Liz’s Story

Site created on May 5, 2018

My mom was diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) about ten years ago.  So to give you a run down on what that is, here goes In chronic leukemia, the cells can mature partly but not completely. These cells may look fairly normal, but they are not. They generally do not fight infection as well as normal white blood cells do. The leukemia cells survive longer than normal cells, and build up, crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow. Chronic leukemias can take a long time before they cause problems, and most people can live for many years. But chronic leukemias are generally harder to cure than acute leukemias. (Yes, i copied and pasted it, however i have a good source, the American Cancer Society).  

When mom first started seeing an oncologist, it was in Watertown.  She continued to DR. there for a few years, and when the Dr.  wanted to start chemo we decided to reach out for a second opinion.  This landed us in Sioux Falls, at Avera.  Once there the Dr. informed her he didn't want her to do treatment to make her sick, when she wasn't feeling sick, when in fact she felt fine.  We have continued to Dr. there and mom's previous Dr. (Dr. Galal) just left this last year and we stayed w/ Avera and a new Dr.  (who's name i can't think of right now, Mccall maybe?) Anyways, Mom had her first appointment with him and his office back on January 15th, (the day my Dad passed away) and met him again a few weeks ago.  The Dr. thought that the size of mom's spleen was dangerously large and that treatment should be considered at this time.  See, Mom doesn't feel sick, however the Dr. is more concerned with the fact that her spleen is too big and should it rupture it would not be a good thing.  She was given two options at that point, option 1. would be to start infusion treatments that would last 6 months (one infusion treatment a month) , we have been told that this will help shrink the size of her spleen and could very well put her into remission.  We were informed this treatment would not make her sick or lose her hair either and she could do the treatments right in Aberdeen.  Option 2 would be to take the chemo pill for the remainder of her life.  At this time, we have chosen option 1. however we decided to have the port installed and start the treatments in Sioux Falls, and once we determined all was well, we would then move the treatments to Aberdeen.  So here we are....Mom is set to have her port installed on Monday, May 7th and do her first treatment on Tuesday May 8th.  Please pray for my mom and for the port installation and first treatment to go well....

Newest Update

Journal entry by Elizabeth Merchant

hello all, I know it has been a while since I have updated.  life has been crazy busy for us all.  Mom is still doing her now monthly infusion treatments in Aberdeen and they are going well for the most part.  She did not have to take the chlorambucil (chemo pill) this last time again, which is a bonus, as that made her ill the first time. 

She is now taking care of my babies, Sampson, Ebee and of course the biggest baby of them all, my Jeremy, for the next six weeks as I am overseas in the Philippines for work. 

She recently bought herself a 2019 Jeep Cherokee (its super nice) and took another weekend getaway to Laughlin with my Grandma.  I will try to get some pictures uploaded her soon of her Jeep and the selfies I make her send me when she is gone :) 

If you're in or around Aberdeen, give her a call, she needs to get out and do more , I have threatened to take her to the Senior Center here, or to Bingo a few times just to get her out...However, I will agree my Mom doesn't seem old enough to do either of those things...

She has more labs, a telemed visit with the Dr. and another infusion scheduled her soon.  I will update once again when we have more results and I hear more. 

Thanks all for the well wishes.  
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