It's been a helluva month since my last update.
I started out worried about something being really seriously wrong with me. My doctor was sending me to a neurologist because of a change in the way I get migraines. Recently some of my migraines have begun to bring some really odd symptoms with them, things like an inability to focus my eyes, dizziness, and numbness in my extremities. It took me a bit to get in to see the neurologist, and when I did the news was terrifying. He sent me to have a head CT because I might have a brain tumor. It took another week to get the CT done and a second week for the doctor to get the full report.
Thankfully, it didn't turn up any abnormalities, but that was probably the scariest week of my life up to that point.
Unfortunately, during that same week, my stepfather ended up going to the hospital for serious back pain. It turned out that he had a crushed vertebrae and something that appeared to be either a lump or a lesion in the tissue near the vertebrae in question. They decided to do a biopsy on whatever it was just to be safe. He also had some blood abnormalities: low blood platelets and some vitamin deficiencies. He got the biopsy results on the same day that I got my CT results. I didn't have cancer but he did. They diagnosed him with lymphoma at that point and referred him to an oncologist who scheduled a few additional tests to verify the diagnosis and figure out which type of lymphoma he actually had.
He was in and out of the hospital during the between the diagnosis and the first set of tests. His blood abnormalities persisted. They gave him platelet infusions and they didn't seem to help significantly. So exactly one week after the lymphoma diagnosis, we got the first hint of what might actually be even worse news. Two days later, which is to say one week ago this past Thursday night, we got confirmation. My stepdad has acute lymphocytic leukemia. They transfered immediately transfered him to the university hospital at Wake Forest for treatment since our hospital wasn't equipped to handle the initial treatment plan for this type of leukemia.
He's going to be in the hospital there at least until after Easter while they put him through his initial rounds of chemotherapy and the other treatments he needs to get started beating this. There is, of course, no cure for it but this type of leukemia can be successfully put into remission if he responds well to the treatment. Unfortunately, there's nothing that we can do except hope and pray that it works. If, for whatever reason, he doesn't respond to the treatment...the disease will kill him.
I've been trying for over a week now to write this here, but writing it...seeing it put into words like this is difficult. I'm not close with my step-dad and I haven't been for a long time. He and I are both too much alike and far too different to see eye to eye on just about anything and so we both tend to keep a careful distance from one another. We have to, otherwise we fight like cats and dogs. Still it's unimaginably painful to know just how bad the situation is and that I can do nothing to help him.