Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Just Ask Mike

As we approach this blessed holiday week, our family is grateful for all the love you have shown us. Mike finished his 4 day chemo drug to help rid his body of the the HLH and combat the lymphoma. He continues to fight each day with out knowing where his levels will be.  The one thing we do know is that Mike loves his family and friends.  He is holding on for all of us!  Mike wants to be home for his Christmas Eve birthday, he wants to be with the grandkids Christmas morning, he wants to hold Bonnie tightly, and he wants to give a big thank-you shout out, to all of his cherished friends.  Right now he is extremely tired and he just wants this treatment to work so he can have more time.

                                                       (5 days ago)

Friends stop wishing about the things you want to do and make a plan to do it this coming year. Do something kind for a stranger and for goodness sake, love your family.  Life is precious in every way! Through the mountains and valleys find the good in your journey, find the good in others, and find the good in yourself.  If you are unsure about how to do this....just ask Mike.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Mike is back at UNC.  We met with another doctor on his team and he said that Mike was a contradiction.  Mike's PT scan showed one thing and the numbers showed another.  After listening and researching,  this genius doctor hopefully found a missing link.  Mike has HLH, an autoimmune disease on top of the lymphoma. The HLH and the lymphoma are fighting, making the cancer do strange things. Mike started another chemo last night, which will hopefully get the HLH out of his body. Friends, we prayed for answers and now we have them, thank you! Keep praying for Mike and Bonnie's strength during these next few weeks.
                 This photo was taken 2 weeks ago with his pastor/life-long friends from PA.

Friday, December 2, 2016


Lymphoma can be a beast, but it has made us stronger, closer, and has us praying even harder.  Mike came home this week with a big decision weighing on him.  His levels have slowly come up on their own, it's a huge relief.    Mike and Bonnie have been overwhelmed by the love and support of their friends and random acts of kindness by strangers.  We are convinced that guardian angels have been looking out for Mike on this journey!  Please keep praying because it's working.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Reactions To Blood

Mike's levels dropped drastically low on Monday and he was transfused.  He had a severe reaction to the blood and started again with rigors (severe shakes), fever, and rash.  Later in the afternoon another fever occurred, which would not go down after taking medication.  They called an Urgent Response Nurse to the floor to get him moved into the Step Down-ICU floor, which would have a cooling blanket.  The fever eventually came down and he received a boost of platelets. Mike was able to receive the majority of the dose before another fever occurred and rigors.  We have a new set of eyes looking at Dad today, along with his team following him on the Step Down floor.  Hopefully sometime today he will be moved back to Oncology after his levels come up.

Canes Fight Cancer

This picture is from Sunday. Mike was overwhelmed and so happy to receive this jersey from his friends at the Carolina Hurricanes, thank you!

The benefit was a great success as well.  It was truly heartwarming to hear how many people showed up to support Mike.  Words can not express how this love has lifted his spirits.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Think Green and Fight

Mike came home from the hospital last weekend, but is now back at UNC.  He started getting fevers again.  His levels are very low so they have been giving him platelets and blood for the past 2 days. Mike's voice is strong, but he is very tired.  Thanks for your continued prayers.  Mike's benefit concert is being held tomorrow.

#fightlikeMike Benefit Show
November 19th from 7-10pm,
Caddy's at Rose Hill Golf Club
4 Clubhouse Dr.
Bluffton, SC 29910

Here are the bracelets to help support Mike and green is the color for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Best Medicine

Sometimes the best medicine in being together!

Mike keeps saying, "How can I thank all these people?"  Please know that he is very grateful and wants to give you all a big hug.  We keep reminding him that he can thank everyone personally when his health returns!  Your support and love has touched us all.

Mike has two long days of chemo, but should be home soon.  A special thanks to NRUMC for his cherished prayer shawl, which he is wearing in this photo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

From this day forward...

