Update: Episode 60 (8/3/18)

Title of today’s episode: “Dudley and Nell continue the experiment”

An observation…in golf if you can shoot your age, it means you are: (1) old and (2) still a really good golfer.  I am drawing the parallel for leukemia updates since today’s episode is the 60th (my age) meaning I am: (1) old enough and (2) still able to write these – both of which are really good things. 
 
We started the campfire-inducing DLI two months ago with Connor’s cells and last week they sampled the stew (did a biopsy) and found:
 
     – there was no evidence of leukemia in my blood or marrow
     – my blood was 91% Connor and 9% me
The first item is very good news, because it means I am still in remission YEAH!  The second item shows that while I didn’t experience the radical GVHD I expected (like a forest fire, or “human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together”), there was – and still is – some reaction and turns out Connor’s cells took care of all of mine…almost.  In light of this and other factors, my doctor has me proceeding on a maintenance chemo plan starting next week – with the same drug I had earlier this year – which will be 5 days a week every month.  As for how long this will be, its TBD for now.
While we were watching the fire stay mostly under control the past couple of months, life goes on.  Terri and I celebrated our 17th anniversary the end of June, and we are so very blessed to be able to enjoy and support each other. Shannon made a BUSINESS trip to Fiji and had a wonderful time.  We had a great weekend at the beach with Shannon and Connor and friends.  Connor’s continuing his job search and Terri is recovering from a broken toe -she always says the story about these kind of injuries should always include a trapeze (alas her’s was running into a shopping cart)!
As far as our adventure, it continues on a path into sort of a haze.  The goal of the treatment is to keep me in remission, as well as hopefully letting me stay feeling good.  The challenge is we don’t know how long this treatment will last – it all depends on how I react.  We are hopeful because I’ve demonstrated the ability to handle chemo well and my doctor has had very good, long, durable remissions using this with other patients – with the caveat, as always, each person is different and “your mileage may vary”.
We’ve talked many times about this being a marathon, and this next phase clearly meets this analogy.  I’ve done 7 marathons in my life so hopefully I can draw from the training and races to keep me plugging along.
Thanks again for all your notes, well wishes and prayers and remember to enjoy each day and all the people in your lives.
God’s Blessing,
Paul and Terri
Terri’s PS – It has been an eventful summer, much of it unplanned.  Between taking trees down at both houses, needing a new roof at one of them, new lawn at the other, ovens that have cooked their last and sump pump flooded basement, it’s been anything but boring.  All while continuing to mourn my daddy’s passing and working with my sisters on his estate (thanks Pam!) Life is a journey with a GPS that continues to say “re-routing, re-routing, so learn to go with the flow and don’t be upset at being a little lost!