The night of December 17, 2001, changed my life forever. That was the night that my 54 year-old father, Dave Carpinelli, was diagnosed with AML. I still can’t bring myself to write out the scary thing that stands for, so I use the acronym. My strong daddy, the guy I never saw scared, was white as a sheet. He knew what this meant even though my mom and I had no idea. He was the kind of guy that wanted to know what he was up against, so he knew the bad news of his diagnosis before it was confirmed.
We learned that there is a 5% five-year survival rate for men over 50 diagnosed with AML. It was a bad diagnosis, with only one chance at living for more than a few months. That one chance was a bone marrow transplant. We all thought that leukemia was something that kids got, not adults, and BMT’s were something for younger people.
There were a lot of misconceptions and uncertainty those first few months after diagnosis. What would the transplant be like? Would it kill him? What if he didn’t have the BMT? If it worked, what would life be like? To our surprise, these weren’t questions that our oncologists and doctors could really answer.
That’s when my dad found the nbmtLINK. The LINK gave him comfort and helped dissipate his fear of the unknown. My dad made friends from the LINK, people that told him the truth about what to expect with his transplant. More than anything, Dave Carpinelli was a straight shooter, and someone that really didn’t like B.S.
The people and resources of the LINK gave it to him straight. They weren’t fun things to look forward to but at least he knew what to expect—less fear of the unknown.
I am forever grateful for the relief that the nbmtLink gave my father in the final months of his all too short life. He was optimistic about what his life could be if he survived. He learned from the LINK that his life would be different but still good after the transplant.
Thank you to everyone who gave my sweet father that comfort while preparing for his final journey.