The summer that wasn’t…

A month ago, feeling stressed and exhausted by my mother’s move to assisted living, I retreated to Mossy Paws expecting to feel revitalized. Instead, I grew even more fatigued by the merest exertion. And then following my morning yoga class, instead of feeling energized, I was exhausted. Something was very wrong.

I got into my PCP this past Wednesday morning. I had seen her in late April and all my labs were excellent. She had some concerns about my heart, but the EKG was normal. She ordered additional bloodwork which was completed before leaving the building.

Early that evening a doctor from the practice phoned me, telling me she had just received my hemoglobin counts and they were very low, low enough that she advised a blood transfusion. She called ahead to the ER, letting them know that I was on my way.

Long story short, once in the ER, they did more blood work and discovered my white blood cells were “off the charts.” The official diagnosis is AML: acute myeloid leukemia; I started an oral chemo on Friday morning to help bring down my white cell count. I’ve had a bone marrow biopsy that was a lot less horrifying than I feared which is a good thing as there are many in my future. What Ron and I are both struggling with right now, trying to wrap our heads around, is that I will be inpatient during treatment, hospitalized for several weeks.

If you wish to be updated and follow my treatment, I encourage you to sign into my CaringBridge site. I have great motivation for choosing a “curative course” of treatment: Ron and I are going to be grandparents! Our son and daughter-in-law are expecting a boy, due in November!


6 thoughts on “The summer that wasn’t…

  1. I was so very sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis JoEllen. I know several people who have gone through the treatment and are fine! Will definitely be following your progress and wishing you well as you embark on this journey. Congratulations on the news of the new family member!


  2. Hello Jo (and Ron). Congrats on your joyful news of your first grandchild. It’s hard to put into words how much life is enhanced with grandchildren. Can’t wait to see pics and hear stories about this newest family addition!
    We’re sick with the news of your diagnosis. We will follow your journey to wellness through CaringBridge. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do for you. We are just a short drive away. Sending love and prayers for quick healing. Kim and Mark (s/v Delilah)


  3. The summer that wasn’t fun!

    So sorry to hear, sending prayers your way. You are stronger than you may feel right now, you’ll get through this!

    Hope it’s not the end of your summer or if it has to be you’ll be out there next year.

    Stephanie Infinite Sea

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Hi Jo and Ron, This is Bill Schaars aka “Dolly.” I received your news about AML. I was diagnosed with AML in 2015. I successfully defeated it with a stem cell transplant. I would be happy to talk with you about my experience if you would like. It can be defeated! My cell phone is 920 413 4733.

    Best of luck. Positive mental attitude.


    Sent from my iPad



  5. Oh JoEllen, Margaret and I are so very, very sorry to read of your struggles. We will definitely be following your progress. God bless you and give you support and strength.




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