Ken Brokl

First post: Apr 8, 2020 Latest post: Jun 8, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. 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.  Ken had been feeling poorly for about a week, but due to the current coronavirus epidemic, he did as advised and stayed quarantined in his apartment, waiting to feel better. On Saturday, 4/4/20, he contacted us asking to go to the ER because he was starting to feel short of breath. He was admitted to Methodist Hospital that evening. Initially, we were relieved to find out that his influenza and COVID-19 tests were negative. Unfortunately, we have since found out that his diagnosis is acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The bone marrow (which makes WBCs, RBCs, and platelets) has started uncontrollably making abnormal, immature WBCs, which are crowding out the good cells that it should be making. Because of this, his other counts are low, and he has needed transfusions of RBCs and platelets. Ken underwent a procedure yesterday called leukophoresis, which took a lot of the bad WBCs out of his blood. The leukemia is causing a couple of additional problems for Ken, one of which is blood clots in his urine that are causing bladder spasms, and the other is his kidneys aren't working good right now. Currently, the doctors are working to get his platelet number high enough that it is safe to do a bone marrow biopsy and put in a port-a-cath, so that treatment can be started. Treatment will consist of chemotherapy that will completed wipe out the bone marrow, with the goal that when it starts making cells again, it will make normal ones. Unfortunately, while he counts are low, he is at very high risk for infection and bleeding, and will need treatment with antibiotics and blood transfusions. He will need to stay at the hospital for at least 4-6 weeks at this time. 

As you can imagine, with the coronavirus pandemic, this whole situation is made extra difficult by the fact that the hospital is not allowing in any visitors at all. Ken is extremely tired right now, and not up to doing very much talking, but I know he will look forward to looking at everyone's  well wishes on this site. Cards can be sent to Methodist Hospital  6500 Excelsior Blvd  St. Louis Park, MN  55426