October 30th brought a second challenge to Vinton-Shellsburg Kindergarten teacher, Carly Meyer. After battling her first round of leukemia, she suffered another relapse with a second diagnosis of leukemia.
"I thought I was done with these updates... but should have known 2020 wasn't done messing stuff up yet!" Carly shared. "For those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in August 2019 and completed chemo treatments in December 2019, but unfortunately my lab results on October 30, showed some "blasts", which are the cancerous cells in my blood." She explained back in November that her lab results also showed that my WBC's the infection fighting cells, were very low.At the beginning of November, she had another bone marrow biopsy which Wes, her husband believes is her 6th. She was then admitted to the University of Iowa Hospital for a month long stay.
Carly finished up her 5 days of chemotherapy on November 11th with only a couple of side effects (fatigue and loss of appetite) which are a couple of the more common side effects with chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, she suffered from dehydration as well and this caused her to pass out a couple of times, and one of the falls caused her to hit her head. This of course triggered a trip for a CT Scan just to make sure she was alright, fortunately, she didn't have any side effects from the fall."It is fairly common for leukemia patients to spike fevers and to get random "bugs" because we are "neutropenic" and our body can't fight off simple things they normally would," Carly explained. She did come down with an infection during this time but it was able to be pinpointed and treated right away. On Thanksgiving, she was able to return home 10 days earlier from her hospital stay than had been anticipated,Her journey continues to beat cancer with a trip back to the hospital at the end of December, to begin preparation for her bone marrow transplant. "My hero of a brother started getting shots December 30 to prep and will be donating his Stem Cells on Monday, January 4th." Carly explained how the process works. Her brother Kyle was hooked up to a machine she said it is similar to donating blood/plasma and that the procedure lasts for about 5 hours. Fortunately, her brother Kyle was a 100% perfect match to be her donor.The stem cells were then put into her IV Powerline over about 30 minutes while they closely monitored Carly for any side effects. "Then it's just a waiting game after that," she said.After the transplant, Carly's immune system was down to zero. Unfortunately, it is common for SCT patients to spike fevers and even get an infection after transplant. "New Year, New Me" has never rang more true than this year Carly said.She is hoping to be home at the end of the week. She said that this last stay has been "extremely exhausting mentally and physically." Developing mucositis, extreme sores and pain in her mouth, it has made it very hard to eat or drink anything. Mucositis is very common after receiving the strong chemo that she received just before her bone marrow transplant. She is slowly recovering from this.She said that she is excited to be coming home with her husband and fur-baby Maverick if all goes well, by the end of the week."I am so lucky to have an amazing support system (especially my husband) to get me through this tough time," she said.Please keep the couple in your prayers as Carly continues to heal.If you would like to help the Meyer family with their expenses there is a gofundme page at this link.