Tracy and Her Dad’s Stories
By: Author Unknown
They are not both leukemia patients…learn how she conquered cancer and her father defied the odds…a great story of hope!
In 2006, I lost my job and life seemed hopeless, but in August of 2006, I finally found my soul mate. By the start of 2007, I had found my dream job, was engaged to my best friend and thought nothing could ever go bad. In February I had my yearly exam and they found abnormal cell growths.
After two surgeries, they diagnosed me with Squamous cell carcinoma T1a1 stage 2 on March 28. The doctors thought a radical hysterectomy would take care of it and we finally set a date for May 9th. I was fired from my job on May 3rd because I was still on probation(for the job) and they could not let me have the time off. Well, I had the surgery and by September of 2007, I was listed as being in remission and all has gone well since then.
I thought all cancer worries were over until Easter weekend of 2008. My Dad hadn’t been feeling well and my Mother took him to the emergency room. They discovered his blood counts were very low and admitted him to run more test. After about a week they gave him the diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia and set him up with an oncologist. He was home just a few days when he felt so bad that my mom took him back to the ER. He was again hospitalize and more test run. On March 28,2008(one year after my diagnosis) my dad was told he had Acute Mylogenic Leukemia(M2). He took the news very well. He said at least he now had a name for why he felt so bad and a chance to fight it. His doctor ask him to try a new clinical trial med and he agreed. He was put in the hospital and before they could start the treatment, his blood counts took a drastic drop. His doctor told him he had been dropped from the trial because he would not live long enough to finish it. They gave him less than 3 weeks to live.
At this point, Dad asked what his options were and was told he probably would not survive the first week of chemo because it was such a heavy dose and that he should go home and make the best of the time he had left. He then proceeded to tell the doctor(in a very colorful way) that he was not ready to die and wanted to start the chemo. The doctor felt the need to remind him, he would probably not survive it and Dad, again in his colorful way, told him he was not going to die in the hospital.
Well, they started a three day double push of chemo and then another week of chemo. Dads counts dropped to almost nothing during this time. Once the chemo was done they started the T-cell treatments to boost his cell production. Within a week his counts had started to come up and they sent him home. He was only home for 2 days when his counts started dropping again. They put him back in the hospital for another round of T-cell treatments and were amazed at how well he reacted to them. They ran another bone marrow test on him and found the leukemia cells had dropped from 97% to just under 6% and his body had started forming new cells.
They have determined that Dad will never go into remission but with regular chemo treatments he will be able to live a quality life for as long as his body will hold up. He is now having chemo every 8 weeks and usually only has a few bad days at the end. He has been helping my brother build a race car, planting a garden and for the first time in about 5 years, he has started driving again. He has recently celebrated his 45th anniversary with my mother, his 72nd birthday and is looking forward to the birth of his first great granddaughter in March.
This man has been a real inspiration to all of us that know and love him. He refused to give up even when the doctors felt there was no hope. His doctor has also ask him if he could write a paper on his recovery. Dad of course has agreed.