Maureen O'Brien

First post: Mar 8, 2016 Latest post: May 11, 2022
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Here is Maureen's Story from husband, Dan:
March 21, 2016


Da Bride has been patronizing several doctors for the past several weeks. Something wasn’t quite right in December. Persistent cough and sore shoulder with some fever, especially at night. In January we went to the family doctor to get antibiotics for the cough and an orthopedic surgeon for the shoulder. The cough survived the antibiotics. We thought the shoulder pain was a “torn rotator cuff”. The surgeon gave her a cortisone shot and sent her to rehab. Rehab sent her back to the surgeon after a week or so as Mo's condition was not going to get any better in rehab. An MRI was performed and a meeting with the surgeon revealed that it was not a torn rotator cuff – it was a tumor, likely cancerous.

February was spent at Delnor hospital with more MRIs, mammograms,Cat scans, bone biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, and a Petscan. The diagnosis was “diffuse large B cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma” and it was the most aggressive version. Maureen’s disease presents itself both in the blood and on the bone, which is unusual. The tumor was actually eroding the upper bone of her arm. Scans revealed lesions on her leg bone which had weakened it to the point that a surgery was needed to prevent a fracture. A rod was put in her leg on Feb 26 at Delnor. The question was whether a similar operation should be performed on her shoulder. If so, it would need to be done at the University of Chicago.

Early March was spent gathering a second opinion at the University of Chicago (where Desi went). The diagnosis was confirmed and the orthopedic surgeon recommended that shoulder surgery be delayed so that chemotherapy could begin. The cancer was so aggressive and so much time had been used to diagnose the DNA makeup of the cancer that treatment was more imperative than surgery.

Maureen began treatment March 11. Her chemotherapy requires a hospital admission and runs for 5 consecutive days, if there are no delays it is repeated every 2-3 weeks depending on how well she rebounds. Da Bride came home from her first chemo late afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day, our son Sean’s birthday. We are still waiting to see how well she rebounds to schedule the next round of chemo.

While this journey has been difficult, it has reminded us how well blessed we are with family and friends who all care about us and desire to help. There is never enough prayer in the world and to the extent that any of us can make that different … that would be a help. It is a true comfort to know that many, many other people are praying for us.

Thank you to everyone who has or will remember us in their prayers before the Lord.

The Dan O’Brien Family

Dan, Maureen, Liam, Charles, Sean, and Elizabeth

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