Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Todd Dufault is from Carlston, Minnesota and is married with one 12-year-old daughter. Todd found out about his cancer on April 27th, 2011 when he went in for a visit with his doctor with complaints about his asthma. That night, after finding out that he has leukemia, Todd had to drive 455 miles to the Mayo Clinic in Grant Forks, Minnesota to see a specialist in the emergency room. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic found Todd’s white blood cell count to be over 150,000, which is about 30 times the normal level. They also found that he has a tumor attached to the back of his stomach which was bleeding out, and he was in DIC, another blood disorder. To make matters worse, Todd began having a series of strokes. Miraculously, soon his tumor stopped bleeding on its own, and then the doctors were able to treat his DIC. He also made a full recovery from his strokes.
Once everything was somewhat under control, the doctors informed Todd that they type of cancer that he has is called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which an extremely aggressive form of leukemia.
Todd says that the toughest part of the whole process is constantly being away from home. He is motivated to heal as quickly as possible by his desire to be home again with his wife and daughter. Todd has a care pages blog where friends and family can follow his progress and write him messages, and Todd says that has helped a lot in the process. With the free care provided by the Hope Lodge, and the love and support of his friends and family, Todd is hopeful that he will beat his cancer very soon.
Every day it seems like they put a new hurdle in front of me and the next day I jump over it. The positive attitude and the fact that I have a little girl at home waiting for me, that's what keeps me going. So every day is a fight, but I keep fighting.
Now when you have a life threatening illness, that changes your perspective on life again. I can see the changes, but I keep moving forward.
I can say the best thing that I did was, my wife started a care pages blog for me. I update my blog everyday on what goes on. I've got over 150 people that follow it every day. They can write messages back to me on the blog so I don't get the 50 phone calls a day anymore. … When you're feeling down and out, or lack of energy cause of your chemo, that's a huge emotional tool, a great tool so I recommend that to anybody, start a care pages blog.
In this way, I can update everybody. They can send me messages, words of encouragement, and that's been a huge deal for me. I'm still doing it. I update my blog every day. So that's been a great thing.
Colista Lich Rapid City, South Dakota
Wes Kendall Beaverton, OR