Maurice Oelfke

First post: Apr 14, 2017

Dad's journey began when he was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndromes or MDS. MDS is when the bone marrow doesn't produce enough healthy blood cells. It's often referred to as bone marrow failure. The bone marrow functions as a factory that manufactures red and white blood cells and platelets. Healthy bone marrow produces immature blood cells called stem cells or blasts that normally develop into mature blood cells and platelets. With MDS, these stem cells may not mature and have a shortened life span.

A common feature of MDS is low blood cell counts which are responsible for Dad's symptoms of infection, bleeding and bruising. The exact cause of MDS is unknown, but they say that some people are born with a tendency to develop MDS.

Dad began his first week of chemotherapy on March 20th. On Day 1, he had a port put in, received a blood transfusion and completed his first round of chemo like a rockstar! The week after his first week of chemo he went in for routine blood draws to check where his counts were at. During that routine visit, they kept him for more observation, Dad was having a hard time breathing and just didn't feel right. We were told he had an infection and that same night, Dad was taken to Abbott for intensive care. He has been treated there for the past nine days for his lung infection.

Wow -- we are so impressed with the compassionate hearts of the nurses and doctors there! Dad is definitely in the best care at Abbott and we are so thankful for their God given skills! Dad is on a ventilation tube, so he has been sedated throughout and unfortunately, he hasn't been able to talk to us.  He is getting lots of rest but we still like to talk to him because we believe he can hear us! We tell him how much we love him and how everyone is thinking, praying and cheering him on at home! 

Please sign Dad's online journal. We will read them all to him every day! Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers and please -- keep them coming. We can feel them. God is good.

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