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6/12/2016 Latest post:
Stephen was noted to have mild anemia in 2011. This did not respond to replacement of testosterone. The B12, iron and folate were within normal limits so a bone marrow aspiration/biopsy was done on 03/25/2011. This showed some left shifted myeloid maturation and a few dysplastic erythroid cells. Blasts were less than 5% and a myelodysplastic syndrome FISH panel was normal. He was then followed more closely and was found to have developed pancytopenia. A new bone marrow aspiration/biopsy was done on 3/22/2016. This one showed 8% blasts on flow cytometry and 5% by morphology with a slightly hypercellular marrow. The myelodysplastic syndrome FISH panel again was normal but a molecular genetic panel showed 4 somatic mutations. Stephen was then diagnosed with MDS, a form of blood cancer, which left untreated will progress to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The current treatment for MDS is chemotherapy or immunotherapy medicines which will only keep it in check or a stem cell transplant which is a potential cure. Stephen was diagnosed with advanced disease and his lab work was projected to get exponentially worse so his doctors suggested a stem cell transplant. Thankfully, Stephen's older brother was a perfect match. He was admitted to the hospital on 9/2/2016 with the transplant completed on 9/8/2016. You can follow along here to keep up to date with how he's doing and what's happening. It will be much easier than answering individual texts and messages. Thank you everyone for all your support.