David and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary this September 12th. We have two beautiful, brave and supportive daughters. Victoria is 19 and Olivia is 16. They are both doing a wonderful job looking out for one another while we both are away. Victoria has decided to transfer from Ball State to USI this fall to help at home during this time. Olivia will start her Junior year at Memorial High School this year. I don't know what I would do without their support. I think our dog Lola is giving them the support they need at home :).
A few years ago, David had to have an umbilical hernia repaired and at that point he was diagnosed with what his doctor called Type 3 diabetes--he said a virus attacked his pancreas impairing insulin release. He has been well controlled since then on metformin and once daily Lantus insulin. He had also been running for a while and was up to 10 miles. We were planning on training as a family for the half-marathon this fall, of course those plans changed.
David was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia) on March 14th this year. He had been feeling fatigued with wheezing and shortness of breath with minimal activity since January/February of the same year. He went back and forth to the doctor and was diagnosed with many things such as anemia, allergic reaction to Lisinopril, insulin resistance, and asthma to name a few. It wasn't until we questioned his abnormal WBC (white blood cells) on his labs from his ER visit on 03/04/2016, that we were brought in and given the diagnosis. I had taken him to the ED thinking he was having a heart attack. He had taken a shower and became very short of breath--his color was gray. When we arrived, they checked heart, lungs and ran various labs. All of those tests were normal (other than CBC) and they sent us home with a diagnosis with anemia because his hemoglobin was low. We went in for a f/up with his doctor on 03/07/2016 who was still convinced his problems were caused by an allergic reaction to Lisinopril which made no sense because he had taken this medication for high blood pressure for many years. They did not mention the abnormal WBCs on the CBC (complete blood count). Thank God for My Chart, because it was later that week that I noticed after scrolling all the way to the bottom of his lab results to see in the notes: 45.2 abnormal WBC--his actual WBC were normal. Being a nurse, I immediately thought Leukemia. He was not getting any better. I did not mention Leukemia to Dave so not to freak him out. We then messaged the doctor to ask his interpretation of the abnormal WBC. We were then asked to come in for more labs and a bone marrow biopsy to confirm our suspicions. Unfortunately, he has the type of AML that has a FLT3 genetic mutation that only a bone marrow transplant can cure.
He had to endure induction chemo and was in the hospital for more than 30 days but handled it like a trooper--only had a few bad days with high fever and nausea. He was now considered in remission (not cured) after the follow up biopsy. He then was released for a couple of weeks to regain strength before we went back in for consolidation chemo. We consulted with the wonderful doctors of the Simon Cancer Center at IU in Indy. They told us that with his type of AML, it had a 95% chance of returning within 6-18 months of remission. Our only option for possible cure was a stem cell transplant (same as bone marrow). His brother Paul was not a match and there were no 10/10 matches on the registry. We did have a 9/10 match possibility, but our doctors were not thrilled with that option due to high risk of rejection. We were given the opportunity to participate in the umbilical cord stem cell transplant study.
This is where we are now in hopes this will give him the second chance at life.
My friend and co-worker, Jana Cearlock, has designed some t-shirts to help support David. If you would like to order any of the shirts "Tough as Nails--Wheatley Warriors" just message her directly on Facebook. She will keep this next order open until 07/30/2016. We can get the shirts to the Louisville/Mt.Washington area for those living out of town. Some of our Memorial Girl's Golf friends are organizing a golf scramble to help support David that will take place at Eagle Valley sometime in September--details to follow as they become available.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13