D&K - Barbara Cooke, 61, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Taunton 8-22-18

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 22nd

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Happy to welcome and Barbara Cook our new friend hi Barbara how are you very good thank you for having you know I'm thinking about this as Barbara was a nurse. Is that a good thing or a bad thing you know too much what they tell you what's going on medically with you here. Well it was quite a shock and a surprise to me actually nurses are. Somewhat we think of the worst thing that could be happening to us and I actually thought maybe I had to Kenya. And went to my local doctor if they did some blood work and stuff like that and then I didn't hear anything and I figured. Well known news is good news. So I waited and then the call came in and said you know we we need to come to the emergency room and had more blood work done. We think that you have to Kenya. So that was a big shock. Now to Kenya that I have is EA LL. Which is more prevalent in kids sticking it to the kids right and I'm gonna tell you I've. Watched and listened to a number of these telephones. And heard the stories and I am the recipient. Of the research and things like that that has developed and has allowed me to work towards a cure. The and the doctor had said to me this is a tough cancer to take to deal with the spoke with can cure you and it's gonna take some time. And I I would tell you it's been a rocky road. Ups and downs and thinks like that. But I do you want you to know that the giving is how the research is stunned. I have been a recipient of some of the trials and in things like that the immune therapy that has changed things. And two. I I know that I have benefited from. The work that has been done for kids and I you know it's hard. To go through all of this and figure it out but every time that I think about it I think of the kids and what they have to go through. And all of what they've been doing. So people just need to continue to give you never know when it's gonna be your loved one you yourself or someone that you know you might. Just happened acquaintance with and beat you you gotta give in it will make a huge difference. Now you said he thought you had leukemia before you were diagnosed. Here's what specifically made you think that. Well on I had come back from a trip spike had gone to Alaska. And when I came back I thought that I hit caught like a cold on the plane or something like that I was kind of the key in stuff. And kind of just let that go and then I woke up and I hit loses big bruises on my legs. And that's a sign that that and I said well you know. Time being tired and fatigued and bruises. I automatically said I think I have leukemia. I was told that it could be a vitamin deficiency could be all sorts of things don't jump to the worst thing so. I kinda count myself down and waited and then when they keeping that diagnosis it was shocking. I that leukemia care is not something that was my specialty. So I had to actually give in to not trying to know too much. And just focus and work on the things that I knew that I could control. The people at Brigham and women's Wear when when I was in crisis. Brought me through that crisis then the follow up at Dana Farber I am lucky that I live in the area where. You know that the that care that we can get from this institution. On the follow up and all of what's been giving to me and my family members. That's that's part of what the Jimmy Fund those two and from social workers to build the helping to pay for parking and stuff like that. I am I was diagnosed in 2016. In October. So I've been having care. There was a period of time where I had to come to Dana Farber every other day. Which you know it's it's. Not that bad the commute for me I met people of that are coming from. Vermont upper state New York Florida all over the place so they are so many things that unfortunate and and thankful for. And I I can tell you that. I I will continue to work and make sure that the focuses on a controlling the things I can't control. And people out there need to be able to help out as well. The key thing is is an important thing. When you needed a transplant you didn't have to go far for a donor did you know if that was that was another bizarre thing I have them. Three siblings two of my siblings were considered too old to be donate his. And so that left one and my sister Janet my younger sister was a perfect match. I'm so that made it a lot easier. And these that they they helped out here with you know helping her and going through the process of the donation it was stem cells. And it took a couple of days for her to get that number of cells that were required for me. And to. Again it it's things just kind of well fallen into place. Now how did you prepare yourself or first chemotherapy and then the stem cells trend avenue you'd know. Probably what's going on better than others would that as a nurse how did you prepare yourself. Well there they. Cancer care it it it it impacts you physically emotionally spiritually. It at nutritionally so that I have to focus on all of those things. Nutritionally was one of the things that I really had to struggle with because the chemo did may be somewhat obnoxious at times. But I knew I was gonna need to keep my strength perhaps I've worked really hard doing that picking out the best foods that I could get. Then nutrition came in helped me out and helped a lot that. Cancer treatment the chemotherapy Ali's changes your taste in stuff like that so. It was difficult but none I did it and there are some folks that it saying that. This was distant very elaborate weight loss program. Slow it more about this heading I would advise for an probably. Well Barbara you Bennett delight and and it's so nice to get a commitment and lend your voice to this tonight I hope things continue to go well for you it's a look marvelous. Thanks very much thank you great to see it and went on to the torque. And let's include Mexico on the field so that good will get back to the winning ways thanks you Barbara thank you all of that will help thanks for the tip thank you very much Barbara Cook from wanton joining us and then it was just a delight.