Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there! J has been away this week on a business trip and will not return until late tonight so we already gave him his gifts before he left. The picture below popped up on my Facebook memories and I couldn’t had a chuckle over how little our girls used to be.
My own father is in Texas so I am not able to spend the day with him. Two months ago, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. This came as a complete shock to us — he already suffers from chronic hepatitis B, so his health is already fragile. He had been admitted to the hospital for vomiting blood; the cause was esophageal varices due to cirrhosis of the liver. The varices were clipped, but the doctors were concerned because his platelet counts were so low, and they continued to stay low even with transfusions. That’s when they discovered the leukemia.
My father stayed in the hospital for a month and a half, receiving chemo and recovering. Luckily, he had a great oncologist and after just that course of chemo, he went into remission. Before my father’s diagnosis, I wasn’t aware that going into remission technically means (at least for acute myeloid leukemia) that there are less than 5% cancerous cells in your blood and bone marrow. So there are still “bad” cells in his body, but they are under control.
The oncologist says that my father has mutations in his blood that need addressing. So he’s going through more chemo, but not as intense as last time. He can do this as an out-patient. And there’s still a chance that he may need a bone marrow transplant.
It sucks that this happened just months into my parents’ retirement. And it sucks that I can’t be there physically for him. I will probably make a trip to Texas this summer and spend some time with my appa.
Please keep my father in your prayers. And I hope your fathers are happy and healthy!