The Francis Family Foundation, generous CaringBridge donors, are honoring supporters like you by doubling all donations to CaringBridge, up to $25,000. Make a donation by December 12 to be counted.
Sep 17, 2017 Latest post:
Apr 3, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Hello all of my wonderful friends and family. I am not a huge fan of talking about myself but a good friend convinced me that this is really for everyone else (not me), so here we go. I began feeling extremely tired about two weeks ago and noticed other minor symptoms, such as random bruising and shortness of breath. I convinced myself that it was merely the stress of sending my youngest off to college and working long hours. But I decided to see my doctor just to rule out anything serious. Perhaps I had mono? Or some heart issues that run in my family? Never in a million years did I consider cancer.
I visited my family doctor on Monday, Sept 11, and the EKG and chest x-ray came back completely clear. The preliminary blood test, however, revealed that I was anemic. On the surface, that appeared to account for most of my symptoms, so we could have left it at that. But my wonderful and careful doctor convinced me to go for a CT scan the next morning. She then called me Tuesday night and asked me to return to her office the following afternoon to go over the results. I arrived at that appointment on Wednesday afternoon and officially began what is to be the next challenge in my journey. Bring it on.
I was admitted Wednesday evening to the U of M Hospital and am currently on the Bone Marrow Transplant floor. Among other things, I had a bone marrow biopsy on Thursday. The results allowed my team of doctors to prepare the best treatment plan for what we know now is b-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This is the type most often found in children. I will be in the hospital for approximately four weeks while I receive chemo and they will tweak the treatment plan as necessary with new discoveries. I had my first round last evening (September 16th). I felt fine and slept all evening.
There is a 90% chance that I will be in remission in 4-6 weeks and this can eventually be cured. I'll take those odds, thank you. I am told I have a fight ahead of me and I will lose my hair. Not super excited about that but whatever it takes. I'm lacing up my boxing gloves.
I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support. I really wish everyone could have just one day like I have in knowing how much other people really care about them. It is humbling and totally mind-blowing. I am the luckiest girl alive and I know it. I woke up this morning and all I could think of was all of the things I have to be grateful for. Seriously. The list is so long, I need to start writing them down. I love all of you, my friends and family. The line between the two is blurred for most of you. It is really hard to tell the difference. You will be the reason I keep wanting to fight. Every. Single. One. Of. You. Thank you. xo
If you would like to help on a personal level with a donation, contact Jody Grieger at email@example.com