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K8 Strong the Jouney

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About this blog

Our journey through Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (A.L.L.) which is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. It occurs when a bone marrow cell develops errors in its DNA.

Follow us while Kate battles cancer at the age of 35 years old and what experiences she encounters as well as learn what helps and what doesn't.  We will do our best to keep the blog up to date to help others going through this disease with the thought of helping others in such a troubled time.

Please comment on your experiences if similar and offer what worked for you since this is our first time and we know not everyone has the same experiences.

Entries in this blog

Week 5

We are now into Week 5 of the Treatment and this is a non-chemo week but tomorrow (Tuesday) they will still need to do a bone marrow biopsy.  So far, now time off for Kate since Leukemia isn't taking any time off.  So with every curve and punch cancer is dishing out to Kate she fights right back by taking the medicine, toughing through the bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures. She is noticing what was very easy for her to do is becoming more difficult like swallowing pills.  She has to

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Week 4 (Induction Phase)

We are "suppose" to be on the last week of the Induction process.  It's very very busy in the waiting room (more so than we have ever seen).  Asking if she needs to continue the Bactrin prescription or not since she has a refill on the bottle so before we go get it refilled, making sure she needs to continue. Mentioning her ribs starting hurting Tuesday March 3rd, 2020.... 9:50am Kate got her blood work done (they are so busy so running behind schedule) 11:30am Kate got broug

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Support the Fight Against Cancer

Watching how my wife goes through the struggles while at the beginning stages of this fight against cancer, I want to support her. She feels so awkward loosing her hair due to the chemotherapy that I don’t want her or anyone fighting cancer to feel alone.    

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Week 3 (Induction Phase)

We are at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit for our 3rd Chemotherapy Treatment as part 3 of 4 of the Induction process.  This week they are introducing Rituxin to the normal two she has been receiving.  It appears Rutuxin has less side effects as the new drug they used last week so that is good.  Especially since I'm on-call starting Tuesday to Tuesday so I will be concentrating more on my job.  If we take last week as any indication on how busy On-Call has been, I'll be busy every night

guru

guru

Week 2 (Induction Phase)

So we got up at 5am to get our butts moving for our 7:15am scheduled appointment at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. Our actual appointment isn’t until 7:45am but they tell us to arrive 30minutes early which translates to someone in the military as 6:30am arrival time as Kate and I are hanging out in the parking garage. Our boys had to help us out this morning by getting themselves ready for school and Alex has to get himself on the bus. So this is our 2nd Chemo treatment as part

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Explaining Cancer to Kids

What is cancer? To answer this question, you can start with the basic make-up of the human body. For example, “The body is made up of cells. Normally cells are healthy, but sometimes there are unhealthy, abnormal cells that grow and aren’t supposed to be there. This is called cancer.” Once there is a basic understanding of cancer, you can go into detail on what part of the body is affected by the cancer (e.g., lung cancer). Can I catch cancer? Many children, even teenagers, think canc

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Week 1 (Induction Phase)

It’s 3am on 2/17/2020 and we are in a room on the 9th floor in Karmanos Cancer Facility in Detroit. This is the beginning of the Induction process which in short means the beginning of chemo treatments while keeping a close eye on Kate during the process.  The doctor believes this will take less than a week this visit but the Induction process is typically a week. There are four phases to chemotherapy treatment: The first phase is called Remission Induction. Treatment during th

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Lumbar Puncture - Spinal Tap

During the time you are fighting cancer (especially A.L.L.) you will have to received several Lumbar Punctures or also referred to as Spinal Taps.  So what are they? Lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, is a medical procedure in which a needle is inserted into the spinal canal, most commonly to collect cerebrospinal fluid for diagnostic testing. The main reason for a lumbar puncture is to help diagnose diseases of the central nervous system, including the brain and spine. A lum

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Fevers are no good

Tonight Kate developed a fever (running 100.5) and whats scary is they say if you have Leukemia and get a fever you must go to the nearest Emergency Room since its more than likely an infection which can prove to be fatal.  So right now we are calling 1-800-Karmanos to find out what they want us to do. Patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) present with either symptoms relating to direct infiltration of the marrow or other organs by leukemic cells, or symptoms relating to the decr

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Homecare Nurse Visit

Last night Kate called the Support line for the Homecare nurse complaining on how much the bandage hurts after they redid it during our Hospital visit yesterday (Friday).  Kate was complaining of a burning sensation and very uncomfortable.  A homecare nurse showed up and was very polite and helped explain how to clean the pic line with basically salt water and yea, I got my intro on how to do this myself for Kate.  She re-bandaged it up and Kate kept thanking the nurse because it was like night

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Bone Marrow Biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy involves removing a small sample of the bone marrow inside your bones for testing. Bone marrow is a soft tissue in the center of most large bones. It makes most of the body's blood cells. The biopsy is done using a small needle inserted into the bone.

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Abby Angel

Came home from a tough appointment today to find a care package waiting for Kate.  one of the sweetest women at Mclaren health plan is always looking out for how she can encourage and help others. One of those ways is through her “Abby Angel’s”. She lost someone and decided years ago to light the path for others struggling by giving these angels when they are needed. It is an honor to be gifted one by Lana because it means that she is now a warrior for your battle.    We came home to

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Karmanos DETROIT Visit 1

So our first visit to Karmanos in Detroit. We were given Valet so getting in wasn’t too bad and traffic down from Davison was quick.  Front staff that checked us in was very professional and then a guide brought us to the room on the second floor where we had a pretty brief wait before being called back. Dr. Yang is another great doctor that is very knowledgeable. Leukemia is his specialty and he is very informed on Kate’s condition.  He mentioned it’s typically found in kids (under the age

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

What is acute lymphoblastic leukemia? Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that affects the white blood cells. These cells fight infection and help protect the body against disease. Patients with ALL have too many immature white blood cells in their bone marrow. These cells crowd out normal white blood cells. Without enough normal white blood cells, the body has a harder time fighting infections. ALL affects a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes, causing them to

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

K8strong the beginning

I’m working from home when I can while my wife is fighting Leukemia which is cancer in the body’s blood-forming tissues which is in my wife’s bone marrow.  As many of you know my wife has been sick for the last three months and Urgent Care told her it’s a viral infection and she just needs to wait it out.  After two months she lost 40lbs and appeared to have Jaundice with her coworkers telling her she has a gray tint to her skin.  Kate decided to try her primary care physician which told h

rev.dennis

rev.dennis

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