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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 15

This week isn't about the chemo but more about a big Tuesday appointment where Kate will move from a PICC line to a PORT as well as get an Bone Marrow Biopsy / MRD Test. What is an MRD Test? Measurable or minimal residual disease (MRD) testing is used to see if the cancer treatment is working and to guide further treatment plans. MRD testing is mainly used in blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma), but is being studied in other cancers. It is a type o

rev.dennis

rev.dennis in Cancer

Week 12 (Aggressive)

This past week has been very rough on Kate.  Sick to her stomach, the unwillingness to eat.  The nurses give her saltine crackers while getting Chemo so I went to the store and picked up several different types of crackers in case one tastes better than another to her.  Pretty much anything with flavor is a no go for her.  

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rev.dennis in Cancer

Week 11 (Aggressive)

Kate had her bloodwork done and is getting Rituxan, Cytarabine and a new one Cyclosphomine as her Chemotherapy treatment today (Monday).  They did the pre-meds of Tylenol, Benadryl and Zofran for the nausea.  Dr. Yang kinda gave kate a run down of what the penciled plan is coming up and it goes a little something like this...   4 WEEK TREATMENT (including the week we are on now) week 1: 4x a week week 2: 4x a week week 3: 3x a week week 4: 3x a week  

rev.dennis

rev.dennis in Cancer

Week 10 (Aggressive)

This should be her week off from chemo and it is but that doesn't mean she gets a break from coming down to Detroit multiple times during the week for testing.  More to come

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rev.dennis in Cancer

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 in Cancer

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.    

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rev.dennis in Cancer

Mattress Upgrade

We tried so many mattresses.  Donating our old mattress that isn't worn out to someone who needs it. Donation Centers: (Salvation Army) - www.satruck.org (Goodwill) - http://www.goodwill.org/ (Donation Town) - http://www.donationtown.org/donation-pick-up.html (Habitat for Humanity) - http://www.habitat.org/restores (Bye Bye Mattress Recycling) - www.byebyemattress.com  

rev.dennis

rev.dennis in HEALTH

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 in Cancer

Kates Best Friends Fund Raiser

Kelsey has been one of Kates best friends since she was very young. Kelsey has started a fund raiser which you can see below.  Her website is https://KelseyCrafts.com to order and get more information.      

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

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K8strong the beginning

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 her the same thing, it’s a cold and you just need to wait it out. We had a parent from our sons FIRST Robotics team that mentioned she could have Lyme

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rev.dennis in Cancer

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

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Hip Surgery

Of course fighting cancer isn’t enough that we have to throw a fractured hip into the mix. Today Kate will receive a femeral neck system which looks like below We arrived at the hospital at 9am and had to do the typical check in stuff and Kates favorite having to put on a gown that appears made for a much larger person. Talked to Nurse Karen which is the liaison between hospital and patient groupie like me. Kate surgery starts at 11am and goes to anywhere between 12:30 and

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rev.dennis in HEALTH

Happy 35th Birthday Kate

Today is a great day as it celebrates a day back in 1985 when Kate Michelle was born with the help of her loving parents Diane and Larry Sipes and her two protectors (big brothers) Bill and Corey. To really celebrate and understand someone's birthday, you take a minute and imagine what would life be like if they weren't born.  I know I would of never found true love. Someone who cares as much for me as I do about them. A best friend that I don't mind being intimate with. Sharing life experi

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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

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rev.dennis in Cancer

Fall down and go Boom

Friday (10/16/2020) Kate fell down and landed on her side, actually more specifically her hip and serious pain.  Now we didn't hear any noise besides of the fall itself so we don't believe she broke her hip but could of fractured it but then we don't believe heat (like the heating bad) would help and it does.  So we believe she has just bruised tendons, muscle and after a week she should be good to go but we'll see.  I tried to convince her to go the emergency room because the faces she was maki

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rev.dennis in HEALTH

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 in Cancer

Entering Phase 2 of beating Leukemia

Hey everyone. I apologize it has been so very long since I have made an update. For the most part this year was filled with not a lot of change. That can be both good and bad. Good that I have remained in remission, but bad that I have not progressed to where I should be.    After months of deliberation and trying every alternative route we could, we are left with no choice but a bone marrow transplant. The cancer cells did too much unrepairable damage to my bone marrow that it just canno

kate

kate in Cancer

Catching up in May 2021

First I have to apologize for the lack of updates I have not been providing for any of your following this.  So much is going on in our world that unfortunately the blog is one of the first things that gets lost. So within the last month Kate got a Bone Marrow Biopsy at the beginning of May and just last Wednesday she got the very painful Lumbar Puncture.  She has had the Lumbar Punctures before but it didn't whoop her ass like it did this time.  She was throw up sick and fevers for about t

Bone Marrow Transplant

So Kate received a phone call from her onacologist Dr. Yang mentioning that her Bone Marrow Biopsy and MRD test have come back negative so not finding any sign of cancer but he is still concerned why Kate's body isn't healing.  Her platelets are not increasing as they should which is making it difficult to continue the necessary aggressive treatment keeping the cancer dead and gone.  He has requested Kate talk to a bone marrow transplant representative to discuss options. Obviously this has

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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.

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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

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rev.dennis in Cancer

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

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rev.dennis in Cancer

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