In the summer of 2014, when Winnsboro, La. resident Michelle Baker started having issues with her ears, she never imagined it would lead to a diagnosis of cancer.
Michelle Baker and her two sons.
“For three months, I tried every antibiotic they could give me to get rid of my ear infection. I had gotten so weak that I could not even walk from my bedroom to my living room without being tired, that’s when I told my doctor ‘something’s not right, we need to do some blood tests or other types of testing.”
On September 5, 2014, Michelle’s doctors completed additional testing and diagnosed her with acute myeloid leukemia, AML. “I was in complete shock,” says Michelle. “I work in the medical field and have relatives that have had other types of cancer, but it never crossed my mind that I would be the one that had it,” she expressed.
Michelle is the parent of two boys, ages 14 and 9. “What upset me the most, when I found out I had cancer – it had only been a year or so since my husband passed away. I thought about my boys and what they would do if something happened to me,” shares Michelle of her feelings when diagnosed.
Michelle initially received care at University Health in Shreveport, La. but was transferred to Tulane in New Orleans. Doctors have told her that she is in an intermediate stage of cancer and that “chemo will not fix this,” she will need a stem cell transplant.
While she waits for a match to be found in the Be The Match® registry, doctors are treating her with chemo, blood and platelet transfusions.
“Finding my match would be a tremendous blessing. It would be a relief that I may have a cure. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s the best chance I have.”