Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Transplant For The Cure - Super Woman

Karen's Campath treatments ended the last week of August. She was still feeling healthy, energetic and optimistic. She could work circles around most people half her age. She posted this photo on Facebook on August 15th with the following message:

It's amazing what one can accomplish with a weed eater and a corn knife:-).

She had spent the entire day cutting grass along the driveway and even along the county road in front of our mother's farm.

One of her Facebook friends posted;

Karen is super woman!

Karen posted the following reply to the many comments she was getting from her Facebook friends;

Thank you everyone for the compliments but I must pass them on to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is always good and has already provided everything I need for life and godliness. I still have 9 chemo (Campath) treatments to go. I have been exercising the God kind of faith by believing I received my healing when I prayed and my heart faith (which over comes the world) reaches out each day to receive health and healing in my body every day. I can do these things through Christ who strengthens me and be a vessel for the blessings of God to flow through to others. Glory be to God!

Karen was feeling so good from the Campath/steroids treatments that she was reconsidering her decision about having a stem cell transplant. She believed that God was restoring her health and she hoped to manage the disease and continue to live an active lifestyle.

A follow-up bone marrow biopsy was done at the University of Kansas Cancer Center on August 31. Karen received the results of the biopsy on September 10. This is her Facebook post about the biopsy results;

Here are the results of my latest bone morrow biopsy: NEGATIVE for Prolymphocytic leukemia. Another words, the aggressive form of lymphocytes are all gone!!!
The chromosome analysis shows only one abnormal metaphase as opposed to three previously. They say the clinical significance of this is unclear so they say it is suspicious for a low level of residual disease.
Blood counts continue to come back up and the blood culture showed no bacterial infections in my body.
That was the doctors report. He did admit it was a good report as he walked out the door.

Karen was in remission for the third time. She told her doctors at the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic that she had reconsidered her decision to have a transplant so they referred her to an oncologist who would help her manage and control the disease. She had been off the steroids for a month and her energy level and overall heath had significantly declined. She had one appointment with this new doctor and posted the following message on Facebook the same day (October 4);

This is the sign at the entrance to the Bone Marrow
Transplant Office (BMT) at the University of Kansas
Cancer Clinic.
Hello FB friends and family. My last report was good. I have decided to go on with stem cell transplant for the cure. I do not know the exact time frame yet but expect to be admitted to KU hospital 3rd or 4th week in Oct. I will be in hospital approx. 3 weeks. Then I have to stay within 30 minutes of the hospital for 100 days. I will make plans to stay at Hope House in downtown KC during that time but I must have one care giver there with me 24 hours a day who can drive. The tentative time frame looks like
from the middle of Nov. to early March that I will need help. Message me or call me if you have some availability and would like to help. Thanks.

The new doctor emphasized that a stem cell transplant is the only hope for a cure. Karen had a familial donor who was an exact match and health insurance that would pay for the procedure. These are advantages that many people who are living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia do not have.

The date for the second attempt at a stem cell transplant was set for October 29. As the donor, I was on high alert and made plans to return to Kansas City
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