So it seems I have been given some bad news recently. After almost two weeks of feeling terrible with muscle pain, sore throat, nights sweats, and loss of appetite, and sucking it all up and continuing to work and somewhat go about my life, I decided to visit a doctor. Something definitely was not right. I felt so worn out and beat up at the end of the night that I imagined that was how somebody with a severe illness must feel. But I kept going. I felt I could get over it, but it started to get worse.
I went to the Family Clinic in New York near Union Square on July 24, 2012, and was put under treatment of a wonderful, caring doctor. He took his time with me and asked all the right questions. Based on the symptoms, he thought I had mono, yet upon further review of the blood work, he suspected something else. I received a call the next day asking me to return, and did so on July 26th. The test showed Leukemia, and so did the retest. I was sent to Roosevelt hospital to see a specialist and was told the same thing. All along I kept my cool, rolling with the punches as I do so well. I returned to Roosevelt later that night after stopping home to begin my 30 day stay in the hospital. The next day I was started on chemotherapy and will be on it for seven days straight.
I had little time to think and little time to prepare but they insisted I come back immediately for I had no immune system and was extremely at risk of contracting some other illness. This AML, or acute myeloid leukemia, was causing some real ruckus inside of me. So I started to think. I have a cancer in my system. I have been exercising more than and eating better than anyone else I know for quite some time now. So how the hell did this happen? The common, simple answer being nobody knows.
As I look more into this cancer that is attacking my bone marrow I have found some interesting facts.
-AML is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults
-its incidence is expected to increase as the population ages
-AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated
-First-line treatment of AML consists primarily of chemo…
Wait, what? Fatal? So this is supposed to be it? If not for modern medicine I would be punching out at 27? Maybe 28 if I made it to October? Wow. How does a person deal with that?
Well, that person has a couple options. For me, I am determined to beat this demon inside of me down to nothing. With the help of modern medicine this will become but a memory. And with the support of so many wonderful friends and family members, it will be a good memory.
So what is next? Where will this take me? Who the hell knows. I am just gonna take this one day at a damnass time and figure it out when I get there. Afterall, I am still early in this battle, and first need to climb this hurdle before I consider the next.
P.S. I have been fortunate enough to receive support from friends and family in many ways including the creation of a fundraising website to help cover costs incurred during my stay at The Roosevelt: fundly.com/budburdickisvegstrong