In August, shortly after celebrating her 75th birthday at an outdoor/socially distanced gathering with her daughters, sons in law, and all five of her grandchildren, Linda awoke in the middle of the night with intense pain in her left shoulder that sent her to the emergency room. She was admitted to the hospital and eventually diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. After being released and starting physical therapy, the pain moved to different joints and it was obvious the diagnosis was not correct.
In the weeks that followed, she was diagnosed with splenomegaly (giant spleen), which required emergency removal. (Who knew? Pain in the left shoulder is a common symptom of an enlarged spleen.) This led to further testing that revealed she had "low-grade lymphoma," a condition that is generally "treated" by watchful waiting since it often never progresses. Unfortunately, that was not the case in this instance. Her illness progressed and was soon identified as mantle cell lymphoma.
Sometimes if feels like every time she takes a step forward she takes two steps back. She has been in and out of the hospital multiple times in the last few months--once for initial treatment of the cancer but also several times for pneumonia and severe edema caused by the treatment and her compromised immune system.
BUT she is stronger than you can imagine, despite everything she's been through. She hasn't been able to do her daily power walks since September and she's been relying on a walker to move safely through the house (she's been living with Elise and her family). But even in the moments when she's been very ill, she's had an inner physical strength that all the healthcare workers marvel at. Her strength gives us hope. Please keep her in your thoughts.