Health is fleeting

In December I wrote a couple posts about my brother, Peter. He was suddenly diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 50. He received 14 days of straight chemotherapy and was in the hospital for nearly six weeks. Tests came back with a positive result, or so we thought. The last we saw him, Peter said that the chemo had done the trick. He had lost nearly 40 pounds and was very weak. They sent him home about two weeks after the chemo treatments. We were traveling in Japan at the time. Recently we have been traveling again but have been getting bits of information from my father. Peter was feeling worse and had gone back to the hospital for more tests, but was not kept overnight. They informed Peter that they needed to start up the chemo treatments again. Apparently the original positive results were not conclusive and later tests showed the leukemia was not fully in remission. After a few more weeks have passed, we received information from my father yesterday, that Peter will now be sent to a different hospital for a stem cell transplant, or bone marrow transplant. He will be in another hospital, which is actually only a couple miles from our house (and none of my husband’s ex-affair partners work there, that I know of) for approximately four weeks. There is a 40% chance of success with the transplant. I am not sure at this point if the transplant is still working on the leukemia, or replacing other cells that were damaged in the chemotherapy process. After the procedure, he will go stay with my parents for a few weeks and await further maintenance chemotherapy treatment. Not sure when he finds out whether the transplant was successful. I am so saddened by the news that my brother is enduring even more pain. This is certainly another wake up call to me that I need to deal with the health issues I have some control over, because health is fleeting… and life is short.

7 thoughts on “Health is fleeting

  1. I’m so sad to hear about your brother. My husband also had a stem cell transplant to treat leukemia. It’s such a challenging thing to go through in so many ways and takes a serious toll on all involved – patients and caregivers. I wish the best to you and your entire family in all this.

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  2. I am so sorry about your brother. He is certainly enduring a great deal. He will be in my thoughts and prayers. I live with chronic pain and it certainly puts it into perspective when I hear stories like your brothers. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Hang in there, Kat. I wish you all the best for Peter. I know that heartbreak. A dear friend of mine, 44, mother of three kids just 12 years old and down died last June. Also leukemia. Also had completely beaten it about a year before we lost her. She had floqn to LA for drug trials when they couldn’t stabilise her bloods long enough for bone marrow. Her husband and children went too. He was a match and desperate to donate. Sadly she died in LA. Insidious disease. May your brother be in that 40% xxx.

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    • That is such a sad story. I think I did get to the point in your blog where you discuss your friend. I hope my brother is able to beat it, but he is just still so sick. It is one of those shocking things that you never even thought could happen. Ironically, it is his father (my step father of 45+ years) who is dying from prostate cancer. Father is still going strong and the drugs are so far working to keep him going, even shrunk the cancer in his spine so that it is undetectable. We always say, he is the healthiest sick person we know. Another spot showed up on a scan but they are going to verify that it is cancer and then radiate it. His PSA is still very low. It would be so heartbreaking to have his son pass before him. Life can be so unfair.

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