|Cozumel, January 2015 with Renee, Rachel, and Alex|
Wow, friends and family, I'm not sure what to say about a 6-month hiatus from blog posting. It's not that nothing has happened, and I'm not coming back to the keyboard because there's anything momentous to report. It's just been too darn long and I have no excuses. First, on the medical front, since I last posted in September, I've been to MD Anderson for my 3-year check-up, and everything checked out fine again. Many of you know that, and I hope that those of you who didn't assumed that no news was good news. I am now coming to the 3 year anniversary of the date when I was first told that I was cancer-free, about 4 months after my transplant. For Richter's transformation patients, being alive after 3 years is something that only a small minority experience. I am blessed to be here. More than that, I am blessed to be a disciple of the Savior, Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we celebrate today.
I have not been bothered by my Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) which I was diagnosed with last July or August. I've been training for a half-marathon which is coming up next Sunday (Rock and Roll Raleigh Marathon and half-Marathon), and while I still use the inhaler occasionally, I'm pretty fit for a guy my age. I've committed to what I am calling the "2015 Triple Play" for my blood cancer fund-raising project this year. In addition to the Marathon on April 12th, I am planning to ride in a bicycle event called the NC Tour de Cure, which is a 'double century', 100 miles on May 16 and another 100 on May 17th. Finally, I plan to join another Team in Training (TNT) event in Yosemite National Park on June 13th, and complete a 20 mile day hike. I'm doing the fund raising for these 3 events combined, so I have one web page and one goal of $30,000. If you want to donate, the link is http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/Yosemit15/drooker As always, the donations go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which funds research dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancers.
So for the last 2 months I have been training to some extent for all 3 events - I have advanced from a 3 mile jog up to a 7 mile run. I will do one more run before next Sunday's race. I expect to be able to run at least 10 miles out of the 13 on race day, and I am not hung up on 'performance' as some would like me to be. I just want to cross the finish line before they pick up all the cones :-).
I have also been walking the golf course once a week while carrying my bag to keep my 'hiking feet' in some semblance of readiness. I have used my "Runkeeper" app while I play so I know that the entire course comes out to just under 7 miles, and that's with about 30 pounds of clubs and equipment on my back.
Finally I have been riding my road bike at least once a week, usually for between 35 and 45 miles. Once I get past the half marathon I will focus much harder on the cycling.
27 people have donated to my cause so far, for a total of $14,550. Every dollar helps, but I want to give an honorable mention to Eddy Tsang, who, for the third time, has donated $10,000 to a TNT event of mine. I have known Eddy for almost 20 years now and while I can share many of his great qualities with you, his generosity speaks for itself. Thanks Eddy!
On April 24th I will be the keynote speaker, giving a survivor's perspective, at the North Carolina LLS Chapter's Annual Blood Cancer Conference. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1406636796308021/
Well, the Triple Play and the Blood Cancer Conference are the "big things" coming up. Every day is a blessing and the rest of the family is doing well. I hope and pray that this post finds you well and I look forward to hearing from you via calls, emails, or comments here on my blog - Happy Easter everyone. Dan