The confirmation came within a few weeks of my husbands bone marrow biopsy. He has stage 1 Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. It’s an extremely rare form of cancer, typically only found in much older individuals. What can I say, my husband is definitely a rare one!
Ten years ago this diagnosis would have been a death sentence. There was simply no way to treat it, only to comfort the patient as much as possible while they slowly but surely withered away. Fortunately, medicine has made significant improvements in the past ten years and although there is no cure, they can slow it down to the point where it is feasible to hope that he lives out a full and active life.
We were quickly referred to the nearest cancer center and my husband began his oral chemotherapy treatments. The first week was a difficult one as his body adapted to this new drug coursing through its system, but after a short time he began to feel better and we had great hope that he was improving.
At his next appointment at the cancer center we all believed that his blood counts would be lower and that his body had been responding well to the treatments. We were stunned when the results of his blood work came back. All of his numbers were at or only a very small degree from perfectly normal. He was doing better than ever!
It’s been a month or so since then. The symptoms he had that first led to the diagnosis are slowly returning and in the back of my mind I attempt to deny the fear that his body stopped responding to treatments. I hold my breath anxiously awaiting his next appointment, all the while continuing on as though nothing has ever changed. In reality, everything was changing….