I know it's been a year...so the answer to the question is - yes, I'm still alive.
and well. actually.
My recent blood tests were promising and showing little signs of disease progression and I am...
1. in hematologic remission This means that my CBC results (complete blood count) stabilized in a generally normal range.
2. in cytogenic remission This means the results of my FISH test (Fluorescent in situ hybridization) shows that better than 90% of the 500 test cells are normal.
3. achieved ‘MMR’ or Major Molecular Response. This means that the number of cells in my PCR-ABL (polymerase chain reaction test for the ABL gene) has consistently dropped. Two years ago this number was around 2.5% of my blood had the PH+ (Philadelphia 9-22 translocation gene) - at the last test this dropped to 1.4%. People that truly be the disease are in the 0.001 percent rage, but I’ll take downward trending at this point.
I had my six month appointment on Monday, August 10 with Dr. Cripe and here are the results:
WBC - 3.7 (low, but not horrible). Hgb - 13.9 (again, low, but not horrible). Hct - 39.6 (yep, low, but not horrible) Platelets - 157,000 (yeehaw, this one actually falls in the normal skew).
Anyway, the numbers above are not really troublesome, but they don't really tell much of a story. At this appointment they also took blood for my PCR-ABL test that quantifies the number of PH+ cells in my body. I can't really explain the scale of which its measured, but I went from a 4.01 in Feb 09 to a 2.04 in Aug 09. In short, the percentage of PH+ RNA molcules was cut in half. Really good numbers are in the 0.00x range, but at least its going down.
Not much health stuff going on right now. I have an appointment to see Dr. Cripe next week which will be my 6 month check-up. This appoint is usually pretty short but does include a CBC and my PCR_ABL test. Keep your fingers crossed - the last one didn't go so well :(.
On a related note - Keith Olbermann had a pretty good commentary that I'd like to share with all of you. Its largely political affiliation agnostic (though with a slight Democratic bend).
Guess that means things are going well. April is a busy time around here, my birthday, Maris' birthday, Kris and my anniversary (7 years, thank you very much), Kris' birthday in early May and Mother's Day.
This year I got Kris a kayak for the anniv/birth/mothersday extravaganza. Its pretty cool really - 15' long and inflatable. It's essentially the same material as a white-water raft and designed for two adults (or single if need be). Attached is a photo where we went for a literal dry run. It took about 20 minutes to inflate, but I'm confident we can get that down to 10 now that we know what we're doing.
Father of two amazing kiddos (Eli, 4 and Maris, 2). Married to Kristin for more than 5 years and loving every minute of it. Also have 2 dogs, lots of fish, some amphibians and more. Diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia at age 34. Currently living with cancer and loving life.