Saturday, September 08, 2012

More About Mario.

Several months ago Linda, Mario's mom thanked his community.  She was so hopeful.  Reading her letter made me realize how much these transplants are a necessary struggle.  The media loves the happy stories.  This is a real story.  One of his friend mentioned he was in a better place.  No one should have to go to that place before they have finished school, found a career, met their true love, had kids, fought over hair styles, learned to appreciate their parents, found a house, paid a mortgage, gone on a vacation, read a fabulous book, appreciate an endless number of sunsets.... 

Letters - Guzman thank you

Mario Guzman was 18 years old when we were told he had leukemia in the blood. It was August 2007, he was starting his senior year in high school. He had to relocate to Seattle for treatment. It was two and a half months at first, then we came home for two months, then it was back to Seattle for another two and a half months to continue treatment. He did go into remission after 13 days of treatment. During this time he had multiple surgeries, bouts of nausea, loss of hair, and lots of chemo along with medications. He came home in April 2008.
August 2009, we received a call from the doctor in Seattle, the cancer was back, this time it was in his spinal fluid. He had an ommaya reservoir placed just under his skin on his head. They would shoot chemo through there. At this time we had to relocate back to Seattle, this time it was for eight months straight. My husband and I took turns staying with him for four months each. Very thankful to our employers for making this possible. During this time he had lots of stays in the hospital for high fevers, infections, again lots of chemo, and medications. Again, he went into remission and came home in April of 2010.
In July of 2011, he had his last chemo treatment. We thought “This is it, he’s done, now we just have to get through the five-year mark” when we again received a call from the doctor, the cancer was back, again it was in the spinal fluid. So again my husband took time from his job to relocate to Seattle for treatment. I relieved my husband in January 2012. Mario had a double cord blood transplant on Jan. 23. Everything went well, after about a week and a half, he felt the effects of the transplant. All he wanted to do was sleep. They put him on hydration fluids, fats and lipids, because he got mouth sores. He retained lots of fluids. At one point he had 12 to 14 pounds of water weight. He developed GVHD, which is normal for transplants. It is where the body starts to reject the transplant. He is on five medications alone for the GVHD. At this time I have 16 medication bottles for him. On Feb. 13 he developed BK Virus, which is where he urinates blood and clots. On Feb. 14, they found he had Adeno Virus, which is in the sinuses, and put him in isolation. He couldn’t leave his hospital room. He was finally discharged after 81 days, of which 51 days were in isolation. He has doctor appointments two times a week, labs every day, and he’s been getting platelets daily, even while in the hospital. For some reason, his platelets will not stay in his body. So we’re at the hospital daily for at least five hours a day.
We strongly believe God has healed Mario. We have had a lot of support from family, friends, our church family and this great community. We have felt the generosity of the people from Quincy and surrounding areas. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported us through this time. It has been a lot easier to get through knowing we have people in our lives who care.
­— Linda Guzman (Mother of Mario Guzman)

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Thanks for sharing. It's brave of you.