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7/2/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
About one month ago Glen began feeling extremely weak, tired, short of breath, and overall yucky. After much coaxing we finally got him to the doctors office. After some blood work and a chest x-ray we were informed that we needed to go to Mary Washington Hospital immediately because his blood levels were extremely low and he would require a transfusion. We were admitted to 2-North for 5 days and during this time he received 2 units of blood and had multiple viral tests run to determine the cause of the low blood count. It was soon determined that he would need a bone marrow biopsy. On Monday, June 13, 2016 the first bone marrow biopsy was done and it was sent to the Mayo Clinic. We were discharged on Tuesday and were to follow up with Dr. Whitehurst, a local hematologist. For the next 8 days we returned to Dr. Whitehurst's office quite frequently for blood counts. He did have to receive some IV fluids because his blood pressure was running low and he had to get 2 more units of blood during this time. On Thursday, June 30, 2016 we were notified by Dr. Whitehurst that we needed to go to UVA immediately for further testing. We arrived that afternoon and have been in a whirl wind ever since. Glen has an amazing team of 5 doctors that are headed by Dr. Portell. He spoke in length with us Thursday evening and he suggested that they perform another bone marrow biopsy to better determine what we were dealing with. That biopsy was done Friday morning. Friday afternoon Dr. Mann sat down with us and informed us that Glen was diagnosed with Acute Erythroblastic Leukemia. This leukemia is a subtype of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. AEL is very rare. Less than 5% of all patients diagnosed with leukemia have AEL. After much discussion about treatment and options, we came up with a plan. Friday evening Glen had a Hickman catheter placed in his upper chest for access. He is to begin 7 days of intense continuous chemotherapy that consists of 2 different drugs. After this time he will need to be closely monitored for infections and blood levels dropping which is expected. He will be here for at least 4 weeks. The ultimately goal is a stem cell transplant which will cure this awful disease.