On December 18, 2014 Dena went to the emergency department after months of nausea, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, loss of appetite, and vomiting worsened and became unbearable. It was found that her hemoglobin was low and she had blood transfusions to restore red blood cells carrying oxygen to the lungs and other organs. Other tests, including scans and biopsies, were completed and on December 22nd it was confirmed that Dena had metastatic cancer. Within days she was transferred to The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for further care. Doctors there were puzzled by what type of cancer and where it originated. This caused a delay in the start of chemotherapy, and Dena received multiple blood transfusions in the meantime due to internal blood loss. It was finally determined that the cancer throughout her body originiated from the endometrial cells from a rare form of cancer that resulted in a total hysterectomy in 2012. Dena received her first dose of chemotherapy on January 3rd and was able to return home January 9th. Upon returning January 12th for her second treatment, Dena's hemoglobin levels were too low and she was re-admitted but able to receive chemo a couple of days later and return home. Dena was needing blood every few days, having approximately 32 transfusions by the end of it all. Within a week Dena was again admitted to the hospital with critically low hemoglobin levels. With the decline in prognosis Dena, with the support of her family, made the brave decision to go into the care of hospice and was transferred to Hospice of Mercy in Hiawatha on January 22, 2015 with 3 to 7 days to live. Prior to this Dena enjoyed spending time with her family, especially the newest addition--her granddaughter born September 2014. Dena lost her job of 10 years in July 2014 due to company-wide layoffs for outsourcing. Dena is an animal-lover, having owned many cats over the years and never turning down a dog's kiss; she has had over 10 doggy-visitors since December! We have been graciously blessed with extra minutes, hours, days, weeks, memories, laughs, and stories than expected. However, the inevitable is upon us and concerns are rising that Dena will have the services and memorial that she desires. All the messages, thoughts, prayers, gifts, and visits have been so much appreciated. Additional support, in whatever capacity available, would be equally appreciated.
This page is being managed by Dena's neice with her permission and collaboration. Please note that a small amount of funds may be utilized for immediate miscellaneous expenses.