On August 24th, we received the unfortunate news that our beloved Mike tested positive for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). ALL is a cancer that results in a significant over-production of immature white blood cells ("blasts"). This specific line of cells, which reside almost exclusively in the bone marrow, are incorrectly released into the blood stream, causing havoc and congestion for surrounding healthy blood cells.
- TREATMENT AND LOCATION -
Dad (feels odd calling him Mike, even to Lucy!) is currently undergoing treatment at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN, where he started chemotherapy treatment almost immediately. We (Lucy, Michael, Tyler, Brent, Connor, and Whit) will use this site to provide updates on his health, chemo regimen, and overall prognosis. We are blessed to have some phenomenal hospital staff and physicians caring for Dad; he is already treating a few of them like his own (i.e. plenty of joking around with the occasional tidbit of serious career/coaching advice).
- THE PATH TO A CURE -
Like many forms of cancer, ALL is a serious illness, yet it is treatable and potentially curable with the correct approach. The most significant specific of Dad's form of ALL involves a cellular mutation categorized by the "Philadelphia chromosome." This mutation almost ensures Dad will need a bone marrow transplant once a complete remission is achieved.
Believe it or not, bone marrow matches are rarely found in next-of-kin. Matches are most often found with same-parent siblings or completely unrelated donors. We would certainly appreciate anyone (to the moon and back) willing to have their marrow tested in hopes of matching with Dad. If you aren't entirely comfortable being placed in the public donor bank, you can undergo a private screening to see if you match with a specific patient.
For more info regarding the marrow donation process, please visit www.bethematch.com (careful, not to be confused with match.com). You can direct any questions to us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well.
- THANK YOU! -
While cancer is an unpredictable affair, we are doing our best to be proactive and positive. Finding a match is the next step, but we are trying to take it day by day. Everyone's thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes are very much appreciated.
While Dad would love to have visitors, he should only be in contact with people during certain "gaps" in the treatment schedule. If you wish to visit, please send us an email (email@example.com) and we can work to coordinate the best time for doing so. We need to keep Dad clear of any flus, harmful bacteria, or fungi (sorry, no flowers!) so he can achieve remission quickly.
Thank you so much for the love and support, we will do our best to keep this page up to date. Feel free to share this page link (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaeljmyers
) to anyone that knows and cares for Dad.
- ADDITIONAL READING -
If you are interested in additional disease specifics, Mike's doctors have recommended the following website:http://www.uptodate.com/contents/induction-therapy-for-philadelphia-chromosome-positive-acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-in-adults?source=search_result&search=acute+lymphoblastic+leukemia&selectedTitle=9%7E150
The site above has certainly helped clarify many of our questions and become active participants in the treatment of Dad's illness. Dad's chemo regimen is called "Hyper CVAD"; he takes an additional TKI called Dasatinib to cover the Philadelphia chromosome mutation.