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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gotta Get Down to the Cumberland Mine...

Blogging Tunes: somafm - Drone Zone

I'm heading into the office for the first time in a couple months today.  Big milestone.  The last time I went in was early Jan, a couple weeks after I completed my induction.  That visit, to attend a Staff Meeting in person, and to surprise the $&!% out of my team, only lasted an hour, and really tired me out.

Today, I'm planning on spending the whole day in the office: real work; meetings; the whole nine; I have a dentist appointment downtown (missed my last one due to chemo); and I'm to be the recipient of a Happy Hour party so work folks can wish me good luck with the upcoming treatment. I'll be taking the Larkspur Ferry for the first time with my good buddy Rob W.  It'll almost be like things are back to normal.  Almost.

Speaking of achieving normalcy, the early results from the bone marrow biopsy look great.  My team says that I am "exactly where they hoped I'd be" at this stage of the game.  They are also extremely impressed with my energy level, weight gain, conditioning, etc.  Both Bridget (my marrow coordinator) and Dr. Lucas (from the CCC) said that based on what my body has been through the last few months (i.e. all the chemo, infection, etc.), I'm exceeding all of their expectations (in terms of my health/conditioning) across the board.  This bodes very well for the upcoming transplant.

Not coincidently, in final preparation for the BMT, Heather and I have the big "Family Consult" meeting with Dr. Damon and Bridget tomorrow.  In this meeting we'll go over everything involved in the procedure, the timeline, the after care, etc.  They really want to make sure we're ready on all fronts.  This is also the last time to discuss the "Do we really even need to do this?" question.  As I've written before, and discussed with many of you, my hope was to, largely through intention, incur a modern miracle, whereby my leukemia would disappear and the BMT wouldn't even be necessary.  I will find out more at the meeting tomorrow, but here's the basic deal with this: even if my biopsy shows that I'm in complete remission, the BMT is still the recommended course of action.  Why?  The nature of this disease is that it comes back.  I'm going to ask for hard numbers to support this, but my understanding is:

1) The recommended course is based on my initial diagnosis, not my current state; there's literally no biopsy results that would change their recommendation of a BMT as my best chance for cure.
2) It was no small feat to get me to this state of remission based how effed up my blood, marrow, and chromosomes were back in November 2010.
3) The chances of a successful BMT go down significantly with each successive chemo treatment

Number 3 is the biggie here.  What this means is that, let's say we took a chance that I would stay in remission and we blew off the BMT.  Then 3 years from now the Leukemia comes back, and we have to do this induction and consolidation all over again... and we have to get the donor blood again.  Again, I need the hard numbers, but from what I've been told, the likelihood of success for a BMT at that time would be around half of what it is today.  Based on those odds, I'll go with my doctor's recommendation.  Wouldn't you?  I'll post another update on this after the Consult.

In other news, we're going to get the final go-ahead tomorrow, but it looks like we're going to be able to take a short trip to Philly to see my parents/family and to attend my Nephew's Bar Mitzvah next weekend.  My parents haven't yet met Orion (unless you count Skype) so we're really psyched to go out there and see everyone.

Lastly, it wouldn't be a blog post without some kind of Floyd update.  The latest with the little bugger, besides his constantly wanting to hear "Scawlet" and "Tehwapin" is that he's totally into this match game we got for him (and he's damn good at it too.)


He also loves "banana chips" which we call "monkey chips".


Time to shower and get ready for work!  Exciting times!

I will kick its ass,

-jg

9 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting back to the office! I'm sure it feels great to get as much normalcy as you can. I've been reading your blog every week -- I have a 1 and 3 yo myself, and am an ardent gd/phish fan. Your posts remind me to appreciate all the "normal" blessings of life -- thank you for that, and best of luck with the bmt!

    Caroline (from the doc team at work)

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  2. Have a kick ass day at the office today! xoxo

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  3. Make good money, $5 a day...

    Awesome news. Congrats on going back to work, and going to the dentist! Sounds weird to say that, but hey...

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  4. Great post buddy! Can't wait to see you in Philly! Whatever the results of your meeting, I know you'll do what needs to be done the kick the ever living sh*t out of this thing. Good luck on your work day, can't wait to hear/read about it soon!!!

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  5. You have ads on your blog now! (Just thought I'd state the obvious...) Very cool about possible trip to see the Greenes! XO

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  6. Lauren is sooooooo excited to see Orion!!!

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  7. So great to see you yesterday! Sending positive thoughts your way for the upcoming treatment. Safe travels to Philly! -mg

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  8. Dude! Congrats on the biopsy results... that's fantastic. Couldn't be better! Keep it up going into BMT!!

    Thanks for keeping us informed! Have fun back East.

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  9. NOOOICE, dude, NOOOOICE! While I would not give such big ups to most people going to work or the dentist, well, BIG UPS!

    I just played "Tehwappin" for Sophie the other day for the first time. She liked it, but she's more into celtic rock. And the Beatles.

    Nabib

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