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This chapter in our lives started Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Stephany had been feeling sick for a couple of weeks. Having a hard time breathing, not uncommon since she has asthma. Some lower back pain and just feeling yucky. I told her she needed to schedule a doctor appt to get it checked out, and she did, on Wednesday, November 30th. She left work to go for a check up and said she would be back shortly. About an hour after she left I received a call from her, crying, saying I needed to go pick her up because they found a mass in her chest. My heart dropped to the floor.
I was left in awe and tears at what I had just heard. I grabbed my husband and off we were, to the hospital in disbelief. Once at the hospital, where the rest of our family joined us, we waited for test results at our place.
It had only been about an hour and half when the long awaited call came. Her doctor told us that they believed she had lymphoma. My 21 year old daughter has just been told she has cancer and we had to get the ball rolling on getting her help. The hospital in our area does not do the biopsy that was needed so we decided that our only option was the Mayo Clinic. At 8:30, Thursday morning I contacted her doctor to let her know to please do what needed to be done to get her into the Mayo. By 9:30 she called me back to say that Monday morning at 7:30 we had our first appt. The beginning of gods answered prayers, grace and mercy.
We packed our bags, booked a flight and Saturday morning we were off. Our world turned upside down and sideways all in one single phone call. We spent the first couple of days meeting with a lung specialist and running tests. Doing a lot of praying and trying to stay positive. When he realized that it was not his specialty, we then met with a lymphoma specialist and heard news that we were not expecting. Stephany was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma, but more tests needed to be run. Broken hearted and stuck in this crazy whirlwind we could only try to comfort her and leave this in gods hands. As tests were done, fluid drained from around her lungs and she weakened, we waited for more answers.
By this time our children and their family's from out of state has now joined us for the holidays and support. The weekend was upon us and boy, was it the longest week and weekend of our lives. With no doctor appointments and the whole family together we were excited to spend some quality time together.
Stephany was getting weaker, breathing was much harder, couldn't sleep or eat and her whole neck and face were swollen. Monday rolled around and we could not wait to get to her doctor appointments. Had 2 appointments and went to our third and that's were we met Dr. Patnaik. Our prayers were answered through this man and he was truly sent to us from god. We got our answers, she had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma and as bad as it sounds, it's that bad.
Within 15 minutes, he had her hospitalized and gathered a team of doctors and nurses to start her treatment. Our whirlwind had finally slowed down to just a wind and our broken hearts were feeling as if they would start mending. Through this amazing doctor, his team and the wonderful nurses on duty that night, god had shown his face, graced us with his mercy and left us believing in his angels.
Stephany, Dayton and myself will be staying in Rochester for the rest of her treatment, which we think will be a one year process. Raymond and the rest of the family will travel back and forth for visits. Thank you everyone for your continued prayer, encouraging words and financial help. May god bless each of you for being part of our lives.