Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Lost Fall

I love the seasons on the East Coast. Just when Summer bakes us a little too long, a crisp wind teases us with the promise of brilliant colors everywhere. Fall is my favorite season. But it's a bittersweet season for me. Whenever I get bad health news, it's always in the Fall. Unfortunately, this year is no exception.

I went for a bone marrow biopsy the day after I returned from my trip to Arizona. I found out late last week that the test did not deliver good results. I am no longer in remission. Dr. Forte sent me for a consult with Dr. Stuart Goldberg, Chief of the Leukemia Division of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center -- the number two rated blood treatment and transplant center in the country. I met with him yesterday, and learned that I will need more chemotherapy to get back into remission before proceeding with a transplant.

Chemotherapy regimens for relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) are complicated. The transplant process is completely mind boggling. By the end of the consultation, my brain hurt. The plan is for me to meet with the transplant doctors next Tuesday, after which I will be admitted to the hospital to begin the chemo treatments. I'll be in the hospital for about a month, and then recover at home until a match is found for the transplant. The transplant process, once I'm in remission again, could take 4-6 months.

This has been a rough week, to say the least. I still can't believe this is happening, after everything I've battled so far. It's like a final surge that one hopes will end the war. I hate to think about going back into battle so soon. And I'm devastated that I'll be on medical leave from work for so long again. Physically, I feel fine, although I know my blood counts are dropping. It's only a matter of time before I would end up in the ER. The foreshadowing of my previous post, The Suitcase, is downright creepy.

Although this will be my biggest fight yet, I've overcome worse obstacles. Fighting cancer has become my thing, my talent. I can't sing, cook or play sports, but I sure can fight cancer! I'd like to fight it in a public service kind of way, not as a patient anymore.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Hug your kids, kiss your parents, goose your spouse and give your pets a big squeeze. If you've always wanted to go somewhere, go. If you've always wanted to do something, do it. Life is too short and it could change drastically in an instant.

If I'm lucky, I might get to see some Fall colors from my isolation room in Hackensack. But if I don't, there's always next year.



No comments:

Post a Comment

If you don't have a Google email account and you don't know which "profile" to choose, select the Anonymous option. If you'd like your name to appear, you may sign your comment. Thank you!