For more than six years now I have been sharing snippets and vignettes from my waltz with leukemia. But what I haven’t spoken of much was the dance that my mom was living parallel to my own; first with breast cancer and then in the last three months, stage four lung cancer.
June 1st was the 7-month anniversary of my bone marrow transplant. Halleluiah! Last week with my oncologist’s permission, we took our three kiddos and two golden retrievers to the beach for a long weekend.
That is what my kiddos call the baby hair growing back on my head. It has been almost two weeks of growth now and my scalp is no longer ghost pale as if I were wearing a tight, white speedo swim cap. When I ask the doctors if it will all grow back, they answer, “Probably, but maybe not. We will see.” That is a pretty common answer from my doctors. Apparently, we are in somewhat uncharted waters.
First, I want to deeply thank you for following my blog and sharing this journey with me. It is an honor to share it with you. For the past few months I have had the privilege of being a part of a guide team that is connected to the new Zoweh podcast…
A few months ago, I was invited to speak at a leadership breakfast hosted by CBMC, Christian Business Men's Connection, in a large ballroom near the Raleigh Durham airport. It was an honor and I accepted without hesitation.
Kate and I had just returned from Duke Oncology. We laid on the couch after a good cry, processing the latest turn in the leukemia journey. Eventually, Kate got up and went out to run some errands and I sat alone in my favorite spot of our house.
Two weeks ago, I stood in my driveway as my oldest son, Shawn, gave me a hug, climbed into his SUV, and drove away down the street. He waved to me, and as I waved back I whispered, “God, please bless your son as he rides into this next chapter of his life in pursuit of his dream to play quarterback in college.”
Last week was my 56thbirthday and the outpouring of best wishes from family and friends near and far was humbling to my heart. Unbeknownst to most, my wife and I were called to Duke Hospital for unscheduled blood tests and a visit with my oncologist earlier in the week, July 3rd. The timing was eerily similar to five years ago, almost to the day, when I received a phone call from Duke telling me I had leukemia…
It is February of 2018 already. Time flies, and I say that with all respect in the world for time, given that four-and-a-half years ago I sat in a room at Duke University Oncology with an IV in my arm delivering toxic chemicals into my system in hopes of beating down the leukemia cells that had taken over 95% of my blood.
It has been a full nine months since I started my fourth type of chemotherapy drug. My last bone marrow biopsy was in December of last year and revealed nearly 50% of the marrow was leukemia ridden, which is not a good long-term prognosis, thus leading my team of oncologists wanted to see how much leukemia was remaining in my blood and bone marrow with this recently approved new treatment