Day Minus Seven

Today, my dad began his stem cell transplant process.

Okay, I know a bunch of you are all, like, “Wait. What?”

Yeah. So, long-story-short: Dad was diagnosed in April 2015 with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), which is (and this is a lazy definition) kinda like pre-leukemia. He did some chemo, and that helped a bit; but then things progressed to Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). Note: I am intentionally NOT linking to sites that offer additional information on any of this nonsense, because we’ve been told to stay off the Internet.

He did more chemo, and that helped a bit again; but he still needed frequent blood transfusions, and it was clear that things would eventually progress to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). That’s not exactly a terrific diagnosis.

Sidenote: Isn’t it strange how we say diseases “progress”? Getting worse seems like the opposite of progressing, doesn’t it?

So, the best way to fix my dad’s CML before it goes all AML on him is with a stem cell transplant.

I’ll explain more about all of that soon, but what’s important to know for today is that his actual transplant is happening on May 4—otherwise known as Day Zero. That makes today Day Minus Seven.

Tomorrow, remind me to tell you about his donor, what this whole stem cell transplant actually does, and the goofiness I have planned for Day Zero. Mkay? For now, though: Photos. (Click to make ’em bigger if you’d like.)


  1. Teresa Sauer   •  

    I will say prayers for you all. Please take more care of yourself than you think you need. It is bound to be a rollercoaster, and emotionally, physically taxing. Laugh and savor life together. You are a kind and generous daughter. Sending love.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Thank you, Teresa. I am who I am because of my parents.

  2. Betsy Zadorozny   •  

    Teresa said it perfectly – thanks for the updates and would like to stay informed as you and your family are very special.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Betsy, you’re so sweet. I’m hoping to post updates every day. Stay tuned!

  3. Laurie Macrander   •  

    Thoughts and prayers for your Dad, you, your Mom, and the rest of the family. Cherish this time as a family and find strength for him when he can’t. Hugs to all of you.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Thank you so much, Laurie!

  4. Rhonda Cowan   •  

    I will be thinking and praying for your dad and your family, my youngest son Alex had to have a stem cell transplant last year and is doing well. You all take care of yourself and wishes for good results and a fast recovery for your dad.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Jack and I were just talking about Alex! So glad to know he’s doing well, Rhonda. Much love to you!

  5. Carol L Kirkpatrick   •  

    Our prayers are with you!

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Thanks, Carol. It’s so great to have so many people in Dad’s corner!

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