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June
17
2021

June 17, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

Thankfully and gratefully, this week was much better than last week.  Amber came home from the hospital this past weekend and is getting stronger each day. She did have to come home with portable IV antibiotics so add another notch in my nurse's belt. And add it to the things I never wanted to have to do. Amber was supposed to start the next chemo cycle this coming Monday or Tuesday, but due to the infection her next treatment is being postponed a bit because she's weak and her levels are not conducive to receive another round of chemo treatment. We continued her out patient appointments at the Cancer Center and Amber needed a few transfusions this week. We have another appointment at the Cancer Center tomorrow (Friday) as well as Monday. We should know when they will admit her for the next treatment next week.

Last week was truly a difficult and scary week and hope we never have to go through that again. I definitely aged some last week. But in true Amber fashion, she handled everything like a champ, even when she could barely lift her head off the pillow. 

In addition to the regular Cancer Center appointments, we have an update meeting with the Transplant Team next week. One of the potential matches has consented for additional testing to see if they are a) a true match and b) medically cleared to be a donor. While it's still too soon and we need to temper our excitement until we get the results and get confirmation that the person agrees to donate. We so hope that this angel on Earth will become our donor. So we ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for this person. Hopefully we will have some very positive news within the next 2-3 weeks. 
 
Amber finished another puzzle, "Friends" which was very timely with the recent "Friends" reunion special. The puzzle was extremely difficult. I tried to help and she had to redo the section I did. I have learned that puzzles are not my forte. The picture of the puzzle is attached.

The yoga fundraiser this weekend was so lovely and heartwarming. Pictures are attached. A big thank you to Amber's friend Carlye and her mother Jackie for doing such a wonderful job. After the tough week I had, it was a very positive and touching way to end the week. It was also my sister's birthday so we thank her for sharing her birthday with the fundraiser.  It truly is so heartwarming to see so many people who truly care and love Amber. Thank you to all who participated and donated, as well to all of you who donated and continue to donate to the GoFundMe account. It truly is helping us so much as the bills are piling up.

Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days. Hopefully we don't have any more of the days we had last week. Dealing with leukemia is hard enough - so let's all pray to keep sepsis out of the picture.

THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 
https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b

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June
10
2021

June 10, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

Unfortunately this week was anything but quiet - it's been a very difficult and scary week. Amber was doing fine at home, and then woke up last Saturday not feeling well and with a fever. We headed to the ER, which is the protocol on nights and weekends when the Cancer Center is closed. Amber was admitted, and is still in the hospital. She had a very serious infection, which is one of the greatest risks of the treatment, and had a 103 fever for several days. She also had issues with oxygen levels and an elevated heart rate, and is very weak. She was only able to sit up on Tuesday, but has been fever free for the last 2 days. However, she does have some fluid on the lungs so we are waiting on the infectious disease doctor for any further action. Hopefully she'll be able to come home in a couple of days.

The doctors call this a bump in the road in the treatment process. This "bump" felt like we were climbing a mountain though. She wasn't exposed or got the infection from anyone - this was just a result of the chemo treatment. Everyone has these "infections" in their body, and the chemo treatment sometimes causes a reaction which makes the infection active and attack the body. This is why we were told on day 1, and repeatedly since, to take her temperature often and head to the hospital in the event of a fever. We've been lucky so far - so I was hoping we were going to avoid something like this. 

So, as I said before, it was a very difficult week. Amber was very down and out as you can imagine - besides being seriously ill, this is the time when she's supposed to be "recovering" at home until the next treatment cycle. So instead of enjoying 3 weeks at home, she's spending more than 1 week in the hospital, something that she didn't plan to.

Her white blood count levels are still very low, which they are monitoring in the hospital. She is also getting the routine blood and platelet transfusions as needed.

We did not receive any updates on the search for the transplant donor. We are hoping to hear something next week. So keep the positive thoughts and prayers coming. 

Amber finished another novel, "Love the One You're With" and completed another puzzle (beach scene - and how we wish we were there instead of in the hospital). Pictures are attached. The puzzle was completed before she went into the hospital, and the book was almost completed when she went into hospital and was able to finish it yesterday. She hasn't had the energy or focus to work on anything else this week.

As a reminder to local folks - if you are interested in a Yoga/Meditation Fundraiser on June 13th, being organized by Amber's childhood friend, the flyer and information is in last week's post.

