Update: 9/11/19

This was supposed to be week of peacefully laying low while we wait for the results of my cancer re-staging. However, once again we find ourselves in the middle of a medical crisis, the fourth such problem since I’ve been home.

About five weeks ago, for reasons we still don’t know, my bone marrow just stopped making red blood cells. I became quite anemic and had to have two units of blood just to function. That helped, but since then I’ve been quite anemic, which greatly constrains me and makes it very hard to exercise to recover or even to function.

Image result for cancer cartoons

Yesterday, with a routine blood test to follow the anemia, has discovered that the anemia is a little worse, my kidney function is a worse (after improvement last week), but the new crisis is that my bone marrow seems now to have stopped making white blood cells. My absolute absolute neutrophil count (one of the best measurements of white blood cells) has dropped from 2400 two weeks ago, to just 200 yesterday. This is considered an extreme low count and very dangerous.

The great frustration is that neither the dropping red blood cells nor the dropping white blood cells are a typical complication of a stem cell transplant. We don’t know why this is happening to me. While the low red blood cells greatly influence my quality of life this sudden and severe drop in white blood cells makes me very vulnerable to overwhelming and potentially fatal infections. To complicate matters, my hematologist is leaving town for ten days after tomorrow. We did do a bone marrow biopsy yesterday, which may shed some light on the why but I may not know the results for two weeks, if I don’t get into serious infectious problems by then.

There are days, like today, where I feel it must not be my destiny to survive this cancer. I have worked so  hard, only to have my efforts erased by unforeseen and even bizarre complications. I do want to live. I want to keep fighting but sometimes you become so mentally fatigued that you just want to give up. Denise and I both need some kind of break in this nightmare that never seems to end.

Please pray that these cells would be produced again and that this problem will be solved.


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16 responses to “Update: 9/11/19”

  1. In my prayers daily and more often. Your blog means so much to me as do you. Keep eating healthy for fuel. I’m here just a phone call away ❤️EffieJo


  2. None of my words will produce white blood cells for you but know that my heart and prayers are with you and Denise for this urgent turn of events.


  3. So sorry to hear it must be exhausting. Will pray for strength and that your white and red blood cells get their butts in gear and do their thing for you


  4. Prayers and thoughts and love coming your way! Your family needs you in our lives. I’m counting on our Mother to get you another miracle and quit trying to get everyone in the family in heaven with her! You GOT this Bro….you are a fighter no matter how hard the fight. You have come so far!! Together we will get you healthy again! Sis


  5. I am praying hard for you Mike..praying for that turn around!! I’m also praying for you mentally, as we all know how hard you have been fighting to beat this. If praying is all that is left, because you’ve certainly done your best to choose options that will increase survival (free will) then I am praying strongly that God has mercy on you. I don’t believe everything is predetermined as that makes zero sense to me. We aren’t robots. So many things I don’t understand but I try hard to hold onto my faith in God. I will add in that I will hold onto my faith in you. Although you are extremely frustrated and exhausted from all of this, I have faith that your resolve is stronger and you will continue with a fight in your heart. I’m so sorry you and your family are at this point..I pray daily for you all!


  6. Really don’t know what to say, except that I’m still rooting for you, Mike…I carefully read every post, though I don’t comment on most.

    Just learned last night one of my earliest acquaintances from church here has discreetly been getting chemo for several months for MDS, and is getting a donor stem cell transplant in a couple weeks. What an awful scourge this disease is!


    • My brother has MDS and has probably suffered more than me. He was scheduled for a stem cell transplant but got very sick prior to it and it was put on hold. I talked to him yesterday and now they don’t think he is going to need it. But he has been very ill through this whole thing.


  7. Mike I have never taken you off my prayer list but now I have a specific item to pray about. I always include Denise as well. We had our first session of Cancer Companion and I kept looking for your physical presence but you were there spiritually. Nice to hear your voice on Sunday.


  8. Praying for a break…. literally, God knows you need one.

    Hang in Mike. Hoping for good news.

    Ann Ann Hutchinson Meyers, Ph.D. Annmeyers@gmail.com 210-213-0320

    “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson



  9. Mike, I’ve been following you on this harrowing journey. I’m sorry for all the disheartening setbacks. I will continue to keep you and Denise in my prayers.


  10. Hi Mike,
    I spent today with Sandy and she shared with me your unfortunate journey with cancer. I wanted to reach out and let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I cannot imagine how terrible this must be for you , Denise and your family. Prayers for strength to endure, for positive news, God’s healing grace and faith.
    Take care best you can and know we are all praying. Love, Ann


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