Hello everyone, as many of you know, February 18th was the beginning of a journey that none of us could have anticipated. I'd been feeling pretty crappy for several weeks leading up to an ER visit. Jen and I went to the ER at Riverside and unfortunately after seeing the counts on my bloodwork, it became clear that I had leukemia, a cancer of the blood. I was transfered to The James that night. The next 24 hours were scary and emotional as we did not have an exact diagnosis and were waiting on more tests to confirm the course of treatment and what to expect.
My official diagnosis is Adult PH+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This type of leukemia is predominantlly diagnosed in children. Needless to say, this was a pretty big blow to all of us. The good news is that I couldn't be in better hands as there have been major strides in leukemia treatments in the past 3-5 years. We are so grateful to be at The James Cancer Institute, which is one of the best programs in both reasearch and treatment for leukemia in the world.
I'm now almost 3 weeks into treatment. (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2016272
) I'm on Dasatinib for a total of 85 days for my induction or initial chemotherapy. I am also on a high dose steroid that will continue for another two weeks. The side effects from the treatment have been less than awesome. The agitating and stimulant effects of the steroid coupled with the exhaustion I feel from my bone marrow failure have been rough. I am also not able to take my ususal heartburn medicine because of my chemotherapy which has been hard to manage. Luckily, I've been able to remain at home with frequent trips back to The James for bloodwork. This has been a game changer as I'm very thankful to be at home and sleeping in my own bed. I have bloodwork done 3x/week and am often given blood transfusions and/or plateletes to boost what my body cannot do on it's own. The counts for my hemoglobin (RBC), platelets and white blood cells (WBC) all seem to be headed in the right direction. The goal of this first round of treatment is to reduce WBC to almost nothing in order to wipe out the cancer cells as best as possible and prompt my body to start making it's own healthy red blood cells and platelets. Once this first round of treatment is complete, I will start on another course of a different chemotherapy drug with longer term plans that will include a bone marrow transplant.
Anyone can sign up for and receive a kit in the mail to be tested as a match and I would be forever grateful to anyone who wants to participate. We are hopeful that my sister, Gretchen, will be a very good match and can donate, but that is still an unknown.
If you are interesetd, you can copy and paste the link below into a browser window. If you chose to register, my birthdate is 02/06/1974. http://Go.osu.edu/BMTdonor
To all of my family and friends who have already reached out, sent food, prayed for us, sent positive thoughts and offered help with kids, I cannot tell you how grateful I am. I feel very blessed to have such a strong support system and good friends.
I will try to post updates often.