Continuing on

A lot has happened the last month. The CMV infection was resolved, and then 2 weeks later reappeared, so I’m back on the anti-viral medicine. The rash on my face has grown to be a non-fungal “dandruff”, which isn’t pretty, but manageable. When I complained to SCCA, I was given a link that showed some pictures of some real graft vs. host disease rashes. Suddenly I’m not complaining so

Another milestone

I did not know Susan Butcher, the four-time Iditerod champion, but I read of her death, a year ago today, following a donor stem cell transplant. That affected me a good deal, thinking that if someone that strong couldn’t make it, then how can I think I will? But she had a different cancer, and was affected by graft vs host disease. The main reality, though, was that one could survive from March

Not detectable!

There actually is time to worry, after all. When the doctor told me he might want to do a bone marrow test for myeloma if my blood counts continued to go down, I experienced some anticipatory anxiety, best relieved by thinking of something positive. My positive thought was being so glad that Gene is now 13 instead of 10.Instead, though, we did a simple blood test for the protein that the myeloma

Gone home

You can tell when someone goes home from a situation like this, no more updates! I’ve been wanting to write an update, but honestly, there’s a lot of living out there to do. A 14 mile bicycle ride on a wonderful wooded trail, a 1000′ gain hike in the Columbia River Gorge, walks to the Saturday farmers market downtown, and being with family and friends.As I told the doctor today, I’m still

Nearly 100%

There seem to be several things I’m at nearly 100% recently.One is in completing the 100 days! Two more days and we’re going home, not any too soon, believe me!Another, I just found out, is in my bone marrow and blood cells. There are several measurements where they compute the percentage. One is in bone marrow cells, and I’m at 98% donor. Another is red blood cells, and I’m at 90% donor, and for

Final days

Last weekend at home was wonderful. On Saturday, I took the bus to the Farmer’s Market, met Gene there and had a root beer float with him, then took the bus back home. Then, Marilyn and I walked the 2 miles to the market along the waterfront. It’s a lot of fun seeing people you know at the market.Going home got a little complicated. My oncologist is on vacation the next 2 weeks, and the first

Somewhat uncomfortable

I’ve now had 4 bone marrow aspiration procedures here in addition to the 4 I’ve had before. Yesterday I was delighted to have the same person that did the first one here. I asked about her the other times, and was told she only worked on Thursday, but there she was on a Friday! That was nice, but what’s not so nice were the 2 skin biopsies she took from the same site. It’s somewhat uncomfortable,

Attachments and bonding

While waiting for a job to open up in the Seattle area in 1976, I had a fear of getting too attached to my accidental home in Los Angeles. Moving to where the jobs were had been traumatic enough, and I did not want to get “stuck” there. I just wanted out of L.A., so I took a job in Dallas for a year. It’s a funny thing when you leave a place you’re “not attached” to, all of a sudden all the good

Chain reaction

First you have chemo to condition your body to accept the donor’s stem cells, and drugs to suppress the immune system so as not to reject the transplant, and thus the CMV reactivates itself (see my prior post Learning more), as viruses are apt to do in these situations. This happened to me before with the chicken pox virus. Then you take another drug to counter the CMV, which lowers the white

Hard to believe

Sometimes it’s good news that is hard to believe. This week the doctor said that most myeloma patients do well after this transplant procedure, mentioning someone that is 8 years out. I don’t know how to hold onto that hope without crushing it. Just one day at a time, I guess.But the tests are good. I got clarification on the 0.02 number from the bone marrow test, and that is the percentage of