Epilogue

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Be a bone marrow donor!

Yesterday I wrote in my post “Where Have I Been?” about my child becoming quite ill in October of 2014.  The post was written with the assumption that most of those who would read it already knew how he was doing presently.  Sorry to those who have an interest in this story but were left wondering about his status. For those of you who know the story, you are excused from reading further.  My wonderful spouse has written a much more cogent and readable blog about our experience called Blessings in Disguise. If you have not read the musings of my wife Marianne, I suggest you should!  My purpose here is not to talk about his journey through a medical nightmare, but to try to apply the lessons learned and share the thoughts that streamed through my conscience during his many days in the hospital.  For those that are curious, here is a very brief synopsis of what he has experienced.  He was diagnosed with an undefined immune disorder in which his natural killer cells did not function normally in 2012.  Which means when he gets sick, HE GETS SICK! Not really sick more often, but out for long periods of time when he does get sick with what was usually a bronchial infection or pneumonia.  When he became really ill in October of 2014, he was initially diagnosed with meningitis, but when no infectious agent was found, he was diagnosed with neuro-sarcoidosis.  When the normal treatments to combat sarcoidosis did not make him better, further investigation found a MAC infection in his lung.  Which came first?  The MAC infection or sarcoidosis?  We will never know.  He responded well to treatment of the MAC infection.  He felt good enough to finish his senior year and give a speech at commencement while graduating with highest honors.  In the Fall of 2015, he started school at one of the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate engineering schools.  He was able to complete one quarter of his freshman year.  On the third day of the second quarter he called and said he could not catch his breath, and walking anywhere was next to impossible because he was so fatigued.  He was admitted to the hospital and after several weeks of medical testing, he was diagnosed with AML Leukemia.  He was given a round of chemotherapy to put it in remission.  The team treating him scheduled a bone marrow transplant to generate a “new and healthy” immune system.  The transplant was three months ago.  He is home now, recovering from the transplant and the effects of the chemotherapy that was used to “kill” his defective immune system.  The good news is that he is (knock on wood) making progress towards recovery.  He has good days and bad but his recovery looks very good according to the doctors.  We have hope! (next….I promise I will start talking about the kinds of lessons that can be taken from an experience like this!)

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