Dad was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on Nov. 14, 2016. We don't know much but we have hope.
Hi everyone. We have started a CaringBridge site to keep everyone up-to-date on Dad. Prior to this weekend (Nov. 12, 2016), Dad had been feeling out of breath, lightheaded and tired. Earlier in October he had a chest/head cold, so he initially thought it was just taking a while to get over. Well, Saturday things got worse. By the afternoon, Jess and Amber came out to the house and pulled him by his ear out the door and to urgent care. From urgent care they sent Dad directly to the heart hospital because of all the heart issues Dad has had in the past couple years. After running a few test, the doctors at the heart hospital told him he was at the wrong hospital and he got taken to Avera Health. His heart rate was up to 140+ and he was losing blood from somewhere. Once they got his heart rate under control, they realized that his bone marrow was not producing new blood cells. His hemoglobin levels where under 6 by the time he got his first transfusion on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and it took 2 more bags of blood to get his hemoglobin levels above 8. They needed to get the levels up above 7 in order to do a bone marrow biopsy.
We were told by the doctors that the bone marrow can stop producing blood cells for any number of reasons, including cancer. So we hoped that it was any of the other reasons ... but late Monday morning, Dad received the diagnosis of leukemia and this morning it was confirmed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). They hope to be able to tell us a sub-category beyond that today or tomorrow.
So right now the plan is for Dad to be at Avera Health in Sioux Falls for the next 4 weeks. They will put in his port and administer his first does of chemo today. He will have 7 days of straight chemo, so we hope that this will be a relatively good week in regards to handling side effects, because after the chemo is over, it might be harder to handle.
Dad is in good spirits, but we could certainly use all the thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement and laughter you have to give. This is going to be a long road but he is physically strong, we just need to keep him mentally and emotionally strong.