First of all, Happy Memorial Day to everybody. It was a beautiful weekend and I hope everybody got to spend it with family and friends, but, most of all, we should all take time to remember the heroism of those soldiers who were never able to come home. We owe them a debt of gratitude that can never live up to their sacrifices. Thank you to all who serve and have served in the armed forces.
So, I will start with some great news. On Friday, Dr. Broome let us know that the chemo worked amazingly and that my cancer is back in remission....where it belongs. This was a piece of great news because it was a fear that I would never be able to return to remission. When leukemia relapses after an initial remission, it is much more difficult to get into a second remission because the leukemia cells develop immunities to the chemo and are often difficult to kill. So, the first round of chemo worked and my cancer is officially gone and out of my system. The unfortunate thing is that there is an extreme likelihood that since I relapsed once, I would relapse again without further treatment. This is why they can't just let me go even though all the cancer is gone. The best bet for a long term cure is a bone marrow transplant. The remission was critical, though, because a transplant will not be successful unless the leukemia is in remission. This means that we can finally look toward the next big step, which is getting the transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Center in Seattle.....I have already broken out my 1995 Pearl Jam/Nirvana mix tape in preparation! The transplant center should be contacting us this week to set up a consult in the near future where Hanna and I will fly out and make a plan for this 100 day process. I will likely receive another round of chemo here at Georgetown to make sure I stay in remission while the Seattle people find a donor and set things up. The news of achieving this remission was a fantastic way to start the weekend and was the best we could have hoped for after only one round of chemo.
On another happy note, four of our amazing friends organized a happy hour fundraiser to help Hanna and I with many of the extra bills and expenses that this ordeal has brought. Justin, Alison, Trisha, and Jodi went way beyond expectations with Cocktails for a Cause. It was a happy hour at a local bar where so many of our family and friends were able to gather and support us financially, emotionally, and just with good company. It was overwhelming and inspiring to be surrounded by such love and goodness and we cannot begin to thank the four of them and everybody else who attended or supported the event. It was yet another reminder of our extreme blessings and the strength that time with loved ones provides.
Hanna and I were also able to make it home to Pennsylvania this weekend which was healing in its normalcy. We visited with our family and friends, swam in the neighbor's pool, barbequed, watched sports, and just enjoyed being home for the long weekend. It was the most active I have been since recovering from the infection I had and, for the most part, I was able to hang in there and be myself and almost forget about all of this cancer nonsense for a few days.
Now we are waiting to hear from the Fred Hutchinson Center to plan the next steps of this journey. The past week has inspired us with the continuing outpouring of love and energized us to face what is next. Thanks you for the love and prayers.....they are what keep us going and make us certain that...
ALL Will Be Well
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like
art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that
give value to survival."