We finally heard from Dr. P with my latest bone marrow biopsy results. It was not good news. I have severe Aplastic Anemia, which means my bone marrow has failed. Once again, I’ve been given a rare diagnosis, with approximately 2 to 3 Americans in every 1,000,000 having received it. WHAT??? I was always told I was ONE in a million! I guess that was all a bunch of bullsh*t!
Aplastic Anemia is a nasty little disease with some potentially serious outcomes:
So, I have basically made it to the Big Leagues! An extended stay at City of Hope!
The plan is for me to check into City of Hope on Thursday or Friday afternoon for at least a week’s stay to get a 4-5 day treatment called ATG (Antithymocyte Globulin). ATG consists of antibodies that come from either rabbits or horses. I will be receiving the horse version, which I really think is superior. I think a mane and tail is BAD ASS compared to lame bunny ears and a cotton ball. Yes, you read correctly, I will be receiving equine antibodies– as in Mr. Ed, who is a horse, of course. I’m really hoping my donor is related to Traveler and is not an ass. ATG will hopefully target my misbehaving T-cells, which are attacking my bone marrow and not allowing it to produce white cells, red cells or platelets. It is known as the “Shake & Bake” drug, because it causes very high fevers, nausea, vomiting and uncontrollable tremors.
ATG has done well against Aplastic Anemia, and we’re hoping for the best. I have a strong suspicion, though, that I will be back for a bone marrow transplant, which, if successful, can be a total cure. My brother, Leason, will be tested soon to see if he is a match, if he hasn’t fled the country by then.
I will be in the immune-compromised area of the hospital, with vitals and blood taken every 4 hours to keep a close eye on any potential side effects or rejection reactions. So, basically, the Haz Mat Team will be busting into my room round the clock sporting masks, gloves and gowns, with thermometers, BP cuffs and needles drawn. I’m told I will have to jump on a f-ing scale each time as well. I have Todd all teed up to smuggle La Paloma burritos into my room… which I guess with the scale thing might be a bust?!
My bone marrow gets a grade of ‘F’ – and you know how much I love that particular letter 🙂