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After ignoring symptoms of fatigue for 2-3 years, Nurse Brenda told Steve he needed to go to the doctor last spring. Steve was then diagnosed with MDS Leukemia. The first treatments he received were meant to encourage the production of hemoglobin. The hemoglobin did not feel enough encouragement to produce much. In September they started a monthly regimen of chemotherapy, which has provided a much more encouraging environment for the hemoglobin. Thus, more hemoglobin, more energy, more smiles, and a closer-to-normal everyday lifestyle.
Steve's oncologist helped us understand that the only cure for his condition is a bone marrow transplant, and that it is important to begin this process while in the best possible health. Given that he has reasonably good health, now is the time to do it, with the idea that he will experience fewer complications and an easier road to recovery.
The exact plan will be determined after he has an additional bone marrow biopsy on May 11th, but we know that Steve will check into UNMC-Omaha on May 17th to begin the process of chemotherapy, leaving a blank slate for the new, healthy cells to start up. 6 days later he will receive the bone marrow transplant provided by our unknown hero, the donor.
We truly appreciate all the care given to Steve by all the nurses, staff, and Dr. Salamat at Stormont Cancer Center. We are grateful for the support and prayers that we have received from so many friends and family. It has lightened the load of our burden, and is comforting to know that we are not alone on this foreboding journey.
Our unknown hero, the bone marrow donor, offered his or her marrow to save the life of a perfect stranger. We encourage you to go to http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/site/TR/TBTM/Foundation?px=4892859&pg=personal&fr_id=4123
or try www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/stevemartin
and offer to be a donor ( but you have to be younger than 45), or provide financial support so they can continue providing their amazing service of matching donors to those who need their life-saving gifts.
We also really want to stress that if you are feeling tired and lack the energy to enjoy your normal lifestyle, it is not necessarily a sign you are getting older. Regular visits with a doctor have benefits.