Sometimes life just punches you in the face

Sep 14

It has been a while since I have written. That’s because I got punched in the face in the figurative sense last month. My father has been feeling bad for quite some time. His doctor ran some additional blood work and thought that he had Leukemia so she ordered a bone marrow biopsy. I flew out for that and it was extremely painful for him – it took them three tries to get the sample. Turns out he doesn’t have Leukemia. We took him to the Cleveland Clinic (CC) for a second opinion and to see if there are any treatments that might not be available through his doctor in Ky. Eventually we learned that he has myeloproliferative AND myelodsyplatstic disorder due to several gene/chromosome abnormalities. Both are very rare so its is extremely rare to have both together. Basically, the stem cells in the bone marrow go haywire and mutate when they divide and then they start dividing rapidly and filling the marrow with bad cells which doesn’t leave room for good cells. Eventually all the counts – red, white and platelets drop because the marrow is full of immature/undeveloped cells rather than mature quality blood cells. Ultimately is is fatal. His doctor at home gave him a prognosis of 4 to 6 months with that being “optimistic” because his white blood count is so low he has virtually no immune system. The CC Docs have some medicine for him to try that has had a fairly good success rate with people with one of the disorders. We are hopeful but concerned that we may have waited too long to go the CC. While he is taking this medication he will need to go to Cleveland every two weeks to get checked. In addition, he will get worse before he gets better and may end up having to have blood transfusions every week for a period of time. It is very scary. He lives alone and cannot be moved to Denver because the high altitude will make things worse for him. Maybe if the medicine works and there is improvement we can get him out to Colorado. So for now I am flying back and forth to Kentucky and driving back and forth to Cleveland – with the help of my brother.

So today I am exhausted. I flew out of Louisville this morning at 6am and my oldest daughter sent me 3 text messages in the middle of the night (2am) which woke me up because she wasn’t feeling well. Something just seems to be haywire in that everyone needs more of me than I can give these days.

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