COVID-19 and the trials of treatment | News, Sports, Jobs – Escanaba Daily Press

Karen Wils photo
Shown at right is Karen Wils, the “Chemo Beagler” or the “COVID Beagler.”

ESCANABA — The year 2020 has put me and most everybody else in a very unusual position.

We all feel a little trapped and uneasy thrown into a situation we have never faced before.

I always kind of thought I would need to have a stem cell transplant someday after I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008.

I often referred to this blood cancer as my pesky woodtick. Fortunately, I have been blessed with good control of the disease until this year.

Leaving home, going to the Mayo Clinic and going through transplant is enough excitement for one person, but to be doing that while COVID-19 plagues our country is almost too much.

To say the last few months have been an interesting journey would be putting it mildly.

As the summer drew to a close, many changes were closing in on me, too. My son went off to a new job, and my daughter left for college. The very next week, my husband and I left for Minnesota for an unknown amount of weeks for my stem cell transplant.

For three-and-a-half weeks we were at Mayo. My husband was my excellent care giver through the strong chemo, and the transplant of my own stem cells and the long road to recovery.

Doing all of this during a pandemic is really interesting. The Mayo Clinic