Mary Juntunen Mary Juntunen

First post: Aug 3, 2020 Latest post: Jul 8, 2021

Hello to friends and family of Mary.  We began this Caring Bridge site in August 2020 in order to keep loved ones informed of Mary's journey through cancer. I've now edited this " Mary's Story" section to contain a very brief summary of her 6 month battle for those of you that haven't been following journal entries, but you are welcome to read the archived journal entries for more details and information about everything she fought through.

A Brief Summary of Mary's Journey:
After experiencing sudden vision symptoms in early July 2020, Mary underwent months of testing and diagnosis visits to Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Following a brain biopsy on September 1st, 2020,  she was finally diagnosed with a CNS (Central Nervous System) Large B-Cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma of the brain. We (her niece Molly and her brother Steve, my dad, who moved temporarily up from Florida) cared for her during the 3 months in and out of Mayo's Methodist hospital. We rented a home in Rochester and navigated Covid restrictions and endless appointments and hospitalizations. Through it all, Mary was incredibly positive and hopeful. Unfortunately,  the tumor did not respond to intense treatment in September-November.  After complications arose before starting a second treatment attempt, it was determined that she would not survive the next phase of treatment and it was recommended that we prepare for end of life care. Mary underwent palliative-care radiation at Mayo (November 19-29) to stop the aggressive growth of the tumor and allow her a short time to be transferred to Duluth, close to my (Molly's) family. Though she had lost use of her left side and was not able to stand or walk when transported to Duluth, she remained completely herself (cognitively normal) during the entire journey and was very clear that she wished to spend her last days near us so she could see the kids and feel at peace in a homey setting out of the hospital. She mustered her joyful energy to spend a final two weeks or so with visits from my kids and my sister and her daughter. She laughed, remembered, and felt at rest. We are so thankful that I had unlimited visits with her since she was at "end of life" and that she had wonderful care through Hospice. She passed away peacefully on January 2nd.

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