Joe Kusar

First post: Oct 10, 2018 Latest post: May 25, 2019
In late September 2018, Joe was diagnosed with myelodysplastic disorder (MDS) at MD Anderson in Houston, TX.  MDS is a type of cancer that involves abnormalities in the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow.  MDS is rare and most common in the elderly.  If left untreated, MDS will progress to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The only known cure is stem cell transplantation, yet because of factors such as a patient’s advanced age, general health and lack of a donor match, many patients are not candidates for transplantation.  

Joe, HOWEVER, is a stud, a fighter and a survivor.  Besides having so much to fight for—two extraordinary and astonishing children, a tremendously supportive and unyielding family, friends with immeasurable compassion and generosity, and, of course, an incredibly stunning wife --Joe has much going for him healthwise that makes him a great candidate for transplantation.

Although, as we are quickly learning, transplantation and the path to transplantation isn’t pretty.  

At this point, it looks as though Joe and I will return to Houston for 4-6 weeks of chemotherapy with the goal of getting Joe healthy and into remission.  After his first round of therapy we will return to Durango for several weeks to allow Joe’s body to continue gaining strength.  Assuming we have a donor match or Joe’s own stem cells can be harvested for transplantation, we return to Houston for transplantation.  Transplant will begin with several days of intense chemotherapy with the goal of killing all of his existing bone marrow. Afterwards he will receive the transplant and be in inpatient, isolation at MD Anderson.  After a period of time, Joe will be treated as an outpatient, but he will need to remain in Houston and live somewhere protected from the coming and goings of people and the germs they may bring in.

During all of this, Cole and Tatum will remain in Durango, in our house, and be cared for by my amazing in-laws and my mother.  When possible, the boys will visit Houston and I will come home for short periods of time.  We recognize that this will be extraordinarily difficult for our children so please keep them in your prayers and give them a little extra love.

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