We received answers yesterday...the Lymphoma has migrated to the bone, a small percentage is in the bone marrow.  If I understand correctly, the Marginal Cell is doing weird things and the B cell is more controlled.  This means that Mike will have 2 or 3 days of continuous chemotherapy, which should hopefully take care of the new spots on the pet scan.  After the chemotherapy another scan will be completed to see if the treatment is working.  His levels are low right now, chemo won't help that, but shortly after they should increase, praying.  When they increase he will be able to return home.  The doctors also said that a stem cell transplant (bone marrow) would be needed, but as you can imagine there are many new questions to figure out.  Mike is taking it one step at a time and wants his spirit to stay strong. The fevers are being caused by the Lymphoma.  As of this morning he was on a high dose of Prednisone, which helps keep the fevers away.  Please send cards, messages, and prayers his way as we begin this new journey.
We are grateful for the doctors and nurses at UNC.
Mike loves his new Rocky shirt #fightlikeMike.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Answer Day?

We should receive results from the bone test today.  Mike's symptoms still continue, but he still has a sense of humor.  In this picture he's giving his girls a little pep talk, "there's nothing you can't do."

Bonnie has been there around the clock, her son-in-law and daughter help swap, and their son is also visiting this weekend. Please continue to pray for answers and that Mike's body and mind stay strong.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Benefit Show


From Mike's friend, Ken writes:
Most of you know Mike Palermo, some do not. Mike and I have been buds for 12 years and we became singing partners shortly after as The Great Pretenders. Mike is now battling Lymphoma which we all thought he had beaten but it has now come back with a vengeance and as we all know it is not only physically debilitating but financially as well. Mike had to retire some months back so we need to help out he and his wife Bonnie in any way we can.

#fightlikeMike Benefit Show
November 19th from 7-10pm,
Caddy's at Rose Hill Golf Club
4 Clubhouse Dr.
Bluffton, SC 29910

If you ever met Mike you know he always went out of his way to do things for folks whether he knew them or not, now it’s our turn. It’s Xmas and it’s the time for giving. We need everyone there!!!!!!!

You can also donate directly at any Wells Fargo Bank. 
(gofundme takes a percentage)
Michael Palermo Health Gift Account
Account Number:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fist Bump!

It was a super rough night for Mike, more of the same.  This morning he went in for a bone biopsy by the tail bone as well as another procedure near the bone marrow.  The doctors are trying to pin point a spot on the pet scan to see if the cancer has moved into the bone.
Mike sends all of you a big fist bump!  This is a picture from after his procedures today. We are grateful for dear friends visiting.  Please continue to pray for answers and strength.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Mike is now at UNC with doctors who specialize in Lymphoma.  They agree that Mike is a special case.  Sometimes I wish he wasn't so special!  They plan to do a bone biopsy on his shoulder, which will confirm if cancer has spread to the bone.  His levels are a bit low today and need to come up. Mike continues with fever, but had an incredible night nurse who stayed with him and rubbed his arm. Please pray that the doctors solve this mystery and continued strength for Mike and Bonnie.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NEVER wait on anyone for answers!

Mike spiked another fever last night with sweats.  Bonnie made plenty of calls into the Rex Oncology Department with the same answers....we are following protocol, we are doing everything we can, if his fever goes up bring him into the ER.  Why would we want to bring him into the ER again, he's a chemo patient and was just in the hospital.

Mike loves and trust his Rex doctors, but frustration has set in after being discharged with out any appointments lined up, or when to restart chemo, or even therapy for his shoulder.  How long can you just wait, how long can you view your loved one diminishing, how long can you sit idle with out answers?

I am Mike's daughter, a reporter by trade, and I am damn tired of waiting and listening.  Friends you must be proactive, even if you are told they are the best doctors.  All it took was one google search and one phone call to the UNC Oncology Specialist department.  They had just received my Dad's referral today and it was not marked urgent!  I explained everything, and an incredible man wrote it down and forwarded it to their physicians. I know I had guardian angles looking over my family today.  I may have ruffled some feathers, but Dad needs help. We received a phone call back with in 40 minutes.  They have a bed waiting for Dad and they will decide how to get him back on track with his chemo treatment.  Later in the week he will see a Lymphoma specialist.

