I spent the entire day yesterday at Vanderbilt Cancer Center getting the first part of my 2-year post-transplant checkup. It took the whole day, and everything was wonderful:
- My eyes have not had any Graft-vs-Host (attacks from my immune system) for the last six months. The wonderful, exuberant, sweet ophthalmologist, whom I will miss, told me I don’t ever need to come back. I though GVH of the eyes was a lifelong problem. Whoo hoo!
- Still cancer free, and 2-years is coming up in a month when I’m allowed to use the word “cured,” even though nothing is 100%.
- My triglycerides, very heightened by the steroids I have to take, come down from 460 to 180. Whoo hoo!
The albumen levels in my urine were TERRIBLE. I have no symptoms, but that’s indicative a kidney problem. Little scary. My other kidney number, creatinine level, was back down in normal range.
Basically, though, everything’s fine. In fact, they’re so fine that now they want to do all the poking and prodding that they would like to do to all healthy people. If you’re healthy, though, you can usually just dodge things like colonoscopies and prostate checks by never going to the doctor. I go to the doctor at least every two months and usually much more often than that. They are always asking if I’ve had this or that, and they want me to have everything.
Since I had cancer, I am giving in … once for each item.
Anyway, it’s made for a pretty busy couple of weeks. I will get back to blogging as soon as I can, probably next week.
I’ll give you additional news. Part of what is keeping me busy is that I am finally working regularly on Yippee! I Have Leukemia. I came up with a paragraph for my query letter and proposal (used to get a literary agent for traditional publishing) that I really like:
Why is the suffering, pain, and risk of training, preparing, and scaling a mountain an adventure to be tackled with joy, yet an equally difficult and much more risky battle with leukemia is not? I will never climb Mt. Everest, but I can find the same thrill and conquest climbing Mt. Improbable.
That pretty much sums up my attitude toward a cancer that kills about 75% of the people who get it. I figured all things work together for good for those who love God and are called for his purpose, so I’d act like that was true. The battle with leukemia was not just “my trial.” It was good.
The daughter of a friend of mine got me a T-shirt that says, “It’s all good.” I wore it a lot, and I still wear it even though it has holes in it. Thanks, Katie!
- High-Tech Advances in Gene Therapy Overcome Challenges, Offer Hope for Patients with Hard-to-Treat Blood Disorders (prnewswire.com)
- Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Leukemia, Other Blood Cancers (nlm.nih.gov)
- Pay it Forward: Cancer survivor gives back to sick children (khou.com)
- AbbVie Leukemia Drug Impresses In Early-Stage Trial (biospace.com)
- A stop sign for cancer (sciencedaily.com)
- T cell immunotherapy: Promising results in children and adults with leukemia (eurekalert.org)
- Kevin Brown, 60, has climbed Everest, walked the Kokoda Trail and beaten cancer. (sykose.com)
- Colonoscopy 101 (cancerletters.wordpress.com)
- Interim Results From Gentium’s Treatment IND for Defibrotide and Additional Data on Defibrotide in the Prevention of Acute Graft Versus Host Disease (aGvHD) Presented at the American Society of Hemato (markets.financialcontent.com)