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Michael was feeling tired and "under the weather" for a little too long, so after multiple visits to his primary care doctor and the urgent care doctor, he requested blood work to see what was going on. His blood work came back with his white blood cell count abnormally high, so he was immediately referred to a hematologist, who sent him directly to the hospital. This all happened on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and yes, the turkey was even left in the oven!
We were initially given the diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and we are still waiting for the results of his initial bone marrow biopsy. The results will probably not change the diagnosis much, but will give us a better idea of the prognosis and treatment plan.
At the University of Maryland, Michael's white blood cell count was dangerously high, so they used a special machine to "strain" out the sick, useless white blood cells. Even though he had a ton of white blood cells, none of them were working. The doctor explained that these redundant cells are sticky and can "clog" up his blood and affect his organs, and Michael's lungs, liver and kidneys were already being affected. He was transferred to the ICU because his lungs were compromised, but he is now back on the cancer floor. He started chemotherapy and that will help to keep the bad white blood cells down, to keep his body healthy and ready to fight.
We have been impressed with his team of doctors and he is receiving excellent care. Michael has a great attitude! As you may have guessed, he has been joking and entertaining everyone with his signature humor. He is getting ready to start his fifth day of chemo, and so far is feeling "not too bad." He was able to drink a raspberry cafe mocha (his favorite!) and a few bites of Cherry Garcia ice cream.
Although we didn't have a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, we (including Michael) still have a lot to be thankful about. We are thankful for all the good we have had, and for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family. We will keep everyone posted the best we can. We hope all of you reading this and your loved ones are well.