Dear Extended Family

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July 14th, 2010

Mom normally sends out these “Rodney updates” to you but this time she asked me to compose it. The situation has taken a bit of a bad turn. It’s not horrible or life-threatening, but nevertheless it’s not the news we were hoping for. This latest round of chemotherapy actually allowed a slight increase of leukemia […]

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Mom normally sends out these “Rodney updates” to you but this time she asked me to compose it.

The situation has taken a bit of a bad turn. It’s not horrible or life-threatening, but nevertheless it’s not the news we were hoping for. This latest round of chemotherapy actually allowed a slight increase of leukemia into my body. Can you imagine that for a moment; something called High Dose ARA-C actually let more cancer into my body? Now, it was only a bit more but when you’re thinking that maybe the news would be empty bones, it gets you even madder at the disease than the day before. Our family super hero, my Aunt-In-A-Cape Roberta speculates that the increase in cancer cells could be a false reading based on two different technical details. We’re hoping she’s right.

So why did the cancer increase? Or did it actually? Nobody knows. Are there other options. Absolutely. It turns out there are chemotherapy cocktails my brand of leukemia hasn’t even seen yet and should be devastating to the disease. Also, they are now scheduling me for bone marrow consultations on Friday. My brothers and cousins, as well as a vast sea of unknown persons await donorship. One of them, if not one hundred, will be a match.

I still feel reasonably fine and healthy and my greatest advocates tell me my youth and health are vital to my treatments. My doctor has told his mentor, whom I’m seeing Friday, that when I walk into the room he, himself won’t believe I have Leukemia, (except maybe for my bald head).

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcXmas_Card.jpgHow do I feel about this? Thanks for asking. I’m pissed. I despise leukemia more than ever. And I’m mad my wife, daughters and Mom have to go through this. They’re handling it well but I’m angry they even have something like this to “handle.” Mom lost her own mother to cancer when she was 16. She lost her husband to cancer when she was 55. Her eldest had to have his thyroid obliterated due to, yep, cancer. Now me. No person should have to deal with that, this many times.

Am I thinking about the end game. Yes, but only in terms of a cure. Death is for a Rodney in his 80s or 90s. As Eminem says, “Success is my only _____ option, failure’s not.” That Christmas picture we sent out last year, the one where we’re all smiling and framed in portable frames, that’s the image of my family I’m keeping. That’s the one that will eventually eradicate cancer.

My climb became a bit steeper. I would be lying if I said otherwise. My prognosis is still for a cure and not just remission. I haven’t been blogging for the past few days just because I haven’t really felt like it. I wonder … hmmm … maybe this note to you will also find a spot in cyberland.

Oh, they’re sending me home for a few days too. They’re keeping visitors away but at least my own bed and family will comfort me until I report for duty at Karmanos in Detroit, U-M medical in Ann Arbor or back to Troy Beaumont.

Mom always said with bad news comes good.

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