Jodie Lebakken Team Jodie Lebakken

First post: Aug 30, 2018 Latest post: Jan 17, 2019
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Hello Friends and Family – We started this site so that those of us who love Jodie can stay updated about her recent diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma.

As you may have known, Jodie has been living in Palm Springs full time since last Spring.  In June, she had a massive GI bleed which resulted in hospitalization, many, many tests, and ultimately a surgery to remove two feet of her small intestine.  The doctor discovered other tumors during that surgery which led to a biopsy and a diagnosis of follicular lymphoma.

The California doctors recommended a second opinion which brought her to Seattle where she had recently moved from.  She saw a doctor at Seattle Cancer Center who confirmed the follicular lymphoma diagnosis.   Jodie was scheduled for chemo to begin on Aug 16 at Seattle Cancer Center, but for a number of reasons, it was postponed and suggested she get a third opinion. 

On August 28, Jodie saw Dr. John Pagel at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle.  Dr. Pagel confirmed the follicular lymphoma diagnosis and Jodie decided to proceed with treatment at Swedish.  

Jodie has had several serious health issues for many, many years -- pain in her abdomen, long and heavy bouts of vaginal bleeding, skin conditions, hair loss, major fatigue, insomnia, and major stress to name a few.  Many of her doctors chalked it up to menopause.  While menopause has most certainly been a factor, we now know that she has most likely had this slow-growing cancer for a few years.  We have learned that the “stages” of lymphoma are very different than the “stages” of an isolated tumor type of cancer (like breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc).  Dr. Pagel indicated that Jodie’s cancer is at stage “3 or 4”.  That is NOT like a stage 4 breast cancer, nonetheless, ANY stage of cancer is not a good stage!  Dr. Pagel said that the “stage” indication is more for diagnosis purposes as opposed to prognosis purposes – when talking about this type of lymphoma.

SO, tomorrow is her first Spa Day (we don’t like the other “c” word). The treatment will consist of two days of infusion treatment, every 28 days.  The first day is an infusion of Rituxan, the second day will be Bendamustine.  Tomorrow will be a very long day for this first infusion, but the Bendamustine will only be a couple of hours on Friday.  For the next two-day series of treatment on Sept 27 and 28, that first infusion of Rituxan will only be a couple of hours (not several hours like tomorrow will be) and the second day will be a similar, shorter Bendamustine infusion.

Jodie is ready to kick this cancer’s ass!  She had a decent night’s sleep last night and we’ve had a few laughs, tears, and even a little walk around her apartment complex today.   

On behalf of Jodie’s girls, Kelsey, Kaitlyn and Kristina, as well as her brother Kevin and Mom Shirley, we thank all of you for your love, concern, support and prayers.  Jodie will love reading all of your well wishes on this site.  In addition, she certainly will love to hear your voices or read your texts, but please understand that it may be difficult to respond to each one of you immediately.  As you can imagine, she’s going to be tired and not feeling all too swell for awhile….

We’ll continue to post updates on this site.  We’re looking forward to getting our Jodie back to feeling like her spunky, energetic self!


Team Jodie Lebakken Member (Jackie Dales)

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