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Words of Hope: Erik's Story – Reflecting on May 12, 2008

After struggling with extreme fatigue for about 5 months, I fired one doctor for another, under went cardio stress tests and pulmonary lung function tests, everything came back negative. Finally on a lovely Friday afternoon in May, I couldn’t take it any more. I was so exhausted I was about to pass out. I went to the doctor uninvited, he sent me for more blood tests. That Monday, he sent me to the emergency room at Upper Chesapeake, I was either bleeding internally or had an issue with my bone marrow. Neither seemed like good choices. Within an hour I was diagnosed with leukemia and told I would be heading to Johns Hopkins the next morning. On Tuesday, I took the second ambulance ride of my life, the first was after a broken ankle on the basketball court in college. Then, I probably could have taken car, if not for an over zealous college ambulance crew…

At Johns Hopkins, I underwent a myriad of tests, prods and probes. The most painful was the bone marrow marrow biopsy. This biopsy was going to tell us everything we did and didn’t want to know about the leukemia I was going to go into battle against. So what was the first of what would become 14 bone marrow biopsies revealed that the variety of leukemia I had in my body would require a bone marrow transplant, no ands ifs or buts… Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my wife was 9 months pregnant and we had a 4 year old in pre-school…