Monday, November 17, 2014 – 1 Year after Leukemia diagnosis – Pre-transplant
Today is a very special day. It’s Kevin’s 1 year Cancerversary and we celebrate that he has made it! While November 17, 2013, was one of the most devastating days we have EVER had to face, we realize that it could have been so much worse. The fact that Kevin was diagnosed with a White Blood Cell Count of 414,000 and did not die of a heart attack or stroke is nothing less than a miracle. His blood was as thick as tomato soup. So thick that they couldn’t even take his blood with a needle. What they had to do to him that night could be compared to a scene in a horror movie. I won’t rehash the tragic events that took place in that emergency room, but for hours Kevin was sure he was going to die. Thankfully after high dose chemotherapy and 2 emergency surgeries, the words, “you have a rare leukemia” didn’t seem like a death sentence anymore. Then we were told that there are TKI Chemotherapy treatments that 90% of patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) respond well to and Kevin shouldn’t need a Bone Marrow Transplant, it became survivable. We were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
If you have followed our “Bloody Awesome Journey” you will know that unfortunately Kevin was not one of the 90%. Over the last year, he has tried 3 different TKI Chemotherapy treatments and a year later he remains at diagnostic levels. His last bone marrow biopsy revealed a resistance factor called the Double Philadelphia Chromosome. It also showed that his CML is transitioning to a more aggressive phase. Therefore, he does need a Bone Marrow Transplant.
Kevin’s strength and courage throughout this last year have been incredible and remarkable, despite his physical, emotional and mental suffering. And let me tell you, he has suffered every. single. day. I know with a lot of cancer, treatment is hard, but the patient gets better and many are even cured. This is not the case with Kevin. There has not been ONE day since his diagnosis that he has not suffered, sometimes severely from the leukemia and the debilitating side effects of the Chemotherapy treatments. It’s a blood and bone marrow cancer and it pretty much affects every fibre of his being. He is truly a force to be reckoned with.
On top of the physical suffering, – the waiting, worrying and disappointment have taken a toll on him mentally and emotionally. It has taken a toll on everyone who loves him.
It’s been a year of watching a very special man, son, brother, husband, step-father, nephew, cousin and friend senslessly suffer physically, emotionally and mentally.
It’s been a year of hanging on to our very last shred of sanity for dear life while we ride the cancercoaster of waiting, worrying, panicking and waiting some more.
It’s been a year of hoping for the best, but bracing ourselves for the worst.
It’s been a year of gathering every ounce of strength we can find to overcome so much seemingly insurmountable tragedy, adversity and exhaustion.
It’s been a year of appointments, blood tests and bone marrow biopsies.
It’s been a year of waiting anxiously to hear “The treatment is working!” and never hearing it.
It’s been a year of Google and Support Group research and trying to understand a rare and unforgiving beast of a cancer.
It’s been a year of learning that you don’t want to ever be this deep in the health care system because as good as we have it here in Canada, it’s a scary place to be. If it comes down to money and your life, money can determine whether you live or die. That’s the reality.
It’s been a year of receiving amazing support from family and friends.
It’s been a year of realizing what is TRULY important in this life and cherishing it.
It’s been a year of incredible strength and courage.
The days get a little bit harder and scarier as he approaches the Bone Marrow Transplant, but we will continue to focus on the positive, laugh and make the best of each day and all of the blessings that come with it. For the last year, our life has been controlled by this cancer and it will continue to be for some time. Some things in life are beyond our control, but what we can control (for the most part) is our attitude about the things we can’t control. The mind is powerful.
We couldn’t be as strong as we are without your incredible support! That’s something only you can control and you have no idea how much we appreciate it! Words aren’t enough. <3
Thanks for stopping by!
Don’t forget to check out our 2nd Bloody Awesome Auction (You will be directed to our facebook group) All proceeds will help us pay for the second set of living expenses we will need to pay for when we go to Ottawa for Kevin’s Bone Marrow Transplant for 4 months.