So, my beautiful wife Jenn was diagnosed with leukemia last week…

March 24, 2014 | Nestor Aparicio

So, my beautiful wife Jenn was diagnosed with leukemia last week…

Needless to say it’s been a whirlwind week in my life and if you’ve reached this blog you know that my wife Jennifer has been diagnosed with leukemia and is at Johns Hopkins Hospital giving cancer one helluva fight over the next month and beyond.

To say that we’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and sheer humanity of all of the love bestowed upon us over the last three days would be a complete understatement. It was completely unexpected and we’ll never forget this crazy period in our lives.

You have inspired us and made us stronger and even more committed through your caring, thoughtful words and the offers we’ve received from every corner of our lives. The acts, words and gestures have left us feeling truly humbled.

A month ago we were in Brisbane, Australia seeing Bruce Springsteen and my wife woke up the next morning with an insect bite (we think it was a spider) on her right hand. Two days later it swelled and started to throb. By the time we got to Fiji for our final two days on the beach, she had her hand exclusively in a bucket of ice.

We flew for nearly 36 hours to get home and between the flight, jet lag and general fatigue, she began to feel bad a few days later. On March 12, she went to she her doctor with some deep pain under her right armpit. We were worried about breast cancer and all sorts of bad things.

The docs said it was a swollen lymph node and gave her an antibiotic to fight the infection. The next day she went through a battery of tests – mammogram, X rays and blood work to make sure it wasn’t more serious. On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 19 she reported back to the doctors who had long faces of concern when we arrived. They handed us a box of face masks and told us to go to the emergency room at Johns Hopkins right away because her white blood cell count was dangerously low. After five hours in the ER, she was admitted and spent the most of the overnight giving blood and getting tested.

At 8 a.m. the next morning, while filling in for Drew Forrester on fumes of sleep, I announced that was coming back onto the radio every day from 3 til 6 p.m. at WNST.net & AM 1570 with a new radio show called “The Happy Hours.” I also released Chapter 1 of The Peter Principles, a book I’ve been working on for almost five months.

The “comeback,” set for April 1st, was something we’ve been planning together for nearly six months.

Nine hours later, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, a doctor entered her hospital room at Hopkins and dropped the biggest bombshell of our lives: “I’m really sorry to tell you that you’ve got leukemia and you’re not going to be leaving the hospital for a long time.”

Family, work, friends, goals and dreams – all of it would have to be addressed and put on hold or readjusted to a “new normal” for us. It broke her heart to know that she couldn’t be with our beloved cat, Kitty, for a month. (We’ve since begun Skyping her into chat with our furry companion every morning and night.)

The doctors have told us that if she didn’t get the spider bite, which was what sent her to the clinic to begin with, we might’ve been sitting on a time bomb with her deteriorated immune system. Had she contracted a common cold, it might’ve killed her because her body would’ve been weakened.

Instead, she checked into the hospital very vulnerable but also very healthy and strong, which they see as a great way for her to start her chemotherapy and aids her chances for recovery during this first

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12 Comments For This Post

  1. BmoreB Says:

    Nestor,

    My prayers to you and your wife. You guys will get though this, you just have to.

    #JennStrong
    #BmorePositive

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    Prayers sent to you and your wife. Hopkins or U of Maryland is the best care in the world. I had kidney cancer 3 years ago still kicking here.

  3. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    My prayers to you & your wife Jenn, the journey will be a tough one but I’m B-Positive she will get thru it !!!

  4. justafan Says:

    My best wishes! I had the opportunity to meet Jen at White Marsh prior to one of the bus trips. She impressed me as being a tireless hard working person. Again, I wish you the best!

    Walt

  5. Kerry from Brooklyn Park Says:

    Thanks Nasty for sharing this story. My hopes and prayers are with you Jenn and Nestor. As you know you guys are not walking this journey alone. A great community will be with you two every step of the way. May God bless you both!

  6. charlie Says:

    Nestor, you and your wife will strengthen each other and I hope that we WNST fans can help, too.

  7. MICHAEL WAYLAND Says:

    Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your wife Jenn. I am convinced that people sometimes go through things like this because they are strong enough to get through it and inspire others who are faced with the same struggles. My Mom was a 20+ year survivor of breast cancer and being a part of an ongoing support group was one of the defining moments in her life.
    I am sure Jenn will be a source of pride and inspiration for you and many others in years to come.

  8. Go Tigers Fan Says:

    Get the book The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. It’s a novel what a son has to do to inherit his dad’s gifts. I think you’ll enjoy the book as much as I have so far – I’m in Chapter 8.

    Here’s a hint what the book is about from page 72 “any challenge that does not defeat us ultimately stregthens us.”

    My prayers are with you and Jenn.

  9. Rich Says:

    Drop the gloves, Jenn, and take that leukemia to the wood shed. Hockey fans are #JennStrong.

  10. TimNATC Says:

    Nestor – My thoughts and prayers are with you both. I know that with the support of all of your friends & family (I include your WNST listeners as your family) the two of you will beat this disease again. I make a donation to Stand Up To Cancer every other week with money that is raised at golf tournaments I run. This Saturday we are playing at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia and I will make the donation in honor of your wife. Stay #JENNSTRONG

  11. TimNATC Says:

    To all WNST.net listeners, readers, followers etc… the DC Metro Golfweek Amateur Tour made a donation to Stand Up To Cancer in honor of Jennifer. We also launched a star in her name. If you would like to make a donation & send her a tribute, you can do so at this site http://bit.ly/DCGWATJAS. #JENNSTRONG

  12. Dave The Wave Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife. Her strength and courage are truly an inspiration to everyone. Best wishes on a speedy recovery. It’s also great to hear you back on the air again. The strongest lineup in Baltimore sports talk is now even stronger!

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