It's weird to write a blog about times when things are bad or hard. Social media as a whole tends to celebrate the high points - adventures, anniversaries, scenic vistas, and milestones - and ignore the uglier parts of life. I know I'm guilty of this for sure.
Sam and I have a lot to be thankful for even in these tough circumstances (that we get to keep our jobs and insurance, that we're here getting treatment with familiar doctors and close to family, that we have incredible friends supporting us, etc.). Still, it would be complete bullsh*t to say that the last couple of weeks hadn't been really, really hard.
After a week in the hospital in Anchorage, an appendectomy, flight to Madison and more tests, last Wednesday Sam was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). This is a form of leukemia that can occur as a result of the treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L.), which is what he had 5 years ago. He was admitted into the hospital last Wednesday evening and will be here for the next 3.5 - 4 weeks as he begins treatment.
Things will change as we see how he responds to treatment, but for now the rough plan is:
Though there are a fair share of ups and downs, so far Sam is doing great. He still has color in his face and hasn't lost much weight. He makes sure to get out for a walk each day (though unfortunately he remains fettered by his IV pole which he has to role around the 6th floor with him), and tries to move around as much as possible (we just played a game of cards while standing. He won.) He preemptively buzzed his hair, though they don't expect it to begin falling out until days 10-11 or so.
This morning he woke up with very low platelets (the cells that help clot your blood) and hemoglobin (the cells that carry oxygen) so he's gotten transfusions for both today. The chemo is definitely setting in and he's feeling more and more tired and nauseous, but like I said, doing great considering. Other than that, so far he's just been putting his head down and dealing with all of this with incredible grace.
Thank you again to everyone who has left us nice notes or who has offered to help. It has meant a lot and it has all been very much appreciated.
Jenny (and Sam)