Maryann Pearson

First post: Oct 23, 2019 Latest post: Feb 10, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. My sister (Nel) and I (Sarah) are going to use it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Thank you for visiting.

My mom was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Saturday 10/12.  She had gone to her doctor that Friday 10/11 for shortness of breath.  When he ran the blood tests, they called her back and put her in the hospital that night.  Since it's an acute form, it comes on quickly and without any real warning or symptoms.  This was definitely the case for her - and it has come out of the blue for all of us!

She starts treatment tomorrow (Tuesday 10/21) as she asked that she have time to spend with family and grandkids first - so we all flew in and spent the past weekend together.  (As a side note, this has also been really hard on my dad, and with the information coming at him fast and furious, and his memory not being the best, it's hard for him to keep track of it and relay it accurately, so we are hoping this helps!)

Although the specifics will change depending on her response to the treatment, the general plan is to start with a 7 day cycle of injections of a chemo drug called azacitidine, followed by 21 days off.  They will repeat the cycle an unknown number of times - depending on blood counts and her response to it.  It will be outpatient treatment unless the side effects turn out to be too much to handle at home and/or if she gets a fever and gets sick.  It is also possible that they will add a newly approved FDA drug called Venetoclax to the regimen at some point.  

In talking to her doctor, the biggest threat to her at this point is if she gets sick, so they have given her strict instructions to avoid people who are sick, crowds, and germs in general (as we head into flu season).  She is also not supposed to be around fresh flowers - as they carry mold and are a common source of infection for people with compromised immune systems.  I tell you all this that so that if you were planning to visit or send flowers, you know it's probably not a good idea.  

I have also heard from many of you that you want to do something to help, and depending on how things unfold, we will definitely reach out for rides, meals, and the like... My mom's friend Missy Wilson has generously offered to coordinate meals at this point, so if you want her contact info, you can send us a message via this website, and we will put you in touch with her.

At this point, either Nel or my mom's sister Julie or I will be in town with her - at least for the foreseeable future - and will let you know how everything goes...

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