Kelly's Fight against AML Leukemia
Yesterday, she got the results back from her regularly-scheduled 6-month bone marrow biopsy. The results were not what anybody expected -- her Leukemia is back. Once again, in a matter of days Kelly's world will be upside down, as she'll leave tomorrow for Dana Farber hospital in Boston, MA, where she will undergo treatment with the best Leukemia doctors available for the next year. Kelly will be in need of a Bone Marrow transplant. Please consider visiting BeTheMatch.org to register into the Bone Marrow Donor registery. All it takes is a cheek swab, and you could save a life.
For a year, Kelly and her family will be away from work, while the cost of 'normal' life goes on. Bills are the absolute last thing that should be on someones mind while they fight for their life and undergo painful cancer treatment.
Kelly kicked cancer's butt first time around, and we know she will do it again. The support of so many people in the community, both emotionally and financially means the world to so many people - most of all to Kelly and to those who love her so much.
You can read Kel's blog about her journey so far, and her desire to start A Second Go, Inc. here.
I've had people ask me what's next. I don't have any more chemotherapy or treatments to complete. I just have to rest and recover at this point! Avoiding infection is key as I have a compromised immune system. Anytime I go into public, which is rare, I have to wear a hospital mask and gloves. It makes me feel super anxious so I don't go out often. I've had kids in the grocery store ask me if I'm sick or why I have to wear the mask and gloves. Some days it doesn't bother me but other times it makes me really sad and insecure. At least I know this is only temporary!
I've heard some good and bad stories relating to others experience with transplants and I'm trying really hard to not listen too intently to either. I'm often reminded that a transplant is so specific to each individual that no two experiences are going to be the same. It can be difficult to not have anyone know exactly what I'm going through. I'm just taking it day by day and not having too many expectations, physically or emotionally.
Thank you all for your continued support! Hoping to be back in Florida sometime in March but I will keep you all updated as I progress these next few months. I'm still in the 'danger zone' so prayers are always welcomed!
For those who have asked my address is:
PO Box 301548
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
I've never personally seen anyone deal with so much constant pain and suffering before, let alone my younger sister. It's heartbreaking.
When I arrived on Friday, Kelly's decline began. She went from having small conversations to not being able to talk at all due to severe mucositits in her mouth. This caused her tongue to swell to the level where she can't even move it, and it's now covered in open sores.
On Saturday, due to the intense pain, Kelly switched to a constant pain drip with additional pain medication every 20 min from the RN which basically turned her into a zombie. Quite the catch 22. The high levels of pain meds started to affect her inability to swallow, so the doctors issued her a "mucous sucker" that helps her get saliva out when she is unable to swallow. It's used so much that they've had to replace the tube twice from getting clogged.
She hasn't been able to sleep more than 20 minutes at a time, and when she wakes, the constant gagging and spitting consumes her for another 20-30 minutes. She hasn't eaten anything in 16 days, all of her calories are fed directly through IV.
Kelly's only way of expressing herself is to cry, which she does a lot, not because she is weak, but because she is frustrated, emotional and exhausted. There is no way I can imagine the pain she is experiencing right now. It's the most heartbreaking thing to watch someone you love go through this.
Kelly's white blood cell counts are slowly climbing and my last day with her, I could see that she had more energy, and her sarcasm is returning, she was able to walk about 100' in the hallway, but the pain is constant and her ability to
Communicate remains low.
I just wanted to keep you guys updated that we remain hopeful for her successful return to health, but the struggle is real. She still needs your love and support to get her out of the hospital and back to her old self.
Please be grateful for your health, cherish the time that you have with your family, and put aside petty differences. Life is too short. -Steve'
Kelly will have another update for you in the next few days!
We won't know for a few weeks whether or not my body has accepted the transplant and if it will be creating the cells on its own. Nerve-wracking processes but I just have to be patient.
I've been hanging in there but have had severe nausea and vomiting the entire time I've been in the hospital from the high dose chemotherapy. It's been awful. I am receiving the nutrients I need through an IV but I need to eat some food nonetheless. Send some prayers that I am able to keep some food down tonight.
It's been difficult to stay awake long enough to do updates but I will post another as soon as I am able. Thanks to you all for your continued support! Let's beat this leukemia once and for all! Xo Kelly
Transplant is tentatively scheduled for September 30 so once I return to Boston, I will be there for the next 6 months. I'm definitely starting to get scared about the upcoming transplant since it is such a huge deal but I'm really doing my best to try to put the stress to the side and enjoy the time I have home with my pup, friends and at the beach of course... Yes, I'm wearing tons of sunscreen and not staying long!
Reminder that the Happy Hour Fundraiser at Twisted Trunk is coming up on September 21 from 6-9pm! Make sure you come out for a great time. Hopefully I'll be able to make an appearance! We'll see how I'm doing with those hormones :) https://www.facebook.com/events/1077209892347841/permalink/1089698907765606/?notif_t=event_comment_follow¬if_id=1473425747044017
My selfless girlfriends are also hosting a volleyball tournament fundraiser on October 15 at Ocean Cay Park (Marcinski) in Juno Beach! It's going to be an epic day so make sure to save the date!
Your support is always so appreciated! Please continue to share.
Steve, look for phoenixtears.ca it could help.
Saying stay strong is an understatement. You are more then strong. Even at your weakest. We are praying for you to be healed.
Thinking of you today Kelly. Keep up the fight and move forward. We are all here for you.