2nd Re-Birthday

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I am taking a quick moment to update you on my battle with leukemia and my recovery from a stem-cell transplant. I state the words “quick moment” and that’s a good thing. It’s not to gloss over anything that I went through or that others are going through, but to state emphatically that I am better, I am healthy and I am strong. I literally have no news to share, and in this case no news truly is good news.

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One Year Ago…

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A year ago, on May 19, I received a phone call at around 4:40 that would change my life. It was Friday of the long weekend and Dr. Crump from Princess Margaret called. He had been monitoring my blood for two years because early on they thought I had lymphoma, but when that was ruled out they just monitored until something changed. I remember Avery answered, and it had to be the first or second time she ever answered the phone. When she handed it to me and I heard Dr. Crump’s voice, that feeling of dread and fear welled up right away. Why would one of the most esteemed lymphoma specialists in the world call me personally? Let’s just say that I knew it wasn’t to wish me a happy long weekend.

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Discharged! (Part 2)

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On Day +17 the doctor lifted isolation. Of course, on Day +15 my wife was sick and we couldn’t risk her bringing the kids to the hospital to see me (outside of my wing, of course, since the kids aren’t allowed in that wing of the hospital). But she was better the next day, and we gave it another day to be sure it was completely gone and not contagious, she brought the kids to the hospital on Day +18, a Sunday. We had a great reunion! Amazing hugs. And a really fun time in the 14th floor lounge that we pretty much had to ourselves.

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Discharged (Part 1)

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After 35 days in the hospital I was finally discharged. The bone marrow took that long to wake up, and in fact hadn’t really awakened at all. But the doctor determined that enough signs were there to indicate that a “wake up” was happening soon and he felt that I needed to be home for at least a few days before going back in for my stem cell transplant. So he cut me loose, despite my neutraphyls being just .08 and white blood cells at .04. My hemoglobins were at 78 and because I was being sent home he gave me a blood transfusion (normally we get these if hemoglobin gets below 75).

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