Mike and Bonnie are trying to get to UNC, but Obama is in town, and everything is closed. Thankfully Highway Patrol gave us some idea on how to navigate.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Answered Prayers

Great news, Mike is able to go home!  We have been on a roller coaster of emotions during the last 14 days.  We still don't have many answers.  It could be from the chemo, a reaction to a drug, or the lymphoma could be changing forms.  Mike will soon see a specialist at UNC.  We are grateful that it is not in the brain or the bone marrow, praise God! We can all rest well knowing that Mike and Bonnie are at home tonight.  They are in need of a good nights sleep.  We will continue to update you through the blog.  Again, thank you for all your prayers and support.


Mike does not have a fever!  He is having issues with his shoulder and they are doing another MRI after having one yesterday.  Praying for continued peace for Mike. Praying that he may return home soon and continue with his chemo to fight the cancer. Still waiting on the bone marrow biopsy results.

Thank you to friends who stopped by with a Halloween party at the hospital and food last night for Bonnie!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Celebrate The Good

Mike had a very good day, fever free.  He is having some shoulder weakness, which is new.
He was super excited to receive some good looking hats from his friends at the Carolina Hurricanes!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Feeling Good

Mike had a great night!  He feels so much better this morning. We are waiting on the results from the bone marrow biopsy.  At this time we are not sure if it's the cancer or a bacterial infection that is not being picked up.

Free Bird

After having a really long continuous fever Mike was starting to feel like a caged bird.  Our team of doctors spoke with a team at UNC and came to know conclusion.  Mike's nurses and doctors have been amazing, truly amazing.  One special nurse, who helped Mike through the night, even called on her day off to see how he was doing.  I know he has angels looking over him and God's hands keeping him at peace.  

Oncology hopes that the fevers will go away, but to be prepared for the long haul with the mention of having a stem cell discussion in the future.  I know all Mike heard was stem cells.

Around 2pm yesterday a nurse gave him some prednisone.  It only took 15 minutes to totally change the way he was feeling.  What does this mean, only time will tell.  When he felt well enough we took him outside for some sunshine!  Mike's first time outside in 12 days.

 Mike looks too good!  The bone marrow biopsy should come back on Monday.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday Morning

Mike received a small transfusion yesterday evening.  He had a rough night of chills accompanied with fever. As you can imagine he is worn out this morning. Still no answers, but we are praying that his fevers will subside.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Long Hospital Stay

Mike continues to fight!  He was diagnosed with Marginal Cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma last year with a good prognosis.  He had his initial 6 months of chemotherapy, which finished in March 2016.  Shortly after the last successful round of chemo more lymph nodes popped up. The cancer was growing faster than the doctors expected.

This August, Mike started a new fight with his cancer transforming into B Cell Lymphoma and stronger chemotherapy began.  He was great for the first 3 rounds.  He felt so good that we even housed our beloved friends when they evacuated Hilton Head from Hurricane Matthew and had the grandchildren over to spend the night.  

On October 19th, he started to run a fever.  We carefully brought him into the ER where they gave him antibiotics and sent him home 10 hours later.  Fevers continued and increased to 102 degrees, which was our sign to admit him to Rex hospital in Raleigh, NC.  

Mike has been in the hospital with fever as high as 104.4 since Friday the 21st.  The fevers are sometimes mixed with chills.  The Pet Scan showed that the chemo reduced his cancer dramatically, but his spleen is enlarged with a few spots showing on the bone.

He has the Oncology, Infectious Disease, and the Internal Medicine Doctors puzzled. If you know Mike, it's no surprise!  Each test they run comes back negative.  They will have a conference call with UNC this week. His body is exhausted from the fevers, but he still has his sense of humor.

Today, October 28th, he received a bone marrow biopsy and will receive blood as soon as his fever decreases. Through it all, Mike continues to fight.  Bonnie has stayed by his side and he falls asleep listening to the Motown sounds that he loves to sing! 

Please keep him in your prayers as we continue to update you.