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On Thursday, July 20th Richard was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). He'd already been in Mercy/Unity hospital in Fridley for a couple of days because his blood platelet count was very low. After doing a bone marrow biopsy, it was discovered he has AML, which is the fastest growing bone marrow cancer. This cancer is through the blood, and there are no "stages" for it.
It's typically treated with intense chemotherapy so Richard started on his 7-day chemo treatment on Saturday, July 22nd. The purpose of the chemo is to wipe out ALL of the cells in the bone marrow - both the bad AND the good cells because Leukemia grows faster than the good/normal cells.
Thankfully Richard did not need to have a port to have the chemo administered. Instead they inserted a PICC line with a double lumen; high level, this means no surgery and he has two tubes feeding into his system (one for chemo, one for other things that can also be used to draw blood). This has been a blessing to be able to use the PICC line for drawing blood since he has so few viable veins to do so in his left arm/hand.
He will continue to stay in the hospital for a few more weeks as his body is fighting infection and to try gain strength and health.
While flowers or plants are not allowed, cards are VERY welcome and are brightening up his room. :)
During this time, visitors are being kept to Jan and Debra to try to minimize the infection levels.