until she goes through the induction and consolidation therapy. Julie is a fighter. She is strong, and is filled with Love, Hope, and Faith. We have no doubt that she will endure and conquer this horrible disease; but as our baby sister, as Bob as her husband, and our parents; we all feel that we should be the ones to go through this - not her. We protect each other as sisters, and our hearts are as one. We battle for each other, and what one sister feels - the other feels tenfold. We're thankful our parents are able to be with the boys, Kyle and Blake; as I know their hearts are broken thinking of their youngest enduring this battle - though she will never be alone through it all. As a sibling and a parent, we don't know how to live our own lives separate from this; when all we want to do is to physically be with her through this and hold her hand even if she's strong enough to not need it. Thank you all for visiting this site. This journey will be a long one; and she will need to hear from everyone. Love to all, and may God Bless us and give us strength for all that will come.