Even after everything we've been through, we remain positive and hopeful. Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days - and trust me we saw some very tough days this week.


THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 
https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b

June
3
2021

June 3, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

It was a quiet and uneventful Memorial Day weekend - which was exactly what we wanted (since we don't do anything/go anywhere, the bad weather did not bother us), and a quiet week so far. Amber continues to recover at home, going to the Cancer Center every few days for monitoring and infusions. Since Monday was a holiday, we had to wait until Tuesday and by Tuesday morning it was very evident Amber was getting weaker, and sure enough, she needed 3 transfusions.

Her white blood count levels are very low, which is expected at this point in the treatment cycle, so we have to be very careful that she doesn't get an infection as she has no immunity. Other than being tired/weak, she has been handling the effects of the last chemo treatment relatively well.

We have received no additional news on the transplant donor search, but we were told that it would take several weeks to confirm if one of the potential matches in the database is a candidate to be her donor. So keep the positive thoughts and prayers coming. Waiting is very difficult and we can't wait to get a "good news" phone call.

Amber finished another novel, "The Woman in the Window," a thriller/suspense novel which has a movie coming out. The book title was actually a joke because that's what we called Amber when she was in the hospital for 7 weeks and visitors would park in the parking lot and she would wave from her hospital room window. She also finished another puzzle - this one was shaped as a heart so it was challenging (pictures are attached).

As a reminder to local folks - if you are interested in a Yoga/Meditation Fundraiser on June 13th, being organized by Amber's childhood friend, the flyer is attached. You sign up for the session you want (Yoga is 10:15-11:15 a.m., Meditation 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.); there is also a 9:00-10:00 a.m. Yoga Session - but so far doesn't have any takers so that session may be cancelled or it may be for last minute walk-ins as there's plenty of space (it is early). I will be there from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. if you just want to pop by and say hello (not necessary to do a session). Note:  If you don't have Venmo or want additional information, just text me (973-886-6744) or Amber's friend Carlye (973-294-5745). Also, the GoFundMe account link is listed at the bottom of this post. 

We remain positive and hopeful. Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days.

THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 
https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b

May
27
2021

May 27, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

Amber went back into the hospital last Thursday, May 20th for another round of treatment and is back home already. 1 week is so much better than 7 weeks!  She'll be home for 3-4 weeks before the next round of treatment. I'm a nervous Momma (aka Nurse) as full effects of chemo begin 7-10 days after treatment so instead of recovering in the hospital, I'll have to monitor closely at home - so say prayers that she doesn't get an infection and we don't end up back in the hospital.

This week, Amber finished another novel which she enjoyed, and also did 2 puzzles (pictures attached). The puzzles are of Greece and our ultimate happy place - Congress Hall in Cape May. Oh, how we want to be on the beach....

Update on the search for the transplant donor: The good news is that the donor registry has identified 3 potential matches. So we are very excited and hopeful. Of course the donors still need to be contacted for consent and vetting - that process can take 3-4 weeks - but we pray that 1 of these angels on Earth becomes our donor. So hopefully I'll be able to share really good news soon. Keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend, even if they weather doesn't cooperate, we hope you get to relax and enjoy yourselves. I was reminiscing of holiday weekends of past...and how a prediction of bad weather would be upsetting. Now life is so different; and priorities and perspectives how drastically changed. This weekend, my only hope is an uneventful weekend out of the hospital. 


We remain positive and hopeful. Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days.

THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 
https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b

May
20
2021

May 20, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

As mentioned in my Friday's mini-post, the last treatment (after being in the hospital almost 7 weeks) resulted in the desired levels the Oncologists were looking for which means we are on the right path, which we are so so very thankful, so thank you for all your prayers and positive thoughts. It was such a relief.  Continuing with this treatment plan, Amber needs to be in the hospital for 1 week every month.

Amber enjoyed her stay at home, especially the sleeping part. She went back into the hospital today for another round of chemo/treatment, but is only expected to be for about a week.  She was just starting to feel better after a few weeks of being at home with no chemo, but the necessary evil of chemo needs to continue as she fights this battle. 

The next big hurdle is finding a transplant donor.  As mentioned last week, the process has started and we are waiting to see if they find a match in the donor registry. So keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming. I will provide updates as they come in,  but it could be several weeks before we know more.

