“Stuck” – New Release from Diane Windsor @motinabooks

I am happy to turn my blog over to a wonderful author I’ve recently met, Diane Windsor! She had some ultra-important information to share with you. The floor is yours, Diane!

Thank you, Jan. I am thrilled to talk about my new book, “Stuck,” here on your beautiful blog site!

When a child is diagnosed with pediatric cancer, no matter what kind of cancer, time stops. Everything changes for the entire family. There is no “normal” anymore. My youngest son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on June 20th 2018. Anything happening before that date was “before,” and anything after, of course, is “after.”

Brendan was 20 years old at the time, and very independent. He was living in another state completely on his own. We had been chatting on the phone pretty regularly, and he told me that he hadn’t been feeling great. Apparently, he was tired all the time. I thought his fatigue be the result of a little too much partying, but I held my tongue.

So, he went to a clinic for an examination. Based on a CBC (Complete Blood Count) test the doctor told him that he thought he had either lymphoma or leukemia and needed to get to the emergency room immediately. Brendan asked me to order an Uber for him because he didn’t have the money.

I bought a one-way plane ticket to Minneapolis so I could be with my kid. That was the beginning of the year and a half of cancer treatment. Plan A, or the frontline treatment, was chemotherapy. Chemo cures leukemia for many patients, but unfortunately, that didn’t work for us.

Plan B was a state-of-the-art immunotherapy known as CAR T cell therapy. Brendan‘s T cells are harvested from his bloodstream using apheresis. The T cells were then sent to a pharmaceutical company to be modified. After about four weeks they were re-infused into his system and these super cells would attack all of the leukemia cells. This worked beautifully for a while. Thirty days post-infusion he was in complete remission and there was no trace of leukemia cells in his bone marrow or bloodstream. After sixty days there was an indication that this therapy was no longer working and he would move to Plan C which was a bone marrow, or stem cell, transplant.

So at this point we are one year post diagnosis and into intensive cancer treatment. The chemotherapy has completely wiped out any immunity that he had to disease. All of his vaccinations have been wiped out. He is greatly immuno-compromised and very susceptible to any illness. I remember driving to clinic one day and we were listening to the local news on the radio. There was a report of a measles outbreak in a county in Texas. He looked at me with a worried expression on his face and asked, “Is that close to us?” Luckily it wasn’t, but he also knew that this measles outbreak was caused by the growing movement of not vaccinating children against childhood diseases. If a person who has a compromised immune system should contract the measles, chickenpox, pertussis, or any other childhood illness,.their body will have a much more difficult time fighting that illness then a healthy individual. It could potentially lead to sepsis, organ damage, and even death.

This is why childhood vaccinations and heard immunity are so incredibly important.

I’ve always been a pro-vaxx mom. When my oldest child was born in 1990 there was never any question about whether I would have him vaccinated or not. I never felt that I was blindly following with the pediatrician told me to do. I simply had a healthy respect for the opinions of medical professionals because of their education and experience. I had never even heard of the anti-vaxx movement until about the year 2010 when a coworker mentioned to me that vaccines had caused his son’s autism. I was puzzled since that was the first I’d ever heard of this phenomenon. I didn’t give that much more thought thinking he was just an outlier with that opinion. But as social media became more prevalent I realized that many people shared this opinion.

My son’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment really brought this home for me. It helped me understand how harmful this anti-science movement can really be to many thousands of people in our country.

I wrote the book STUCK, which is a young adult (YA) novel, with the hope that the younger generation will help turn this movement around. The story revolves around Cassidy and Angie, who have been best friends for many years. Angie is diagnosed with leukemia. Since Cassidy’s mom never had her vaccinated, she ends up getting the measles. Cassidy infects her friend, who doesn’t survive.

This is the real world for cancer patients. Herd immunity protects those who can’t be vaccinated. So, those who can be vaccinated should be.

PURCHASE LINK FOR “STUCK”

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34 thoughts on ““Stuck” – New Release from Diane Windsor @motinabooks

  1. WOW! Yes, first hand experience in a book may be a wedge to get past the psychobabble conspiracy nonsense the antivaxxers use to spread otherwise controllable disease to people who can die of it needlessly. Thanks for welcoming Diane Windsor to your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve seen many posts regarding cancer lately. In fact, I’m writing my memoir which was started years ago when I created my blog for that purpose but my mind went back and forth. I finally gathered all my notes and emails and journals and have written several chapters. I’ll only go forward this time. Thank you for all your Tarot cards affirmation.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sending prayers for your son’s recovery, I can imagine how hard this is for your family.
    My grandson was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was seven. We figured, no problem, he just needs to watch his diet and exercise (even though he was below normal in weight and height- an early warning sign, we later learned), but soon found out how very different T1D is, and like your son, how susceptible he will be to infections and disease.
    I hope this book opens the eyes of many- best of luck ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing today, Jacquie. It’s difficult for adults to deal with diseases, but with children, it’s doubly hard. Prayers for your grandson. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jacquie, thanks for your kind words, and best wishes for your grandson. Yes, my understanding is that Type 1 diabetes is completely different than Type 2. It has nothing to do with lifestyle. That was actually the first thing I asked the doctor – was the leukemia lifestyle related. I’ve learned that there’s never a “reason” for childhood cancer. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve lost family members to cancer, but I never stopped to think how comprised their immune systems were. I wish Diane all the best with this book and hope it reaches a wide audience. Best wishes and healing for her son as well.

    Jan, thank you for introducing us to Diane. That was such an informative post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Mae. It was my pleasure to host Diane today. I was thrilled to find that she lives just a short distance from me and we are going to get together for coffee or lunch sometime soon. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Both of my parents fought and beat cancer and both of my parents are currently dealing with it again. I can’t think of a family it hasn’t touched in some way. Wishing you and your family all the best.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. DIane, I can relate somewhat to what you’re going through. Not a child, but a husband with cancer (twice). He underwent a bone marrow transplant and has been cancer free for 27 years now.

    Great premise for a story. I know some people who are anti-vaxxers, even though that original study that claimed vaccines causes autism has been proved wrong.

    Best of luck on the new release and warm thoughts for your son.

    Liked by 2 people

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