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2/8/2016 Latest post:
Our journey began when Tom was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) in October of 2015. At one time, this was called pre-leukemia. Because Tom had some indicators in his test results we were told it would/could be aggressive and the suggested treatment was chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, pending donor availability. He began several months of conditioning chemo to prepare his body for the procedure - treatment for one week of every month for five consecutive months. Tom was fortunate that he was a match for multiple young, male donors (the Dr. preferred choice) as a few were dismissed for various reasons. Once the donor was lined up and the procedure was a go Tom underwent 4 days of more extensive chemotherapy to kill off the majority of his stem cells. On May 19, 2016 he received his stem cell transplant - quite an anti-climatic procedure after all of the preparation as it was basically an IV infusion into his arm of the donor cells, much like a blood transfusion. The journey really begins on transplant day - Day Zero. Although we hoped to have the entire procedure as an outpatient, problems with fevers and ortho-static blood pressure have required some hospitalizations. We have passed Day 60, the first milestone and are rapidly approaching Day 100 (August 26, 2016) which is the second milestone. This is a year-long process from Day Zero but we are taking it one day at a time.