For those who aren't aware, Linda Bonnette has been recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) M0. I called her friend Darlene to get the scoop, and below is her story.
Mon July 2: Linda was hurting worse than she ever had before; the pain was from her right hip all the way up to her shoulder and she was having spasms in her chest. She went to the doctor, and they told her it was acid reflux. They prescribed some muscle relaxers and sent her home (takes 4 days to be effective) to rest and scheduled bloodwork for the following day.
Tue July 3: Linda went for her blood work (they did not do a CBC).
Wed July 4: Linda told her friends and family she was in more pain than she’d ever been in before (despite having two children), but she was trying to give the medicine time to work as the doctor had advised.
Fri July 6: Linda (and friends/family) decided she should go to the ER (although, she actually went to work first to fill out her timesheet… employee of the year! ). The ER team did complete blood count (CBC) and Linda’s white blood cells were off the charts. Her platelet count was also very low, so they gave her 6 units of platelets
Sat July 7: The doctors did every test under the sun to diagnose whatever was going on. She was at Methodist in Katy and they brought in a doctor from Methodist Sugarland. He felt certain it was either Leukemia or Lymphoma. The doctors did further testing to be certain that her organs were okay, and suitable to start chemo.
Sun July 8: Linda was transferred to the Medical Center.
Mon July 9: The doctors did an echo cardiogram to check Linda’s heart before starting any treatment. They also did a biopsy of her bone marrow and captured a sample of bone from her hip. She was was still hurting, but now the pain had moved to the left side of her body. Her team of doctors did more tests to find the source of pain and determined that she had fluid on her lungs. She underwent Thoracentesis (where they stick a needle through your chest wall) to remove the fluid.
Wed July 11: Linda’s bone marrow tests came back to confirm her Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) M0 diagnosis. Chemo begins: Chemo Session #1
Thur July 12: Chemo Treatment #2
Fri July 13: Chemo Session #3
Sat July 14: Chemo Session #4
Sun July 15: Chemo Session #5
Linda will remain in the hospital for the entire 4 weeks to monitor her progress; as of Wednesday, we will have 1 week to go.
Week 1: Chemo
- Undergo 3 types of chemo – 2 types for 5 days and 1 type for 3 days
- Linda started all 3 types on day one, continued them for the first 3 days (W/R/F), and finished
with just 2 types on the last 2 days (S/S)
Week 2: The Chemo kills all the white blood cells in the body and leaves the patient really weak.
Week 3: The Chemo continues to kill white blood cells and the patient will continue feeling ill and weaker.
Week 4: Linda’s body will start to rebuild healthy white blood cells for a more effective attack on the Leukemia, but her body and immune system will still be very weak. As her body recovers and the white blood cells regenerate, she will begin feeling better and better.
After the 4 week treatment, the doctor will do another bone marrow biopsy to monitor her body’s progress rebuilding post treatment. There was mention of the possibility of future rounds of chemo, but we won’t know until we have the second bone marrow biopsy result back... Pray for good news!!
Once released from the hospital, Linda will receive treatment at the hospital 2-3 days a week for the next 6 months where they will spend the entire day running tests to see what she needs, concocting the right recipes, and delivering them to her body. The days when she’s not at the hospital, she won’t feel well, so the doctors have told her to plan to be out of work for the next 6 months to a year.
Her immunity will be very low, so she will have a very strict diet and rules to follow to protect her health until she’s finished treatment.
The Bottom Line:
Linda is keeping her spirits high and her outlook strong - so let's do everything we can to keep it that way! There's power in prayer and positivity, and there's even greater power in knowing the strength of the support group behind you. She has a very strong support system in her close friends and family, but let's make our presence known and show her just how many people are thinking about her and praying for her!
The ultimate NUMBER ONE goal of this page is to boost Linda's spirits and show her how much she is loved and cared for and just exactly how wide her support network is! The NUMBER TWO goal is to provide Linda and her family with financial support. For those of you who have experience dealing with cancer treatment and extended hospital stays, you know this is a long and very expensive road to travel... my hope is that if we can help, even in the smallest of ways, it will boost her spirits even more and lessen the burden and stress of the day to day. Any and all funds donated here will be provided directly to Linda to help cover her care, medical bills, and any lost wages while she's out there kicking cancer's butt for the next 12 months!!!
How Can I Help?
2. Please donate to this page! Rest assured that any amount, large or small, is greatly appreciated and will be one more step in lightening the load!
3. Send me any cards and notes (funny stories and good laughs are always appreciated) to lift her spirits. I'll make sure she gets them. (Side note: due to her low immunity, the hospital will not allow visitors, food, and/or flower deliveries).
4. Wish her well in the comments section on this page.
5. Be on the lookout for additional fundraisers around the Wood offices.
Thank you all so much for your generosity and support!
- Emily Handwerk
- Heidi Lozano
- Sam Gonzalez
- Shiang-Chuan (Bob) Lee
- Dan Gaskill