UPDATE: While there is a 40% population of abnormal cells in Mrs. E.’s bone marrow, the disease has not entered her bloodstream. So, thank you all for your good wishes, prayers and thoughts, they worked. We are in a wait and see mode, with blood tests every six weeks, but no chemotherapy required as of yet. The cold agglutinins are the biggest problem, and this winter will be dicey. But we’ll keep Mrs. E. warm and in the pink. Which rhymes with mink and I hope that’s not what she’s got in mind… .
I wasn’t sure what to call this post, gentle readers. Suffice to say that our easy and elegant life is about to undergo a supreme test.
My most wonderful, delightful, acerbic, funny, phenomenally intelligent, incredibly beautiful wife has joined my indiscriminating bastard of a club. She has CLL.
The good news, according to the boy wonder at Vanderbilt, is that it is curable. We have the cord blood from both children and so have an exact stem cell match. We will be headed for Duke, at the boy wonder’s assurance that they are neck-and-neck with the research and treatment.
This is from a letter Mrs. E. sent to good friends about what we can expect.
Chemo this fall (not sure of the details till Aug. 5th but I shouldn’t lose my hair with this new leukemia-targeted chemo), followed by 5-10 years of remission
Chemo again when the disease returns (and the f***** always does)
followed by 5-10 years of remission
Then, last resort stem cell transplant which can potentially mean a total cure.
We’ve been assured that this is a manageable and curable disease and not a terminal thing — at least not in the short term — and so we’re going will be a bit muddled and busy. I’ll file new articles when I can and hope to distract you (and me!) with the trivial, unimportant and my very vital obsession with living and dressing well — under all circumstances.
Not to impose, but if you are religious, say a little prayer for us please. Many, many thanks to our friends and family here in Richmond and beyond who have rallied and been so supportive in the hours since we announced our predicament.
As The Architect so achingly phrased it: “Woe is me, ’til well is you.”