Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:33 PM
Dear Coach Pagano,
I heard about your news and wanted to send a quick note of encouragement. We have a healthy, beautiful 17 year old son, who is the middle child between his sisters. Out of the blue he was diagnosed with AML in May of this year. Thats the way it happens. He is a competitve HS swimmer in great physical shape and was finishing his junior year when he self-diagnosed himself with AML. He noticed red spots and bruising and insisted something was wrong. He felt fine, but he thought it was just odd. We took him to our family Doctor on Monday and on Thursday he was having his first Bone Marrow biopsy and spinal. So the fight began for us. We have gone through and continue to go through every possible emotion. Like a lot of us say, you dont choose AML, but you choose how you fight it. We strongly believe in prayer and positive thinking to beat this thing. Our son was fortunate to have the right genetic make up and was placed in the low risk category. He just began his 4th round of chemo and it will be a tough one, but we have the hopeit is his last.
One of the biggest lessons we learned for you and your family is to communicate in a central location. We created a page to communicate updates and let others offer well wishes. It is extremely draining to tell and retell your story from the beginning. Everyone cares and wants to help, but you and your family need strength to fight this around the clock. I am guessing this is happening through the Colts, but it is very important to keep everyone from going crazy and deposit thoughts on a site. Second, push for and take as many breaks from the hospital as they will allow. As long as your counts are high enough, you should be able to receive a day pass. You will be in the hospital long enough, so take those breaks. During your breaks between inductions, get away from everything. We spent time at the beach, went to some professional sports and just hung out at home. Wash your hands/santize all of the time and make sure everyone that enters your room does the same thing. When your counts drop to zero, the smallest bacteria can cause a big problem. Let your friends and family help. You cannot do this alone. We have friends that cook clean and cut the grass. It feels awkward at first, but this helps them deal with the situation as much as it helps you. Last one for now, don't read everything on the interent. Theres more crap than quality out there. Believe in your Doctors, your Family and your God...its a terrific combination. Thats all for now, I'm off to the hospital...stay strong!