This week at home Amber completed another large puzzle (750 pieces). She also did some painting - and as the picture says (and we agree) - she is doing great! Pictures are attached.

We remain positive and hopeful. Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days.

THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 
https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b

May
14
2021

May 14, 2021

Quick Update:
Good news today finally - we hit the desired levels and are on the right treatment path. She goes back in the hospital most likely next Thursday for another round of chemo - but only for 1 week - we are on the 1 week a month chemo program which was the goal instead of starting all over to find the right treatment. 🧡🙏🧡🙏

May
13
2021

May 13, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

Amber is enjoying being home - although we are very busy going back and forth to doctors and the Cancer Center for monitoring and transfusions.  I am getting more comfortable with my nursing duties and it helps that Amber is a great and cooperative patient.

Amber had the biopsy this week - which was very painful.  I witnessed it and all I can say is Amber is one tough cookie! So it's been a very long and stressful week awaiting the results. We hope to get tomorrow or early the next week the earliest.  The results will dictate the next course of action - do we continue with the current treatment plan (which is what we hope and pray for) or do they need to tweak the treatment again.  So keep those prayers coming and keep sending positive vibes into the universe that we are on the right path.

We had a meeting with the Transplant Team today to start the process. Our heads are still spinning with all the information that was presented to us (including the "what to expect" and "what could go wrong" sections) - we actually got a 3 ring notebook with multiple sections to digest.  The first step in the process is to find the donor. They have some potential donors in the registry database - which is great news! - but now we need the potential matches to consent to be a donor and then extensive testing is conducted to confirm compatibility of donor and medical health of donor.  I have faith in humanity (in addition to science and medicine) so I'm hoping that there is a kind and generous angel on Earth who is willing to donate. For now we wait....we do a lot of that...and hopefully we get the word that we have a donor. The process takes some time, but hopefully the timing is aligned to Amber's treatment plan. So once again.... keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming. 

Amber completed another book (she is re-learning the joys of reading for fun).  We also tackled a larger puzzle (1,000 pieces), it took almost a week but we finished (mostly Amber as I've discovered my puzzle skills are not as good as hers).  Pictures are attached.

We remain positive and hopeful. Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days.

THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 
https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b

May
6
2021

May 6, 2021

Hello Fellow Well Wishers,

We hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued concern and healing thoughts and prayers for Amber.

This week we got the surprise news that Amber could come home for a few weeks. It was earlier than expected and she is loving sleeping in her bed. I felt like I was packing her dorm room up as we accumulated a lot of stuff after being in the hospital for over 6 weeks (picture of our "move out" is attached). She will be home for 3-4 weeks until her next treatment begins. While she is home, she has to go to the outpatient Cancer Center 3-4 times a week for monitoring and routine blood and platelet transfusions. I got a crash course in nursing - I have to keep checking on her (nervous momma), take her temperature, and flush her ports every day (picture attached), in addition to dispensing lots of medications. There's a 10 page document of instructions, including "when to go to the ER" which we want to avoid. 

They will be doing another biopsy next week at the Cancer Center to see if the last treatment plan reached the desired levels. So we pray and hope the updated treatment did what it is supposed to be doing. If not, the treatment will need to be tweaked again. So keep those prayers coming and keep sending positive vibes into the universe that we are on the right path.

As she still has little to no immunity, she cannot have visitors outside the immediate household/family. She also gets very tired and spends lots of time resting, but we are still doing puzzles, activities, reading, etc. The puzzle news this week was one puzzle had 3 missing pieces (of course there's a chance we lost them while in the hospital)! Amber was able to do one of the larger puzzles (a cute dog puzzle) since there is more room at home. 

Unfortunately, Amber's sister Amanda is not a match to be her transplant donor. Disappointing news but we are hopeful that they will find a donor in the registry database. We will be meeting with the transplant team in a few weeks to start the process/search. So fingers crossed and keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming.

We remain positive and hopeful. Amber continues to be brave and strong through this ordeal, even during the tough days.

THANK YOU for all your continued wishes, thoughts, prayers, and support - and keep them coming.

I say it every time and I mean it - you have no idea how much everything means to us. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Love and peace to all!
xoxo
#amberstrong
 

https://gofund.me/d3bd1f1b