Bruce Fernbaugh Bruce Almighty

First post: Nov 7, 2022 Latest post: Aug 7, 2023
First, I want to thank my sister, Brooke,  for encouraging me to build this page for Bruce.  I think it will be a good place to provide updates about our guy!

Bruce's story starts a few days before Halloween. He seemed to be battling some kind of "bug" for a few days accompanied with random heart palpitations. Weird, right? Well on 10/31/22, his fever spiked, massive head and body aches started and the heart palpitations became more frequent.  A tele-visit with his Doc revealed "most likely" the flu.  Seems reasonable.... but... the heart palpitations got out of control.  So, I put him in the car and off to urgent care we went. Instincts took me to Torrey Pines Urgent Care because it was attached to a hospital and more offerings if needed. Thankfully, triage went quickly and we soon found ourselves waiting for a blood draw. He got to the room and when the phlebotomist went to draw his blood, he blacked out - Definitely NOT a characteristic of a healthy Bruce. That incident got us bumped up to the front of the line at Urgent Care. We immediately got a room,  got him in a bed and got his blood drawn. 

Fast forward a hot minute.... the Attendee came in to announce how "weird" Bruce's blood results are.... higher white blood cells (WBCs), lower platelet counts and lower hemoglobin. Needless to say, they decided it was best to admit him and start overturning rocks to figure out what was going on with him. He had the doctor's quite perplexed because he wasn't exhibiting all of the symptoms that people with leukemia have... no enlarged organs, no bleeding and his blood panel wasn't "that bad" - but in the end, the diagnosis is AML - acute myeloid leukemia.  Shocked, right??  Bruce was already in a room on the oncology floor of Scripps Green Hospital - overlooking Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Ocean, so we had a suspicion  that we were dealing with a blood cancer. Bruce has been blessed with ah-mazing doctors and nurses. Since Bruce's  WBC counts were not as high as a "typical" leukemia patient, his oncologists decided to attack immediately.  The treatment is called a 7+3 induction therapy, where there are two chemo drugs  for the first three days and then down to one chemo drug for the remaining  four days.  He is  hooked up to the 7-day drug for 24 hours at time. So, we found out he had AML at 11 am on Wednesday 11/02/2022 and by 5 pm he was receiving his first round of chemo. He is projected to be in this hospital for at least 30 days.... if all goes well, he will come home sometime shortly after Thanksgiving.

Talk about surreal and a complete change in direction - not to mention, a big punch in the face.  We consoled each other and then decided that this beast was not going to destroy our plans.... we have too much crap to do! So, here we are.... on a personal journey to fight Bruce's cancer. I'm going to try and do some journaling to keep you all updated. It's been really hard to keep everyone posted - especially since our day changes hour to hour. 

Bruce  and I wanted to thank every single one of you for the well wishes, positive thoughts, prayers and offers to help. The truth is, we don't know what we need... yet. Right now, our hope is to get him through his treatments and home as soon as possible.  My hope is that this web page will help keep you updated on Bruce's journey and progress....  We love you all and are grateful to have you in our village! Stay tuned for some journal updates and pictures along the way.... 
Much love,
Shannon and Bruce

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