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.)