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MellanieSAF, April 27,  2018  10:22pm EST

Need to be vulnerable


I need to be vulnerable right now, which is not within my comfort zone but is something I must do.

I returned Wednesday afternoon from an exhausting week on the road to multiple cities for multiple events. It got challenging when I landed in DC on Monday and got word that my sister had been put back in the hospital. On Wednesday morning, they did emergency surgery and found that her lymphoma had spread to her lungs, and by Thursday she was gone. I couldn't get there in time to see her.

She had been diagnosed last fall with mantle cell lymphoma, a very rare but aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (fewer than 3,000 cases per year in the US). On October 30, she was scheduled for her PET scan and they woke up that morning to their house being on fire. They relocated to an apartment while she was going through chemo. Then she went through a stem cell transplant on December 18, which had her in isolation for 120 days except for the daily trips to the hospital.

Just a few weeks ago, she discovered that the stem cell transplant had failed and was put on a brand new drug that was showing some signs of progress. But on Easter Sunday she was admitted to the hospital with fluid on the lungs and unable to breathe or eat. 

They put in ports and home health was coming daily to drain her lungs, and the amount of fluid was going down. She and my other sister and I submitted DNA samples to see if we were a match as they were considering an allogenic stem cell transplant from a sibling. The results are expected back next week, and I had cleared my calendar to be available to go to Atlanta for a few weeks for that if I was a match.

But, she didn't make it. I am numb with grief. One should not be burying their younger sister. 

I have not been replying much while on the road this past week, and will be away for a few more days. Visitation will be Tuesday and the funeral Wednesday.

I just wanted ya'll to know why I am not actively posting right now. Thanks for understanding.



  • CindyH9423
    CindyH9423, April 27,  2018  10:39pm EST

    Melanie, I am so terribly sorry. I am the oldest of four sisters and I cannot even imagine. My heart goes out to you. May your family find peace with this someday. It is so unfair. 

  • Cindere8748
    Cindere8748, April 27,  2018  11:10pm EST


    so sorry to hear about your sister. Please don't worry about us afibbers and take time with your family and for yourself to grieve. My most sincere condolences go out to you.

  • lmaj
    lmaj, April 27,  2018  11:38pm EST

    Dear Mellanie. 

    So so sorry for the loss of your younger sister. I’m sure you are all reeling. 

    My thoughts are certainly with you and your family. 

    Don’t worry about us as you see to the needs of your loved ones and mourn together  

    With much sympathy. Linda 

    HJKMS, April 28,  2018  12:15am EST

    So sorry for the loss of your beloved sister.  My thoughts and condolences go out to you and your family.  

  • Spencer
    Spencer, April 28,  2018  5:23am EST

    Mellanie - I am so sorry to hear about your sister.   I am not sure what to tell you that would help where you are now.  Know that everyone on this board is pulling for you and are grieving with you.  You have been a good friend to me and I am very sorry for the loss of your sister.


  • Arline3366
    Arline3366, April 28,  2018  5:28am EST

    I am so sorry.  Prayers for you and your family.

  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, April 28,  2018  7:45am EST

    Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  Peace, Katie 

  • Girtygirl
    Girtygirl, April 28,  2018  7:46am EST

    Mellanie-How sad, I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious sister.  Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. You do so much for all of us and are so giving of your time and knowledge so please know, we are keeping you close in our hearts and minds. 


  • Lalabuddy
    Lalabuddy, April 28,  2018  7:48am EST


    You give so much to others through this forum. Hopefully, we can give back to you now in the form of thoughts, prayers, cyber-hugs and support. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Be kind to yourself and take your time coming back into your daily activities. Love.

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, April 28,  2018  8:06am EST

    Mellanie, I'm terribly sorry to hear about your sister's death.  I hope you eventually can take some time off for yourself, knowing that our prayers are with you.

    Thumper2 (Judy)

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