Pam was diagnosed with indolent Follicular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2008, three weeks after the birth of Sarah. Grace and Hannah were four and two years old at the time. She relapsed in 2011 and went through chemotherapy (R-CHOP) for a second time. In 2015, Pam relapsed again and this time she enrolled in a clinical trial at Mt Sinai in NYC. While the trial medications initially resolved all of the lymph nodes, a large mass was identified behind her knee in August. This mass turned out to be aggressive transformed lymphoma with poor prognosis should she relapse after treatment.
The treatment for transformed lymphoma is platinum based chemotherapy and stem cell transplant when R-CHOP has already been used. We pray for a complete response to this chemo regimen so that Pam can go into transplant disease free. We are hopeful the chemo takes care of the aggressive lymphoma completely! As timing is critical in treating this disease, the only possible chance of a cure is to undergo an allogeneic stem cell transplant from a donor. As Pam’s sister is a “perfect” 10/10 match, she will be her donor. The intent of transplantation is cure, yet the statistic is around 60%. We are focusing on 100%! Additionally, an allogeneic transplant does not come without risks as overall survival through year one is approximately 85%-90%. Again, we are focusing on 100%!
December 27, 2016
It’s packing day. I’m nervous, scared, sad yet hopeful. We’ll leave for NYC tomorrow as a family, spend the weekend with our dear friends, the Cummings, then Dean and the girls will head home on Sunday. I’ll stay in NY and start out patient radiation on January 3 then I’ll be admitted for conditioning chemo on January 11. My sister will be collecting stem cells on January 17 and my transplant is scheduled for January 18! Thank you friends for your love, prayers and support!
January 18, 2017
Yesterday I was on a two hour conference call with Be The Match and my sister. As my potential donor, my sister was given detailed information about her role in my transplant. This call made me realize this is very real! I’m not in denial but I will say there have been days when I’ve questioned if this is really my life. I’m afraid to look at the calendar because I see the days counting down yet I know each day closer to transplant is one day closer to coming home.
On December 28, we will leave Virginia as a family and head to NYC. I have an appointment with a radiation oncologist the morning of December 29. We will meet up with the Cummings for the New Year holiday weekend. Dean and the girls will stay until January 1 and then head home. I start out patient radiation twice per day January 3 through 6 and again January 9 and 10. January 10 is my birthday! I will be admitted to MSK on January 11 and will start a six day regimen of high dose chemo and total body irradiation. Throughout the week prior to January 17, the day my sisters’ stem cells will be collected, she will be going through the process of ensuring she has an adequate supply. At the moment, the plan is for me to receive her stem cells on January 18. Please pray that all goes smoothly. I will be in patient for 4-6 weeks at MSK. During this time, I can have visitors so long as they are well and haven’t recently been ill. Once I’m discharged from the hospital I will stay at Hope Lodge with my care giver, my best friend Dawn, for at least 100 days which puts me home sometime in May.
Truthfully, I have never been so scared in my life. All I can do is take one day at a time and not think too far into the future. The journey ahead is daunting yet I know I must do this for my family.
Thank you for your support, prayers, good thoughts, positive vibes and love you all have shown our family.
March 15, 2017
Much love from all of us at Williamsburg Smiles! You are in our thoughts and prayers and we can't wait for your healthy return to Williamsburg!
Monica, Nick, Sue, Mandy, Kelly, Barb, and Jen
February 17, 2017
Pam, We just want you to know that you have all our prayers, love, hugs and support! You hang in there and know that you do not stand alone. We are all standing with you.
Teresa & Tony Mansy-Cook
January 19, 2017
Pam & Family You have all our prayers and support from our family. We are wishing you the best of luck and keep a positive outlook. We love you.
Aunt Delores and Family
January 20, 2017
Wishing you the best of health in 2017 and all of the years ahead. Sending prayers your way.