Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Saving A Life

This topic in my blog maybe controversial for some. It is not intended to offend anyone. This is my very personal story that I wanted to share. Each and very time I think of this time period in my life it makes my heart ache. I wanted to share this story about Betty. She was my mother in-law of seven years. I'm hoping Betty's story may help someone in the future. In July of 2003 my sweet mother in-law Betty had became very ill. At first the doctors thought she was having a reaction to a spider bite that she received on her morning walk a few days earlier. She had never been sick a day in her life. She was a healthy and active 59 year old woman. She spent about three weeks in this hospital and seemed to get sicker by the moment. When the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with her they transferred her to a larger hospital for more testing. By the fourth week the doctors had put her into a self induced comma to help with the pain and to slow her body from shutting down. The entire family was in a panic. What was going on? A few weeks later they diagnosed Betty with a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma. She was already in stage 4 of the cancer. It was so rare that only doctors see it in children. The next few months were physically agonizing for Betty and emotional torture for the family. She received several doses of chemotherapy for the next four months. The chemotherapy never did seem to work. She progressively got worse and there was no stopping this cancer. Betty was a fighter and she insisted she would fight till the end. She wanted to live. In her last month of life the chemotherapy had no effect on her cancer. It just kept raging through her body. The doctors started talking about a bone marrow transplant. The family was told that we needed to be ready for testing. We never did get that far in trying to save her. She passed away before the bone marrow transplant testing could even begin. I know that I probably wasn't a match for her bone marrow but I would of done anything to try and save her life. After a four month battle with this terrible disease Betty passed on Thanksgiving morning in November of 2003 at the young age of 59. She was still on life support when she passed so nobody physically got to say goodbye to her. That was a hard decision to turn of life support. It was so heart wrenching for me to watch my poor husband suffer as he watch his mother pass away and couldn't even say goodbye. The following month in December of 2003 my husband and I found out that I was pregnant with our first child. Our daughter was born nine months later. We named her Hailey Rose. Betty's middle name was rose and we thought it would be a great tribute to Betty and her life to give our daughter her middle name. This would of been Betty's first grand baby who she never got to meet. This just broke my heart. My husband still struggles everyday with this pain of losing his mother and he misses her dearly. Recently I have been reading about this new stem cell research innovation called C'elle. This might sound gross but I think it needs to be talked about to save a life. Wouldn't you do anything to save someone in your family? provides women with the unique opportunity to collect and preserve vital stem cells that can be harvested from the body's menstrual fluid during the menstrual cycle. In the future these menstrual stem cells can help fight life causing diseases such as neural, cardiac, bone and many others. A study on menstrual stem cells was recently published in the highly respected scientific journal of Cell Transplantation. The research on menstrual cells is proving to be a 100 percent match for women donors and maybe a match for the women's parents, siblings and children. This is such amazing news. With this new research there is great promise for our medical future.

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