Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Marrow Donor Drive Saturday

Our friend Jane Maxton (aka Al Brown's sister) has been working very hard to organize a marrow donor drive in Brookville Ohio (near Dayton). It will be held on Saturday August 2nd from 9-1pm at the Brookville First United Methodist Church. Please encourage any friends or relatives living the area that are not already in the registry to attend.

New Shoes

Hi! Gary has been lax in updating the blog so I thought I would give you an update. He has been taking for an oral medication (cyclosporine) for about a week. It is quick and painless much easier than going in for chemo treatments. The goal is to raise his platelets without letting the leukemia to become out of control. This week his platelets went from 11 to 15 but it will take a few weeks to see real improvement. It is still immunosuppressive so he has to be careful and still gets tired quickly.
Now about the new shoes.....Gary decided that he needed new running shoes so he could get serious about exercising. In order to "break them in" we walked around the block (4 mile block) it was long and hot but he made it home. We are on a roll and have been doing 2 mile walks for 3 nights in a row.
Please continue to pray for a well matched donor for Gary, an increase in platlets and his continued strength to keep walking.

Monday, July 21, 2008

OSU Update

We meet with the doctors at Ohio State today. I am actually updating this in the car on the drive home. Although the doctors feel that Gary is "ready" for a stem cell transplant a well matched donor has not been identified. The success of a transplant depends on a good match so we unanimously decided wait until a great match is found.

His platelets are still very low (11 today) so he is going to take an oral drug which we hope will help to raise the platelets. This drug still has the same side effects as chemotherapy of lowering the immune system so he needs to be careful not to get any infections (he will keep the Purell in his pocket) At this point the plan is to take the drug for 5 weeks and see if the platelets increase.
Overall Gary feels pretty good. He has a great desire to exercise(at least he talks about it frequently) and eat well he just needs to work harder on the execution of that desire :)
We ask for your continued prayers to keep Gary strong and infection free and for a perfectly matched donor.

Williamsburg Trip

We had a great week in Williamsburg Virginia. We enjoyed being taken back into the
1770's seeing the buildings and especially listening to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. We also spent some time at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Tammy's parents spent the week with us- it was great time.
Unfortunately on the drive home we had a tire blowout on the Pennsylvania turnpike which
delayed our trip a few hours.
The day after we got home Craig and Hannah went to Evart Michigan to spend a week at Springhill Camp. They were so excited. Scott is looking forward to being the "only kid" for
the week and Tammy missed them the minute we drove out of camp.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good News!

Hello Everyone,

We have good news! Well basically my bone marrow has little cancer burdened, no cancer in peripheral blood, and lymph nodes are clean and normal size.

So, we got what we wanted and that is the Leukemia is beat down! Although we know it will not last very long! Because of the nature of Leukemia the cancer will begin to grow again.

So, What is next!

1) I am now ready for the Transplant but must wait until we find a "Perfect or Nearly Perfect Match"

2) Since, we know the "Cancer" is not cured until after a Transplant I am going to enter into a clinical study at Ohio State University! I will be meeting with the OSU team at the end of July. This clinical study has seen some tremendous results and Dr. Bryd feels it would help me get into a "Durable Remission" which allows us to wait for a "Perfect Match" for the transplant.

Both, Tammy and I are very happy with the progress I have made against this Leukemia. Over the next few months my body will begin to recover back to normal levels as the bone marrow recovers it normal operating processes. (They say it can take 6 to 12 months to fully recover!)

Personally I feel very blessed to have gotten this far! It has been a while since I was able to feel good about my body!

I want to Thank Everyone for your continued prayers and words of encouragement it has and always helps me everyday! Also, I would like to ask you to pray for a "Perfect Match" so we can put the Leukemia behind us permanently!

I hope you have a GREAT 4th of July, My Family and I will!

Thanks for checking in,


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Donor Drive Update

Here is an update on the stem cell transplant donor drive. We had about 400 potential donors at the drive held in Novi on May 18th. As of today July 2, the new donors are in the database but they have not been typed (lab still processing). This process should take a few more weeks. New donors will receive a donor card in the mail with their typing. A NMDP representative estimated about 46,000 donors were added to the registry in May with the Thanks Mom campaign (registration fee was waived). A suitable match has not been identified for me as of yet. We are hopeful that when the typing from our drive is in- the perfect donor will be identified.