Sunday, June 12, 2011

No News is Good News

Kenyon "the Graduate", with proud Mom and Dad - last night
Hello friends, I'm back on the air after almost 2 months away.  The good news is that there has not been very much to report in terms of my CLL.  The first half of the treatment had more twists, turns, unknowns, and really, more suspense than this second half....we learned in the first 3 treatments that my disease was responding, at least in terms of my white cell count, and at the mid-point - in Houston 2 months ago - we learned that my bone marrow showed some improvement.  As we go through these last few treatments, my expectations are that we will not learn much of importance until I go back to MD Anderson 6 to 8 weeks after the 6th and final treatment to learn the "final score" of this first battle in the war.  That next trip to MD Anderson will likely be towards the end of September.  Meanwhile, my counts bump up and down based on the timing of my treatments and my neutrophil booster shots.  My lymphocytes fluctuate from around 1,000 to maybe 5,000, and my neutrophils from as low as 300 (2 weeks ago) up to 3500 (a week after my monthly shot).

Treatment #4 was May 2-4, and I was going to start #5 on May 31, but my neutrophils were down at 300 - this doesn't surprise me or Renee anymore, nor does it concern us.  I'll be back in the clinic tomorrow to try again to start #5.  My general health remains excellent, despite a slight increase in the post-chemo side effects. 


The big change in my life is that I went back to work at IBM on May 13th.  I am working 'full time', however I am being careful not to overdo things, especially while I am still under treatment.  This time of year is a good time for me to be getting back into the routines of work, as there area lot of people flexing in and out for long weekends and also taking their summer holidays.  Renee and I have two major family reunions to look forward to in July - one with my in-laws at North Topsail Beach over the July 4th week and one in Northern Wisconsin at a lake with my family.  Golf balls will be struck, fish will be caught, and family bonds will be strengthened........much to look forward to, and I promise to post pics.


As you can see from the photo, our son Kenyon has just graduated from high school - another big news item is that he was hired for his first job a couple of months ago at Arby's, which is going very well.  We are very proud of him.  Rachel is home for the summer and we are really enjoying having her around - she is making jewelry and would love to take your order at

http://www.etsy.com/shop/rachellorraine?ref=pr_shop


I remain confident about my future, not because of modern medicine, but because of my faith in Christ.  The Lord has all things under His control, and as I have said before, I see having an illness as a calling or a mission that I have been given, in the same way that raising a child is a mission.  I'm always thinking of movie or musical references (this is involuntary now), and I just thought of one - in "The Blues Brothers Movie", as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues are putting the band back together, they keep saying "we're on a mission from God".  And so am I.  I pray that you would be encouraged in your mission.  Thanks for your care, concern and prayers.

A short video clip of Kenyon receiving his diploma:



video