So, I’m calling it the “first” day, but in reality, it has been three… They just all blurred together. We got to Atlanta on Sunday evening and had the first appointment Monday morning. We were able to sit down with the pharmacist and go over the treatment protocol. Then the lab results came back. They wanted me to have two units of blood before they started treatment. So off to the infusion center for two hours. Yes, just two. I’ve never had a transfusion that quickly before. Normally, it’s at the rate of about 150 ml per hour. On Monday? It was 400 ml per hour. Once all that was settled, we headed back to the hotel to try to get some rest.
Diagnosis day, it’s here again. Some days reach the level you don’t even have to say what it is. Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries. But not all of those anniversaries are good things. Some of them are reminders of the world turning upside down. Realizing that nothing would ever be the same. A total change in your perspective, in your life.
As I posted back in October, my transplant doctor wanted me to discontinue my chemotherapy and see if my bone marrow loss was due to it or to the cancer. I had the second biopsy on December 18th, and received the results today. The bad news is there was no change in the results following the discontinuing of chemotherapy. But the good news is there were no cancer cells in the sample, which means the MDS is not progressing to leukemia. Based on these results and other genetic testing, it appears that I have a subtype known as hypoplastic MDS.
I sit surrounded by trees and the calling of birds and somewhere off to my left, the angry chatter of a squirrel. The silence allows me to hear myself, even though in the distance I hear others talking on the trail and the muffled sounds of vehicles crossing the bridge upstream.
If you know me, you know that beyond my faith and family, there are two causes close to my heart: amateur radio and cancer research and prevention. Now, it is time for the latter to once again move to the forefront of my efforts as fundraising for the 2018 Relay For Life of Baldwin County begins.