Wake up, time to die.

With my counts continuing to sit at rock bottom with no change, my doctor decided to perform a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy yesterday. Not typical procedure in a patient still “recovering” from treatment, but given my cryptic leukemia, the fact that there was no detectable blast presence in my blood meant next to nothing. The only real way to figure out what was happening was to take a look inside the bones.

Preliminary results show a 95% presence of blasts (cancer cells) in my marrow. instead of the chemotherapy killing off the cancer and allowing my healthy immune system to move into the vacated space – the opposite happened, The cancer survived the attack but my cells didn’t, allowing the cancer free-reign to spread through the entirety of my skeletal structure.

I’m the process of setting up hospice care at home and expect to be discharged sometime in the next two or three days. I will try and contine to write  but can’t promise anything. I may not have much more than a few weeks left on this earth, I’ll be spending it with the people I love – doing the things I’ve missed.

Thank you all for everything you’ve given me on the way. All I can say is that despite my current condition, i’ve enjoyed a life with far more than most.

- Austin

    • Anonymous
    • April 23rd, 2011 10:28pm

    Lots of love to you Austin

    • Diana & Alex
    • April 23rd, 2011 10:57pm

    Austin … you’re one of the most brave people we know. You’re in our thoughts and prayers. Stay strong. XOXO

    • Teesha Keating
    • April 24th, 2011 6:11am

    Austin -
    My heart is hurting as I read your post. I am just thinking of how lucky I was to be able to spend so many mornings with you at Yang’s. If only everyone were so lucky :)
    Keep fighting and be strong. Sending love and strength from NH!

    • cindy raynet
    • April 24th, 2011 7:26am

    You are amazing. I loved our early mornings and journey sharings! I still remember you hiding my trampoline before the insurance inspection! And the rock edges on my gardens remind me of you too. I love ya, m,! And you have shown us all so much about how to deal when you don’t get your way! Like I said, you’re amazing! Xoxo cindy rayner

    • Evie Caron
    • April 24th, 2011 5:53pm


    I send strength, love, and prayers your way. I continue to find great happiness as I think of your warm, unassuming smile.


  1. I just read through the backlog here. Oy. You are a study in grace under pressure.

    I had one thing to mention — and I’m probably punching way above my weight here, and I ask your forgiveness for wasting your time if so. I don’t know where you stand faith-wise (except a little healthy hesitancy about ‘gawd’) but once upon a time I wrote a website, http://mortals.be/ about what I learned that help me to cope when I was worried about my final end.

    Here’s the thing: that might be geared for neurotic people who are thinking in terms of decades but maybe have time to burn right now. And the focus is on people who are doubtful or at least uncertain about the hereafter. So it might not be what’s useful for you. (and it might be presumptuous for me to mention it here. The quotes page might be the best part, http://mortals.be/quotes.html )

    I’m glad my path took me to Andover for a while, and I got the chance to toil with you.

    Trying to send strength and good karma thoughts to you,

    • Ben Kellman
    • April 26th, 2011 3:57pm

    What a long strange trip.
    I wish you moments of smiles amongst the hours of exhaustion.
    It was clearly my joy intersecting with your life for a while.
    Your generous spirit and presence lives on right here with me.

    • Caroline
    • May 4th, 2011 5:52pm

    Thank you so much for writing this. I don’t know you but I am good friends with Alex Ornstein and I also work on the bone marrow transplant unit at Children’s Hospital Boston and reading your posts give such good insight into what oncology patients truly go though (and in my case it’s nice to hear because kids don’t always tell you what they are feeling). Thank you for your honesty. You are truly brave and I with you peace. I will make sure to share your blog and story with others.

    • Anonymous
    • May 4th, 2011 8:41pm

    Thinking of you daily and knowing that you have lived your life to the fullest. Your honesty means so much to so many people. Wishing you all the peace the world can give.

    • anonymous
    • May 5th, 2011 12:48am

    love you always.

    • anonymous
    • May 8th, 2011 9:24pm

    i am so grateful for the time we had. you will always be in my heart.

    • jim krieger
    • May 9th, 2011 5:45pm

    My friend lost his battle with leukemia on 5/8/11. He is in a better place. He was a giant among people in his passion for life, his zest for learning and his tenacity to endure. It was my privilege to call Austin my friend. Rest in peace…

    • celia
    • May 25th, 2011 1:09am

    Mu husband was diagnosed with a leukemia two months ago, and I discovered a lot of cancer heroes since, and you are one of them. I wish you peace and joy!

    • Kathy Leafquist
    • June 19th, 2011 12:16am

    Check out blinatumomab at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/744644

    A new leukemia drug that seems to be helping others. We’re looking into new drugs. Our daughter just relapsed the second time. Be strong!

    Love, Kathy, Eric and Erica

    • anonymous
    • July 17th, 2011 1:05pm

    happy birthday A. miss you so much.

    • anonymous
    • October 5th, 2011 1:15am

    would have loved a carrot cake this year for my birthday :) wish you were here.

    • anonymous
    • October 5th, 2011 1:21am

    would have loved a carrot cake for my birthday this year :) wish you were here.

    • anonymous
    • November 22nd, 2011 3:37pm

    Happy Thanksgiving! I know you’re deep frying a turkey somewhere. Miss you as always.

    • anonymous
    • December 22nd, 2011 5:19pm

    Merry Christmas :) this time we know you’re lighting a tree on fire somewhere …

    • Anonymous
    • February 15th, 2012 12:17am

    Happy Valentine’s Day :)

    • Anonymous
    • April 23rd, 2012 12:38am

    It’s been exactly a year since your last post and almost a year since you left for good. I miss you so much and I hope wherever you are you’re listening to some good music and enjoying the scenery :) You’re in my heart forever.

    • Joanne
    • April 30th, 2012 5:07am

    My little brother Dillon died from ALL last November after a hard and bravely fought eight months, aged 22. It’s so hard to go on without him, and I can only imagine what he went through. This helps. Thanks for keeping this blog up.

    • Anonymous
    • July 28th, 2012 10:06pm

    Missing you every day.

    • Rin
    • November 29th, 2012 12:30am

    I was going to put something here, but I honestly don’t know what to say.

    I searched on Google about cancer for the book I’m writing. This is the first website that came up. If I ever finish this book, if it ever gets publish, it’ll be dedicated to you and your family. I don’t know what else I could do. Rest in peace, Austin.

    • Jamie
    • July 16th, 2013 3:53pm

    Happy Birthday, Austin.

    You share the same birthday as my dad.

    I know you’re having a ball up there with all the cute girl angels…thanks for looking out for all of us still down here without you.

    Happy birthday, once again, Austin.


  2. i sad after hearing your story

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