Apr 20, 2018 Latest post:
Oct 17, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Most of you already know our story. It started in August of 2017 even though blood work shows that his white blood cell count was already 2.0 in July of 2016. We went in in August for a normal appointment for yearly blood work. His CBC came back low so the doctor called and said he wanted us to come in and have it redone and sent to a pathologist. The pathologist report showed the numbers were correct and his white cell count was at 1.9. So we were referred to to most scary place I have ever been THE CANCER CENTER!!! They ask us a lot of questions and took more blood then set up appointments for scans. I will never forget the day we went for the scans. I dropped him back off at work and called my mom just bawling!! I just knew he was ate up with cancer. She was trying her best to calm me down but it wasn’t working very well. I just knew in my heart that something wasn’t right. We had to wait a little over 4 weeks to get the results and it was absolute torture!! On October 20th we went in and I was expecting to hear the worst. But to our surprise she said all the results came back normal and showed no signs of cancer. She wanted us to see a rheumatologist to see if there was an immune disorder that would make the number low.But she believed it was medication that he was taking for his head injury from 2014. We were leaving the next day for Sedona Arizona and thought this will be a wonderful celebration! The rheumatologist found no auto immune disease in his testing. At this time we believed that everything was okay! On January 4th I took Dereck to the immediate care thinking he had the flu. The doctor said he tested negative and was hoping it was pneumonia. But that was negative also. His CBCs still showed low after months of being off all medications! It ended up in words between me and the oncologist. On March 8th our family doctor ran the blood work again and in 6 months his numbers had really dropped! The oncologist set up a bone marrow biopsy for March 19th. We had to wait til April 5th to get the results. I knew from the blood work that it wasn’t going to be good so I had prepared myself for the worst again! This time I was right. She said he had a rare form of leukemia. The name is Hairy Cell Leukemia. It gets its name from the white blood cells looking like hair is growing from them. Around 6,000 people in the US are diagnosed with this form. Lucky for us Dereck is her 3rd patient. The first 5 years will be the toughest. With treatment he can develop another form of cancer. One being Hodgkins Lymphoma. He also may not respond to treatment. The leukemia itself will not kill him.It would be from his immune system being so low that he gets pneumonia or some infection that his immune system can’t fight off. This is not his fight alone! It is mine also! This year on May 9th we will be married 29 years. I could not imagine my life without him!