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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!

16 comments:

Michael said...

Wow, you just have such an amazing story to share. It's awesome that you have been cancer free for 6 months and that you are starting to feel good. I believe your physical health prior to the cancer has to be playing a strong role in the body's ability to recover. Thanks for sharing.

MaineSport said...

Chad- Good to hear hings keep improving!

Caratunk Girl said...

Chad, I am so happy to hear things keep getting better. You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

I lay in bed and think, why did this happen to my little brother, how can the human body go through so much and continue to thrive,I wonder how you must be feeling but know I can never really fully understand, but mostly I feel so grateful and happy that you are here, we loved having you guys over for breakfast yesterday, before cancer it would've been good to share some pancakes, but now it's everything!!!!

Jenn Roark said...

Chad, I am just so happy to know you are doing well! Truly amazing...all that you have been through and all that you have learned...wow!! Life is special!!
XOXO,
Jenn

Kevin @ Half TRI-ing said...

"The doctors say that my endurance will improve but will not be what it was pre-leukemia"

That just means you will take 2nd place instead of first. :-) I'd settle for 2nd any day. I'm way in the back and I have no excuse. LOL

Kevin
HalfTRIing.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Superman,

While you may not finish first in any triathlon, you certainly deserve a gold medal for opening up a can of whoop ass on AML M5 w/ CNS Involvment.

Your news is awesome, keep on doing what you're doing & look forward to seeing you in that corner office!
K Luce/PWD

sonya said...

I LOVE the song by Tim Mcgraw "Live like you were dying" I too hope the worst of this is over for you and that you can move on to live your life....giving your all and appreciating the little and most important things! You have certainly made the best of your experience treating and killing leukemia and I know you will make the best of each and every day for the rest of your LONG life!
Big Fat Blessings your way Chad:)
Hugs

Anonymous said...

Maybe you were meant to be the miracle? Your fight has shown us all what courage really is. Big hugs!! Stacey

Mollie said...

Chad your story is amazing and maybe you were meant to have this horrible disease and kick it's ass so that you could share your story and prove to others that it can be done with such success. I'm sure it's scary to not know what lies ahead but I believe that the worst is behind you!
xo

Anonymous said...

Answer to the title of the post: YES! Know that, see it, and know YOU earned it! You're a survivor.

Ben said...

Hi Chad,

I found your blog using a google search for leukemia survivor resources. I myself am a AML M2 survivor, I know it may not be the same as M5 but it sure sounds similar. I had a BMT 10 years ago relapsed 2 years later but knocked it out again!

Your story is very inspiring!

Ben

Chad Davis said...

Ben, how did u knock it out after the 2 year relapse, chemo and radiation?

Ben said...

Radiation and DLI (I can't tell you what it stands for but it means using the bone marrow donor's blood cells to boost the immune system. It was an experiment at it worked!)

Chad Davis said...

I would love to pick you brain. If you are willing, send me an email sometime chadd391@gmail.com.

Ben said...

Sure! I'll shoot over an email in a couple.