Dear Jack


Active LifeList Participant

I was diagnosed with a rare variation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) on October 10th, 2022 at the age of 24. I had just been promoted at my job at Starbucks, and was in my last semester of my undergrad studies. Unfortunately both of those things were put on pause for over a year while I got through the first bit of my cancer journey. 

After several days of not being able to hold down any food or even water, I visited my local urgent care on a Saturday. By Tuesday night, I was flown out to a hospital in another city because of the severity of my condition. Upon arriving at the hospital, I spent one week in the ICU and two weeks as an in-patient to receive several rounds of chemotherapy treatments.

I was released from the hospital and approved to stay near the facility and receive outpatient care until my next two rounds of chemotherapy were scheduled. Each round, I was admitted back into the hospital for extended stays. I have technically achieved remission as of November 2022. However, the rare AML variant that I have can be aggressive and is often recurring even after achieving remission.

As a next step in my treatment plan I received a stem cell transplant. My 15 year old brother was my match and donor! The treatment I received to prep for my transplant was some of the hardest and most miserable rounds that I have ever experienced. 

Thankfully I have officially had my first “birthday” post transplant in January 2024! Most things are going very well post transplant, and I consider myself extremely lucky! I am currently still in maintenance treatment due to the persistence of my AML variant. I receive a round of chemo every day for one week, every four weeks. Because of my health and balancing my return to work, I have had to save all of my extra time off to do follow up appointments that are hours away from my hometown every other month. My husband and I would love for the opportunity to be able to travel for fun once more, instead of the long and frequent trips we make for my follow ups!

Caitlin’s LifeList:

  1. Take a trip to Disney World/ Universal Studios with my husband and my siblings

  2. Visit Disneyland in Tokyo with my husband

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