Mary Jo’s Story

Site created on January 23, 2021

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Mary Jo – her real name, no middle name, or, do you know her by one of her other handles? 

Well, I call her Jo usually. She and I came to Denver last weekend for her annual National Jewish Health appointments: Infectious Disease, Pulmonary and Gastroenterology. The Covid protocols did not allow me to accompany her to the appointments. The first visit was Tuesday for GI, 10AM. There, she became disoriented, could not fill out the required questionnaire. She called me and said something was wrong that she was confused and couldn't remember words.

When I reached that office, a nurse came and did the stroke protocols; an ambulance was called; she was rushed to ER at University Hospital. A CT scan showed blood on the brain, lower left lobe. Initially, the ER neurosurgeon thought the cause was a cerebral amyloid. She was admitted to the Neuro ICU.

More tests, an MRI, and another CT scan were done on Wednesday. Pressure was building in her brain. A Neurosurgeon said it was critical to operate. The surgery was early Thursday morning. Doctor removed the blood clot and the tumor that was causing the bleeding. The tumor has been sent to the lab. Biggest concern is that the melanoma has returned.

The 2nd CT scan included thoracic and pelvic areas. Additional lesions show on her spleen, lymph nodes, upper right lung and an additional lesion in her brain, upper right lobe (not causing bleeding.).

Saturday, she moved to the Neuroscience floor at University Hospital, room 708. She has already begun Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapies. She's already shown progress and yet I think rehabilitation will take sometime. She does not deserve this. And, she is one tough cookie and will do whatever it takes, whatever is asked of her.

I will make sure she sees any comments that you may leave. Please do keep her in your hearts and thoughts. 

Thank you!

Don  Ayers

Mary Jo Mueller
University Hospital
12605 E 16th Ave, 
Aurora, CO 


Newest Update

Journal entry by Don Ayers

Thursday evening, my plan was to talk about the infusion and the next steps.

Mary Jo had a miserable night. Up 4 times and each time she was weaker to the point where I could barely help her. She seemed to have had another stroke. She cannot walk. No use of her right arm/leg. Very weak.

I called 911 Friday AM. ER @ Mercy Hosiptal Joplin.  Not good news: CT Scan and chest X-Ray show more tumors and edema. Her melanoma has spread more, even with the treatments. Effects are tumor related. Steroid was increased 5-fold to hopefully relieve some of the swelling.  Admitted, room 4002. Here probably until I find a hospice for her.

I cannot express how I feel right now but know it ain’t good!
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