In some paperwork that we’ve been trying to collect from the doctor, we’ve gotten a refinement on the diagnosis.
As you are aware, recent repeat marrow testing is most suggestive of a dysplastic chronic myelomonocytic leukemia type 2 (dysplastic CMML-2).
The median age for this disease is 70, and Beth is quite sure that she’s now got this (at age 50) because of exposure to benzene that occurred while she was burning human waste and trash with diesel fuel, shortly after she arrived in Iraq, or possibly some unseen source of radiation:
One of the most amazing duties to come is the s–- burning detail. We really have to pull out the barrel under the seat and mix (stir) diesel fuel in the barrel of excrement and light it on fire. We also burn all garbage. Nothing is saved from being burned up. I think all garbage burning smells worse than the s–- burning.
In her discharge from Active Duty papers, she is recognized for having completed the “Field Sanitation Course, March 2003”. So this was standard procedure.