Welcome to Laura's CaringBridge page! We are using it to keep family, friends, and loved ones updated on a day to day basis all in one place. We appreciate all of your love, support, prayers, and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to visit. God bless!
I'd like to take a moment to thank Laura's father, Richard Copeland.. For those of you reading this that don't know he is Laura's stem cell donor and has gifted her a 2nd chance at life.. Thank You Richard! We love you!
Laura was diagnosed in August of 2017 with Acute B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia with the Philadelphia chromosome present. In short that's ALL - PH+.. Laura's journey began in May of 2017 with severe back pain that was initially thought to be caused from working on her feet or from stress from other parts of her body and that her back was compensating for. She saw virtually every specialist under the sun to try and get to the bottom of what was causing her such tremendous pain. But no one could figure out what the cause was. After numerous visits to the ER & doctors offices across the metro with no luck on a diagnosis we ended up at the U of M's emergency room where she was in such severe pain that none of the pain meds they tried were working. It was at this point she was admitted into the University of Minnesota's hospitals care. It took just under a week to get her pain under control and to a tolerable level. It was at this time they also had a firm diagnosis... Leukemia..... It was heartbreaking.... I think everyone that was around in those early days was in pure shock and disbelief at what we were hearing... It's not something that you can ever prepare yourself for... But Laura summoned her faith in god and led the charge with courage, positivity, and perseverance. Her treatment plan included 2 rounds of chemo therapy as an impatient in the hospital, continued chemo at home, and finally a stem cell/bone marrow transplant to follow months down the road... Laura began her treatment immediately and underwent her 2 rounds of chemo that kept her in the hospital from August until early October. Laura was then discharged to come home and continue chemotherapy while there. During this time Laura was still seeing oncologists (cancer doctors) and working with various other doctors to make sure that her counts stayed in safe ranges and that she stayed in good overall health. In late December she began her work up with the Bone Marrow Transplant team. Which was a series of medical checks and tests to make sure that there were no hidden viruses or sicknesses in her body.. While doing this it was revealed that she also has thyroid cancer, while also more depressing news we were assured by her doctors that thyroid cancer compared that the Leukemia it was comparable to a sprained ankle. It's something that will most likely be taken care of and removed with a surgery after she heals from transplant. Even with this other cancer in her body it's ok to still proceed with the stem cell transplant.. Laura was admitted to the U of M hospital for her transplant on Jan 17.. Before the transplant she had a week of heavy chemo and 2 doses of radiation.. Her transplant took place on Jan 28th at around 530pm.. The transplant went well and was relatively uneventful, which was great.. So now that the transplant is complete the next few weeks Laura will remain in a special climate controlled room with special filters to circulate the air and try to cut down on germs or whatever else could be in a hospital. Her immune system is expected to be non exsistant for a timeline of 10-20 days, during this she is given meticulous care from her team of doctors and nurses.. Once her immune system/white cell count starts to rise she'll be working with a team of physical therapists to get her strength back up and return home.. When Laura returns home she will need 24hr around the clock care for the first 100 days and daily trips to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit to make sure that all of her cell counts are where they need to be.. After the 100 days (pending any setbacks) Laura's life will slowly return to normal more and more everyday.. Much farther beyond that is unknown at this point in time, and even what I've just typed is kind of an unknown as well.. There's so many variables and things that could change you just don't know..It's a heck of a lot of information to process to honestly be ok with it and not let the mind take over with the what ifs.. That's why we are learning to live day by day and just take things one step at a time.. And that's what were doing, and today is a good day :). We appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read this and visit this site.. I will update this on a daily basis with what's going on, how she's feeling and all of that kind of stuff.. In closing I just want to say; if you know Laura, you know she's a fighter and has one hell of a spirit and she WILL be back to good health and seeing you all soon.. Love and God Bless!