Title of today’s episode: Campaign Update – Unexpected early results!
First of all, we hope that everyone had a happy, joyous and hopeful Christmas and New Year’s. We had a wonderful holiday with Shannon and Connor, as well as Terri’s parents and her sister’s family. It was fabulous to spend the unexpected time with Shannon and hear of her adventures and experiences in Spain and to enjoy the wonderful woman she has become. Connor finished out another semester at college and continues to grow and mature and amaze us everyday.
Last Tuesday Dudley (me) had another bone marrow biopsy (after the second round of chemo treatment) and Nell (Terri) recorded it. I’ve been to all 12 or so biopsies but never seen one…and now I have. Not only was it no big deal, it was also the least uncomfortable one I’ve ever had. This was to be a check-in biopsy to be sure the chemo protocol was doing some good and kicking Snidley’s cancer cells butt before we proceeded with additional rounds. That weekend we went to the beach for some surf sounds and sanity, and and Saturday afternoon I received an email from my doctor letting us know the pathology report was back and it said I had NO signs of leukemia in my blood…meaning I was in REMISSION already!!! We were only hoping to see a reduced number of blasts (the baddies), and ended up with the whole enchilada!
We were stunned to say the least…in the best possible way! Going into remission wins us a “cou-pin” (Ron White fans will get this) to get us into another bone marrow transplant! They are working to get the transplant schedule (being in remission was a prerequisite) and need to determine when that will be (maybe March) and who will be the donor (details to follow). I’m finishing my third round of treatment this week and will have one more to hopefully keep Snidely out of sight and on the run. We are so thankful for our doctors, the prayers and well wishes from family, friends, coworkers and everyone who’s been behind us through our adventure SO FAR.
- Some ramblings….I had my first haircut of 2016 this week, and noticed my hair color has significantly less gray than before…looks like if you are looking to color your hair, you can always use Azacitidine – my chemo – instead of Grecian Formula 16 (just putting that out as an option).
- At the outpatient department at Hopkins, there’s a very nice woman who greets you and helps direct you to the right place. She’s been working there for as long as we’ve been coming there (like two years) and still asks if I need help. We call her “50 First Dates” since it seems she doesn’t remember us each time we come in (I guess when you see so many people everyday “we” all blend together!
- If anyone wants to start a competitor to the Waze app, we as a team can give it a run for it’s money. We have become pretty formidable at avoiding traffic between our house and Hopkins on our many, many trips.
So, looking forward, we hope to have some more clarity on the next steps and are planning for long term success with the next transplant. There’s still a lot of work to do and we are ready to go. Thanks to all for everything – every email, phone call, well wishes, dinners, rides..whatever – will continue to sustain us as we look forward to the future and what’s to come.
Paul and Terri
Terri’s PS…Paul continues to amaze his team with his attitude and his ability to handle chemo and everything else they throw at him. He has continued to be strong, healthy and energetic. I still pick him for my Trivial Pursuit team any day of the week too!