The biopsy results trickled in over the course of Thursday.
First result: Only 2% blasts! That sounded really good, since I had been at 20%. We were warned that it might not be all that good, especially if the marrow was essentially empty (hypocellular).
Second result: Less hypocellular than before! Lots of immature cells. Maybe things are moving in the right direction, depending on where those immature cells are headed.
Third result: Almost all of those immature cells carry the deletion-7 abnormality that marks my leukemia. We have lost.
Fourth result: Due to some miscommunication between my local and Chicago doctors, we hang a shred of hope on the belief that the deletion-7 number is premature. But it isn't.
If we hadn't done the biopsy, we wouldn't know it was over and we would be hoping for a highly unlikely five-day break in the fevers at just the right time to get in another (fruitless) cycle of the clinical trial.
Instead, we get to plan my final days, to the extent possible, and think of ways to celebrate my life. Not everyone gets to do that.
Once we figure out the hospice arrangements, I'll leave the hospital and head home. I can keep taking my medications and going in for transfusions, until a fever sets in. If my time in the hospital is any guide, that might not take long. The fever precludes transfusions, and I won't be coming back into the hospital for IV antibiotics to try to get it under control.
My parents are already in town and have been since I re-entered the hospital. My younger brother and his wife had already been planning to visit this week, so they'll be here. My sisters are coming, too. The more family, the better.
We'll do our best to make me comfortable by controlling the fever and taking various narcotics. At some point the infections or a stroke or some other failure will be the end. I am strongly hoping it's in my sleep, without drama or trauma. We've had enough of that.
I have mood swings: acceptance, melancholy, peace, grief, gratitude. They come and go, sometimes within just a few minutes of each other. No anger.
Acceptance is usually highest in the morning, for some reason. Maybe I've been having those pleasant dreams in which I'm healthy, so I'm more open to the it's-all-part-of-life and we-all-get-here-eventually outlook when I first wake up, and less so as the day goes on and I have more time to think about the sadder sides of my current reality.