Leukemia. Certainly not one of the words you expect to hear from your doctor when he’s calling about blood test results and telling you to get to the ER.
I hadn’t been feeling great since about October 10th — no appetite, a light fever of about 100F, and was easily getting out of breath due to light physical exertion. But I also wasn’t stuck in bed or on the couch the whole time, so I figured I was just fighting some cold or flu.
After over a week of not feeling great though, I decided to see my regular doctor this past Tuesday the 18th. He had bloodwork done that morning and called me late that evening with the results, telling me to get to the ER immediately. I believe he said a normal white blood cell count while fighting an infection might be something like 12,000 while mine was 94,000 — the highest he had ever seen in a patient. There were also immature white blood cells in my blood stream and other signs of serious trouble.
Now, after having had lots of tests done, including a fairly painful bone marrow biopsy, it’s confirmed that it’s leukemia, specifically acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I start chemo today and I’ll be stuck in the hospital for 4-6 weeks. They say most people actually start to feel better despite the drugs although I will eventually be losing all of my hair. It’ll grow back, but that’s going to be quite the experience.
My understanding is once I get out of the hospital, I’ll still be coming here a few times a week for about 6 months for further care and it’ll be possible that I’m feeling well enough to both drive myself and go back to work. Even after that it’ll be another 3 years of treatment.
The details are of course still a bit fuzzy since it’s early on and more tests still need to come back, but they seem very optimistic about my long term chances.
It’s been pretty surreal to go from feeling perfectly normal to starting chemo in a period of less than 2 weeks.
This is going to be quite the journey…
Well. Fuck. The amount this sucks…
I strongly recommend pedialyte, especially the frozen pops. They appear to be the easiest to stomach and the best tasting of the various electrolyte drinks. Also know you’ve got the WP community here for you. Just ask. Even if it’s for something stupid to distract you.
Hi Alex, it’s one more race!!
I hope you have good luck …. and strength !!
We’re all here for you! Hugs, thoughts and prayers! You’re going to kick this things ass.
This Completely Sucks! I wish you a speedy recovery. I’m actually at a loss of Words Alex. I truly hope the best for you in your recovery.
This is shocking, sorry to hear this Alex. I’ll be thinking about you – we have plenty of stupid videos and things to keep you occupied while you recover if you need them. Big hug.
Hey Alex. This really sucks. I hope the recovery process is quick and effective. Glad you have a good doctor and a plan for moving forward. <3
I’m so sorry Alex — keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Here’s to a speedy recovery.
Glad you went to your doctor as soon as you felt something wasn’t right. Stay strong through your treatment and let us know if there’s anything you need. <3
I’m so sorry to hear this Alex! You’ll always have the WP community around to support you of course, and we could always organise a game of Resistance to distract you – I’m sure we could manage it over Hangouts somehow…
Praying for you man 🙂
I’m speechless. My thoughts are with you and here’s to a speedy recovery! :hugs:
Oh no! Stay strong, you’ll kick the crap out of this thing!
If there is anything we can do, let us know!
Oh my goodness, Alex! I’m sorry you’re going through this! I hope that chemo goes easy on you. All the best to you on your journey!!! Hugs!
Well fuck that, and fuck cancer. I can’t even imagine how surreal that must be. Know that you’ve got a huge community behind you, both at Automattic, and as Mika said, in the wider WordPress world. Let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. FedEx microwave burritos to the hospital? Stay strong man.
Maybe one of these for the Viper? http://shop.fuckcancerfoundation.org/Fuck-Cancer-License-Plate-Frame-p/license-plate.htm
We’re all here for you Alex. If you need a laugh or something taken care of for you, please let me know.
> Even after that it’ll be another 3 years of treatment.
That’s a long road, but I don’t doubt you’ll get there- prayers for strength, resolve and many good days on that journey.
Ugh. Sorry to hear this, Alex. You’re in my thoughts. Kick some ass and please shout if you need anything.
Wow man you seemed great just a few weeks ago when I saw you in PDX. Sounds like this happened fast, which is actually positive because the treatments generally are much more effective in those circumstances. Hang in the man, I’ll be thinking about you!
Wow, shocking news! We’re all here for you Alex, pulling for a smooth treatment and recovery process. Hugs!
Oh. Oh. That’s horrible news. “Fuck cancer” is about right. Thinking of you and yours, and I hope the road, while long, is as straight and smooth as can be.
So sorry to hear Alex, stay strong and don’t hesitate to ask for help! We’re with you!
I’m so sorry you have to go through this.
Really sorry to hear this, Alex. Just know that people are thinking of you from afar.
Fuck cancer. I have absolutely no doubt you will destroy this thing and come out the other side engines roaring and keyboards clacking.
We’re here for you, you’ll get through this, and we’ll celebrate that fact with you now, as you do it, and after it’s done.
Alex! I’m really sorry that you are going through this. I’m not sure what to say, but I care and I’m here as is all of your a8c fam.
Thinking about you and sending hugs — and burritos!
Oh gosh. I’m sorry you’re going through this, Alex. All the hugs.
Oh Alex, I am so sorry this is happening. Sending virtual hugs and all the healing thoughts your way. And yeah, fuck cancer.
Wow, Alex. I am so sorry to hear this. Stay strong!
Alex!! I’m so sorry to hear this! I will be thinking about you, and I hope your treatments go well. Let us all know whenever you need inane distractions via Twitter, etc.
Really sorry to hear you have to go through this, Alex. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.
All the best with your treatment Alex. Get well soon!
Sending every positive vibe I’ve got your way. Now go and kick cancer’s ass!
So sorry to hear this Alex! Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way.
I’m so sorry. It will be a journey for sure but you will come out strong on the other end!
Alex, I wish you all strength and positive thoughts. You’ll get through it.
Hey Alex I am very sad to hear this. You need to keep a strong psychological state to fight it man. I recommend you to change your nutrition (food habits) immediately. Drink juices from fresh beetroot, carrots and broccoli everyday. Change your food habit completely to fight this. Be positive always.
Best wishes, Alex.
Much love your way. Anything we can provide from afar, we’re here!
I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Alex. Sending virtual hugs your way. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help!
So sorry to hear. Will be thinking of you, and sending lots of positive vibes!
So sorry to hear this Alex. Courage mon brave.
So sorry to hear! Stay strong! Thoughts and prayers are with you.
WTF cancer, who invited you?.. Take care of yourself, big love and hugs.
I’m so sorry Alex. I know there’s nothing I can really do, but give me a ping if you just want to talk.
Oh, Alex. I’m so sorry. All the best with everything during this.
So very sorry to hear about this Alex. Good on you for getting checked up when you weren’t feeling well, and best wishes going forward.
Please win this fight.
Oh Alex, I’m so sorry you are going thought this buddy. Sending positive and healing thoughts, I’m sure you’ll fight this and come out stronger!
Wishing strength for you in this hard time, and a speedy recovery.
Well shit. Best of luck. When in doubt, power out.
Hoping treatment goes well, if there’s any way I can help let me know