Thursday, March 27, 2008

The News So Far... I've not been posting a lot lately, I'm sorry about that... The blog has always been a good escape for me. But I've made a goal this year not to sit mindlessly in front of the computer. I've re-joined my gym trying helplessly to get back into some sort of shape that doesn't resemble an Troll Doll.

But I felt like I had to keep some of my regular readers and friends up on what's been going on with my brother. If you remember in October I went through the process of being a stem cell donor for my brother. You can read the full post HERE.

After the procedure the doctors were extremely hopeful. His white blood cell counts went way up. Practically back to where they were before he was diagnosed. After the procedure he was put in isolation for 120 days - November until the end of March. I called him every week and really the worst part about it for him was the boredom. He'd say: "I've nothing to talk about, unless you want to know what happened on Judge Judy today..."

Two months ago I was on the El coming home from a dinner, when he called excitedly to tell me that the DNA test came back 100% and that my DNA had taken over his bone marrow and was producing white blood cels. He said that he was feeling better than he had in a long time. We both couldn't believe that this process had worked so well. Well... well...well...

Things have taken a drastic and fast turn for the bad. Three weeks ago he had a bone marrow test, which would show how many of my cells were producing in his marrow. The test came back at 93%. Now I guess for a math test that's a good score, but for a bone marrow test, it's not so good. The small amount of error has allowed the return of the Leukemia. I'm sure hearing this from the doctor has completely disseminated my brother's will to go on.

Within 3 weeks he's gone from hopeful to just waiting to die. I can't imagine what this must be for him after being isolated for that long waiting to go back to some order of a normal life to have it snatched away. As per my steely brother he just asked the doctor "When is the expiration date..." and he wanted to know if he could come to Easter at my parents to 'say goodbye'... His immune system is so weak that the doctor of course put the kabash on that.

This week he started back on chemo. The plan now is to kill off his immune system again him the 2nd bag of my stem cells. He had his first shot of chemo and within an hour of it had completely collapsed in his house. He is now in the cardiac unit because his blood pressure is so low. I have a feeling he's given up. I'd probably have the same feeling has him in the same situation.

So anyway, I had hoped to start a new series of blog posts starting with the great news of my brother's recovery, but I think that this is going to be a very gloomy spring.

I'll probably be posting the odd YouTube link or funny article for a while. But I wanted everyone who were regular readers to know why things may have seemed a little distant and scattered lately.

Best to all...

12 comments:

margmor said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I don't know if you're the kind of guy that minds being prayed for, but if you don't mind, I will, for you and your brother and your whole family. Thanks for the work you do on this blog, it has been a fun place to hang out! God bless.

Johnny C said...

I don't mind at all. I think we are all like cyber neighbors; so I'd welcome and thank your prayers.

BC said...

Johnny, I'm so sorry to hear this news about your brother. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. You're both in my prayers, too.

ELLERY said...

Mr. Johnny Cat:
I am sorry to hear about your brother's illness. I will pray for him and your family. Please do not worry about your blogging. Everyone who reads it will still be here when you feel like blogging, and will be here to cheer you up as best as we can. Take your time, do what you want and need to do.

Aaron said...

Johnny, I'm so sorry--I was thinking of you and your brother just the other day and I actually had a dream about you last night! You're such a great brother to do all you've done for him...you're the best anyone could ask for!

You guys are in my thoughts and prayers, too. Don't worry about keeping up with the blog, but let us know if there's anything we can do for you, OK?

Anonymous said...

I feel for you & will be sending good wishes to your brother and you.

Mickey Coalwell said...

Johnny, hang in there, good man. You have done what you can and the rest is out of your hands. Tell your brother your heart, and listen to his. I hope the time you have together, however long or short it may be, brings you both joy. Mickey

Charlene said...

I'm sorry. This must be immeasurably difficult for you and the rest of the family.

Miss Kat said...

John, I am sorry that things have taken a turn for the worse. You are in my thoughts.

Mike Lynch said...

Johnny, I know I've all ready sent on a private email, but I wanted to add all our hopes for your brother and your loved ones during this time.

dirkmancuso said...

I'm sorry to hear about the turn your brother's condition has taken. The post about donating the marrow was really touching and I'm sorry to hear it didn't provide the outcome I know you were hoping it would.

Like everyone else, I am sending you and your family a ton of positive thoughts.

David said...

Don't tell anybody I said so but prayer works...