Kathleen Shaw

First post: Oct 28, 2017 Latest post: Feb 15, 2018
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Hello Family and Friends,
I am writing this on behalf of my mom Kathy whom you all know very well and all know that she is embarking on a long journey to regain her health.  Her story actually started a few years ago when she was diagnosed with ITP(idiopathic thrombocytopenia) or low platelet counts.  And at the time she had asked me what was the cause of this disease and I said they just don't know what was causing her low platelets.  Fast forward to this spring early summer and now along with her platelets her  white blood cells and hematocrit were low along with the platelets.  The hematologist here in Worcester attempted a bone marrow biopsy but was unable to get a final read.  He recommended going to Boston for another bone marrow biopsy and consult with one of their top oncologists Dr. Richard Stone.  We met with him the first week of August and the BMB was on the 10th and mom's diagnosis was August 22nd!  They diagnosed her with myelofibrosis, which  means the bone marrow is scarred and fibrosed.  So she has a hard time making white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.   Since the beginning of August,  she has been receiving blood products to keep her levels and energy up.  I forgot to mention that also on her first appt at Dana Faber we met with her now transplant doctor Dr. Cutler.  Dr. Stone had enough information before we even met him from her failed bone marrow biopsy that he felt she would at some point need a transplant.  Dr. Stone on his initial meeting thought mom looked so good and felt pretty good that transplantation would be down the road in maybe 6months to a year.  But he wanted to be prepared if she needed it sooner to start the transplant workup.  And luckily we did start it from the first time meeting him.  Since meeting him,  she has required red blood cells or platelets just about every week and a half to keep her levels safe.  We have all learned a lot about the transplantation  process in the last 2 months.  Mom has been so lucky to have not one but two brothers who are a 100% match to her!!!  The transplant team makes the final decision on who they want to donate and Uncle Bill has been gracious enough to be her donor!!!!  So in two days my mom will be admitted to Brigham and Women's Hospital (which is the inpatient facility for DanaFarber pts.) to start her treatment protocol.  She will be undergoing chemotherapy for 4 days and then a day off and then she should be receiving her stem cell transplant on November 2nd.  The transplant doctor believes she will be in the hospital for roughly a months time, and then once discharged she will have limited contact with people at home.  She will be on these limitations for a whole year from the date of the transplant.  The first "100" days is the most important time on her timeline to make.  
My mom or myself will be updating this site regularly to let everyone know how she is doing.  Please feel free to leave a note for her if you want.

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