Saturday, March 26, 2011

Am I a Cancer Survivor Yet???

When I was diagnosed in August of 2010 with Leukemia, Crystal and I were shocked to say the least.  Our whole world was slapped in the face and kicked in the ass.  It was an extremely difficult time.

I immediately went on high dose chemo and was in the hospital for over a month.  At the end of the month, we were told the leukemia was wiped out but could come back.  I was released and after 1 week, I had double vision and a rash.  The leukemia was back and now attacking my central nervous system - ya know, my brain and stuff... 

Another round of high dose chemo with several rounds injected directly into my spine so the drugs could make it to my brain. OUCH.  Also, brain radiation.  After almost another month in the hospital, I was sent home being told the leukemia was gone.  That was October 2010.

Since that time, I had a third round of high dose chemo,  full body radiation (I should just go help out at the nuclear plant in Japan, the damage is already done to my body) a bone marrow transplant and gallbladder surgery.  I have not been checked to see if the leukemia is still in remission.  They closely monitor my blood chemistry.  If something is off that may be an indication of leukemic activity and they will do further testing.

It has been six months since anyone has told me I have leukemia.  If you read about my form of leukemia, AML M5 with CNS involvement, on the Internet, I should not be in nearly as good of shape as I am now.  I did not find one successful outcome with my type of leukemia.  Not one.  Looks like I may be the first successful outcome.  Maybe they will feature me in the New England Journal of Medicine. :)  I do know that I still get extremely tired each day.  A mile on the treadmill feels like a 10K.  The doctors say that my endurance will improve but will not be what it was pre-leukemia.  As far as I know though, my new immune system is working like a champ.  It is seeing those leukemic cells in my body and is destroying them.  I do feel better everyday.  My taste buds have returned and I am gaining some needed weight back.  I am hoping to return to work soon.  I have not worked since August.  That being said, I still lay in bed at night and wonder though, is the worst behind us??  I certainly hope so!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Germs and Public Spaces

Me and Nolan.  I am starting to see a little hair growth.
So, now that day 100 has come and gone, I am able to go into public places.  The theory for the first 100 days was my immune system was too weak to visit public areas.  The only public place I went was for check ups in Boston at Dana Farber.  On those days, I wore gloves and a mask into the clinic.  It makes it pretty easy to see my fellow bone marrow transplant patients.  We all have masks and are skinny.  We are bundled up because we are always cold.  Whenever I put on the mask, I think of the Bob Marley (local comedian)  routine where he is talking about his father going through the Wok Inn drive through.  Employee says, "Why you wear mask???"  Bob's fathers reply "Love the food, hate the SARS."  It is a bit dated, but still funny.

I am now able to go into semi public areas without a mask.  In the last couple of weeks, I have been able to visit the Dixon's and my parents.  I have been able to goto Nolan's school and meet his teacher for the first time.  I have been able to pickup Paige at daycare.  I have gone into the office to take care of a couple issues.  I have gone to the grocery store, convenience store, Reynolds Sportcenter and Rite Aid.  It has been amazing!!  It is crazy how the little things make such an impact!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eating, Training and Project Management

The last couple of weeks have been great.  Food has begun to taste good again, I am gaining some much needed weight back and as a result, my energy level has increased.  All the parts finally came in for our treadmill and I have begun putting in some time on it.  It feels good to actually break a sweat again.

Since I am still not back to work, I still have a bunch of free time.  I am going to do some online training.  I am going to work towards getting my project management certification.  As an IT Manager, can anyone recommend which project management certification would be most beneficial?  I am leaning toward CompTIA + Project.

Crystal signed up for the Tri for a Cure again this year.  There is a link to the right to make a donation toward the cause.  This year they need to raise $350.

Also, Crystal and I wanted to say congratulations to Shana and Chris.  We are so happy for you!