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My Big Brother and Leukemia

My oldest brother was quite a bit older than me so we never were close or played together, except when he beat me at Monopoly over and over and over again... Ronnie went on his mission while I was still in elementary school. He went to college and then to California. He had what I saw as a ideal life (yes I know no one has that but still...) I don't get to see much of him.
Over a year ago, he told us he had chronic leukemia. I didn't really know what that meant. Chronic, ok, well that usually means long term, hard to get rid of, annoyingly persistent. Isn't that a good description of cancer in general? Around that time, someone famous died after dealing with it for twenty years.

But Ron began to get worse- quickly. He went through treatment and got good results but immediately the cancer began to gain again. He had been doing his homework and found doctors in Houston that would do a marrow transplant with out waiting for repeated treatments, so he was prepared to do it right after the first treatment. He had his transplant earlier this month. After thirteen days the news is good so far. It appears that the transplanted white blood cells are beginning to produce. That is called engraftment. We are all praying that the donor cells don't turn on him and attack his body now. We had such good news on Wednesday, that I was in tears of gratitude.
I should explain that my brother looks like a rougher younger version of Mitt Romney. He has great hair. But he began to lose his hair this week. But he has kept his sense of humor. He is wearing a Harley do-rag now!
My big brother is a hero to me. He has been good at everything in his life and been cheerful and loving. He has a great family, successful kids, great wife, and lives in California. This must have been so devastating to them to deal with something so out of their control. But Ron took control anyway and found the best doctors and medicines and got what he needed and wanted for treatments.
He is a runner. He has even been keeping track of all the walking he has done at the hospital. He walked over 20 miles while hospitalized! He is an amazing inspiring big brother. And I love him dearly.
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