Join Me at the Atlanta Blood Cancer Conference

Sorry for the late notice, but tomorrow, Saturday September 7, 2019, I will be at the annual Blood Cancer Conference, sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You can register here if you want to join me.

I will be the one in the orange Hawaiian shirt with the pattern above. You can’t miss me.

And It’s Official

After my bone marrow biopsy two weeks ago, we finally met with the staff at Northside Hospital today, and I am happy to report, I am still in remission! In fact, the doctor has now effectively released me over to the care of my personal physician, with the understanding that I visit him at least twice a year, for a full CBC and check up.

We then went over what I can expect going forward, such as an increased chance of other cancers, thanks to the chemo. But that’s what the extra testing is for, to look for early indicators that things are amiss.

I have to admit, I am ecstatic at the news, but overwhelmed at how I should react. The past couple of years has been all about coming to terms with my illness, and with my survival. I am going to have to process this for sure.

More to come, I assure you.

Three Years and Counting!

I am happy to report that last Friday, June 28, was my third re-birthday – on June 28, 2016, I received my bone marrow transplant.

We “celebrated” by visiting Northside for my tenth bone marrow biopsy. As I spoke of last year, my doctor told me that if this one came back as in remission, it would be my last, and he would release me to my family doctor.

Now, my official follow up visit isn’t until next Monday, July 8, but two things give me hope. First, the blood work all looked good and in line with where I should be. Second, I figure the first thing they will do is look at my marrow samples, looking for cancer cells. Since I haven’t gotten a call, I figure that is a good thing.

Once I get my report next week, I will pass along the news here, and we will celebrate without reserve.

 

It’s Been Too Long

Wow. I looked at the site and it’s been a year since I posted. Sorry about that.

To be honest I went there to post something other than an update, but I will hold that thought for a bit . . .

Here’s where I am . . . still in remission!

When I got the results my ninth bone marrow biopsy in June 2018, taken on my second ReBirthday, Dr. Solomon told me I was still doing great, and in remission! So I am biopsy free until June 2019. And then, if I’m cancer free then, he will turn me loose – no more visits to Northside, unless I need to.

I relayed this wonderful news to my personal physician, and he is already doing research on what we need to do. Coming up in March I will do my annual physical, and we will do a run on what they will check for the rest of my life. Neat to think about.

Of course, I cannot thank God enough for the blessing of being cancer free. He continues to bless me every day.

Thank you all for your support, too!

18 Months Redux

Well, I went to get the results of my tests from my 18 month bone marrow biopsy, and they were what I hoped for . . .

I am in remission, with still 100% chimerism!

First I thank my God for His love and mercy, and His guidance.

Now, of course I had some worry, but given that I feel pretty good, and they hadn’t called me after a couple of days (unlike March 15, 2016) I felt like my remission was no surprise.

But, there were a few things in the report that I will need to get looked at, like dry eyes, low potassium, low vitamin D, and low thyroid. All of these except the thyroid are already being dealt with, and I’ll meet with my personal doctor soon to look at that. Honestly, I’ll deal with all this, gladly, compared to AML!

So I add a couple of pills and some eye drops, and I’m off the antiviral drugs, so it’s a wash. I’ll take it.

18 Months and Doing Well

As it turns out, with a ReBirthday of June 28, this means my 6 month intermediate date is December 25. How neat is that?

In any case, the clinic doesn’t do bone marrow biopsies on Christmas, so I ended up going today for Number 8. This one went as well as any of the others, and I am now at home resting in the recliner with my butt against a pillow.

Next week, January 3, I have a series of follow up appointments with my PA Rashi, my primary oncologist Dr. Solomon, and the GVHD specialist. I know from experience, sadly, that if I have relapsed, I will get a call from Dr. Solomon on Friday or Saturday, so they can get me back in and get after it.

Having said that, I don’t expect anything more than continued remission, because I feel very well. Plus, I fought off a cold some time back, meaning my immune system is somewhat robust.

But, as the saying goes, I hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I’ve got a bag packed in case I get a call, so I can go any time. Of course, it’s hidden from my wife, so shhhhh.

So, next week I will give an update, and probably a year-in-review this weekend.

 

Normal?

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I will try to catch up in the next few weeks, but just know that – God be praised – I am 507 days out from my bone marrow transplant, and in remission!

So . . .

These past three weeks were kind’ve scary, as I suffered my first cold since my diagnosis. I had all the cold symptoms, headache, runny nose, cough. No fever, thank the Lord.

My wife was worried about pneumonia, but I knew I had been vaccinated for that, and I wasn’t worried about that. Well, not as worried as she, in any case.

Now, she wanted me to call my oncologist, but I quoted her Benjamin Franklin’s addage that one could treat a cold and get rid of it in two weeks, or it would go away in a fortnight on its own. So I got her to agree to wait and see.

And here, now, three weeks later, I am all clear.

So how did I get a cold? Ah.

Three weeks ago I flew on an airplane to a client location. In cold and flu season. Through the busiest airport in the world.

Not smart. But now I know. And I got over it.

I’m . . . almost . . . normal. And it feels great.