Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by annafl, Oct 9, 2014.
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I miss his posts and photos so much.
Because I can't log on to this site so many times (Dean!!!), I tried to reply to this days ago. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know Jerry is up in Indiana dealing with other matters.
My sweet Brenda was diagnosed with leukemia in July. After 8 weeks in the hospital and two rounds of chemo we haven't been able to get her into remission.
We are currently participating in a clinical trial at Indiana University Medical in Indianapolis as an out patient. We drive to Indy on Monday's & Thursday's whereby Brenda receives one of her three drugs by injection as well as tests etc. She takes two other drugs orally twice a day.
Tomorrow we are starting our 2nd week of a three week cycle. She gets the drugs for two weeks and the 3rd week is rest and no drugs. The goal after the first cycle is for the leukemia to not have gotten any worse. If we meet this goal, we'll begin the 2nd three week cycle. The goal after 6 weeks is for a reduction of 50%. If we meet this goal we'll complete the final three week cycle.
Brenda is the 23rd person to be accepted into this phase 1/2 trial. This trial has achieved some success and targets the genetics of Brenda's leukemia spot on. If we are successful in getting remission, it will be short term.
The cure for Brenda is a stem cell transplant. A donor who is a perfect match has been found but the transplant will not be performed unless we get into remission. We will be in Indy for a minimum of two months during the transplant and recovery.
Brenda is an amazing woman. She has maintained a positive attitude and smile through out. We are both up for this fight and believe we'll get through this. Other than Brenda's bald head you wouldn't know she was sick. I think it's my cooking!
We both wish we could make the upcoming tour...so lots of pics okay?
Our best to Brenda and your strength. Look forward to seeing you both healthy soon.
Jerry, I am praying hard for Brenda and you. Keep on cooking up a storm and stay positive and strong.
Jerry, I'm looking forward to seeing both of you again soon. Here's to a speedy recovery and a long life. Wishing you the best. Chris
Good luck Jerry,I hope to you both very soon.Mike
The very best wishes to you and Brenda. I'm sure we'll see you both really soon.
Best wishes Brenda and Jerry, stay strong and beat this thing.
We haven't met yet but I feel like I know you through your posts. Your positive attitude & good cooking will get her through. God speed to her remission & recovery. Kind Regards,
Brenda in St. Pete
I look forward to meeting you and Brenda at croton gathering soon. In the meantime, many blessings to you both as you journey together through the clinical trials, treatment and Brenda's ultimate return to full and complete recovery.
All the best,
Leslie, Palm Bch Gdns
My wife Pam met Brenda at a several functions and felt a immediate connection. Pam is a quiet a reserved person from the Midwest who does not readily embrace people, which was far from the case with Brenda. When I showed Pam this thread, she was very distraught, falling to her knees and begging the Lord for intervention. She also has her Friday night Bible study group praying for Brenda as well.
From what I heard at the croton tour yesterday, it appears that all our prayers have been heard. Brenda is far from out of the woods but the news was quite positive. Please continue to keep Brenda in your prayers, they seem to be working.
Love you Brenda!
Pam & Ron
Amen!!! It was some good news to hear yesterday at the garden tour.
I too am pleased to hear the good news.
Heard some good news yesterday. Please give Brenda a hug from all of us we will think of your family
An Update On Brenda
Some of you have been asking about Brenda -
In early December the doctors in Indiana gave up on her...their was nothing else they could do...they gave her approximately 6 months to live. We just couldn't accept that and Brenda wanted to fight on. Since a stem cell transplant is Brenda's only chance for a cure, I got busy on the Internet searching for clinical trials that included a transplant.
We found one in Houston, Texas at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. We have been here since the middle of December. The first thing Brenda's doctor wanted to do was see if he could get her into remission before the transplant. He said it would significantly improve her chances for a successful transplant. Within 30 days they had Brenda's blasts down to 3% (anything under 5% is considered remission.)
So we have been very busy getting ready for the transplant: tests, classes, meetings, and on and on. The care at M.D. Anderson is superb. It's easy to understand why people from around the world come here for treatment.
The stem cell transplant is a definite "go" this time.
Brenda will be admitted on the 17th for a kick-ass dose of chemo. The actual transplant happens on the 24th, and Brenda will be in the hospital for approximately 30 days or until her new stem cells are producing red & white blood cells and platelets. Interestingly, Brenda's blood type which is O positive will become A negative. Our donor is a 48 yr. old male from out of the country. God Bless Him!
We will remain in Houston for another 45 to 60 days as an out patient. Brenda will be closely monitored for Graft Versus Host Disease (rejection - will the new blood system attack Brenda's organs etc.) If everything goes well, we'll head home in late June. It will take up to 2 years before Brenda's immune system is back to normal. If we get to 5 years, the chances of a relapse become pretty small.
With an 18 month old grand daughter in California & an 8 month old grand daughter in Indiana, we'll take whatever time the good ole Lord will give us.
Woohoo! All systems go in Houston! Jerry, that is great news. We will be your cheerleaders! You two have endured so much and are so blessed to have each other. Here's praying for a relatively easy go of it with as smooth sailing as possible. Thanks so much for the followup and give Brenda our very best wishes. Please, please, please keep us posted.
Best wishes,I look forward to seeing both of you over the summer
Great news Jerry You guys are always on our minds, Brenda is just showing her true self. Keep up the good work we have an eight year stem cell success in tribe.
You and Brenda have been and always will be in our thoughts. I just read Andy your recent post.....and it brought big smiles upon us. Please pass along our very best to Brenda.
Jeff & Andy
A shameless plug here for registering to be a bone marrow transplant donor. All it takes is going to a 'drive' or maybe calling a 1-800 number to find out where to go. They only draw a tiny bit of blood (one vial) and have you fill out a form and answer some questions. You never know when you might be contacted for a few of your stem cells and have the opportunity and privilege to save someone's life. Talk about making a difference!
I've been one for 22 years, you probably could never give a total stranger a more well received gift. Never been called but its my understanding that matches are very precise and are long shots for those who are in need.
Thinking about Brenda and wishing her much success with her new stem cells tomorrow. Hope she's doing well and in good spirits.
Thank you Ana & everyone for your thoughts & prayers. Brenda is doing well after a rough couple of days with her chemo. Today we were wondering what country the stem cells were from & what accent she may acquire after the transplant.
Great stuff Jerry we can just see Brenda strutting a sweet FRENCH swag.
Brenda's recovery is in Pam and my prayers each evening. Knowing that she is going through an uncomfortable stage of her treatment, we beseech the good Lord to watch out for our friend.
We love you Brenda!
Pam and Ron
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