Tap out Leukemia

Aloha Everyone,

The picture above is of my young loving family.  We’re young, we’re happy, and we have a beautiful daughter, Neriah Avery. 2015 was going to be my year; I had plans to get back into brazilian jiu jitsu, celebrate my daughter’s first birthday, and ask the love of my life to marry me. However, “life” happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

I spent this past Christmas in the hospital. Not really knowing why, the doctors performed various tests on me and the result of all that was devastating.

On December 27, 2014 “life” had other plans for me as I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Leukemia is a type of blood cancer and there are various types of leukemia, however, AML is considered to be the “more serious” of them all. AML is a cancer of the white blood cells (they help your body fight infection). Blood cells are formed in your bone marrow, but with leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells that are considered useless and tend to crowd out the healthy blood cells making it hard for “blood to do its work”. AML is very aggressive and can grow very quickly, and if not treated, could spread to other parts of the body.

Like any form of medical treatment, you start at one end of the spectrum and work your way to the other each time increasing the strength of the treatment. Well, I have battled and gone through two rounds of chemotherapy (chemo) with no luck. The first round of chemo was bearable and I think I came out on top like a champ. The doctors mentioned that the cancer was still there so I went through a second of round of chemo, this time increasing the dose. That was somewhat bearable, however, the cancer is still there and the second round of chemo did not help at all. I also lost all of my hair! The cancer is still inside of me and the battle continues.

I will be flying (maybe moving) to Seattle for a consultation with doctors from the Seattle Alliance Cancer Hospital. The next form of treatment will consist of a bone marrow transplant in hopes this will rid the cancer cells still lingering in my body and be a cure.  I will be up there for the next three to four months with hopes of finding a match/donor and moving forward with the treatment. I pray that one of my brother or sister is a good match so treatment can start right away.

I miss my friends, family, the love of my life, and my little princess and I am continuing to fight for them. I haven’t seen my family for a long time and I miss them very much. The only time I get to see them is through “face time”. I have been missing out on a major part of my daughter’s life growing up and I hate to see my family go through this.

If you’d like to support me (in small and big ways) in this battle with cancer, I would humbly appreciate it. As this is all in God’s hands, I appreciate all of your continuous prayers. "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand" - Isaiah 41:10.

Robert (aka Bobby) Ballesteros Jr.


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Bobby Ballesteros 
Waipahu, HI
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