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8/14/2016 Latest post:
My cancer journey began about 15 months ago with a puffy area in my upper left Gum. We assumed it was gum disease and it was treated as such at the periodontist. After some growth and continued change of color we requested to have a biopsy taken. In July of 2016 we learned I had cancer. This was a very emotional time for me and my family as we struggled to understand and were seeking answers that wouldn't come for weeks as additional tests were performed. Once the full pathology report came back we were informed that the tumor was a Myeloid Sarcoma. This is a rare condition that is basically an accumulation of leukemic cells. Having this type of tumor is equivalent to a diagnosis of Leukemia. After further testing, it was made clear that I fell into an even more rare subset of patients in that the tumor presented itself prior to the full blast phase of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), meaning my bone marrow was clear and my blood work looked normal. Typically patients don't have a Myeloid Sarcoma until they're in full blast phase with AML or have had a relapse. My condition however ultimately progresses into full blown AML thus the protocol for treatment is to treat the same as AML. At this point, I felt very blessed that the tumor presented in my gum area where I could actually see it rather than where they normally develop which is inside your body, around organs and bone. After additional confirmations via other pathologist and a meeting at Emory, we have progressed to an agreed upon initial treatment of Induction Chemotherapy. Our prayer is that I will respond well to therapy and the tumor will dissolve into nothing. The second phase of treatment is still undecided until after Induction Chemo has been completed. I will certainly keep you all updated as to the next steps in this journey.
God's Word tells us that we all will face trials, it is how we respond in those times that matters. Job 36:15 states "Those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction". Please know that my family truly believes in God's plan, we are strong in our faith and continue to look for the lessons we are to learn during this time and for the opportunity to share God's Word along this journey. If you could please pray for continued strength for our family, for clarity around future treatment decisions, for the physicians to have wisdom in treating a rare condition, and for the induction chemo to be effective with limited side effects or complications that would be very appreciated. We thank you all for your support and love during this challenging time, we thank God daily for such great friends.