Posted: Mar 3, 2013 8:02 PM by Claire Anderson - MTN News
GREAT FALLS - John Bolta was diagnosed with leukemia after a check-up for a possible cold last summer, but now he is in full remission.
"Cancer wasn't even in my mind-set, at the time I was 35 and who thinks they have cancer?" John recalled.
When John got to the doctor things were not looking good.
"He felt poorly, but also had a low white blood cell count and a low platelet count, and in a gentleman his age, that is otherwise healthy, that is generally a pretty bad sign," oncologist Bryan Martin noted.
Faith and trust were two words that were never lost on John, his wife Schelli, and their daughter as they faced this several month ordeal.
"I've learned that faith isn't just believing, faith is doing, it's an action word, you don't just think it in your head or hear someone talk about it, you go out and do it," John said.
"On August 28 he was formally diagnosed with leukemia, the chemo bags got hooked up the very next day, 10 days into that the liver, the kidneys, they started to fail," Schelli recalled.
The chemotherapy that was supposed to kill the cancerous cells were instead killing John's vital organs.
"His liver failure was such that he was not thought to survive, we really did not think he was going to make it," Dr. Martin said.
"Everything that could go wrong, was going wrong," Schelli added.
The doctors told Schelli to prepare for the worst, but, the family never gave up hope and they continued to pray for a miracle.
"We prayed. Wow, we prayed like we were on fire," Schelli recalled.
As John got better and his organs recovered, he was released from the hospital, but the fight with the disease is still not over.
"I do think that in John's future there probably is more chemo therapy and eventually a bone marrow transplant, which is how we cure all in a gentleman at his age," Dr. Bryan said.
But for now, John is happy and healthy, enjoying the time with his infant daughter and wife, and they are looking to the future they thought they had lost.