A Long December (updated)

We are gearing up for a long ride! Although Craig responded well to his induction chemo, “remission” is not exactly the state he is in. His Leukemia was aggressive enough that there is a high risk of relapse. Because of this, Craig’s oncologists have decided that he will receive BOTH consolidation chemotherapy AND a stem cell transplant. He will undergo rounds of chemo for 4 months, or less if a match is found for a stem cell donor (it typically takes 3 months to search for a donor, as Rick and Gary have only a 25% chance of matching). When we find a donor, Craig will receive intense doses of chemo preceding the transplant and will need to stay in the hospital for 30 days. After the transplant he will need much rest and care at home for 5-6 months. Prognosis when all is said and done is a 60% chance of survival.
That is the gist of what we learned today- there are many other details that have left our heads spinning, but I will spare you those. I am, however, a master at seeing the good in all things, and I will say, we are not going to focus at all on statistics, we are not going to let fear tear us apart. If anyone has the spirit to push through this, Craig does. We have felt God working through all of the support, care and well-wishes everyone has given to us, from Craig’s nurses and his employees, our families and friends, and even complete strangers. This is what makes life so beautiful.
Love you all,
Kat and Craig
p.s. A lot of people have been asking about how they can be tested as a possible donor match. It is actually pretty costly to be tested specifically for one person (especially with such low chances of being a match). This is why there is a registry with the National Marrow Donor Program(NMDP), to match people who have been tested with people who are in need. Please check out www.marrow.org, to learn more about how you could help through this process. If the national registry is too much of a commitment, but you still would like to help, please condsider donating blood at your local blood drive. Craig has already received several blood and platelet transfusions, and will be getting many more throughout his treatments. This would be a wonderful way to give back and help save someone’s life. Go to www.givelife.org to find out how and where to donate blood!