Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Houston we have Platelets and a Match!

Hello Everyone,

Yes, I have finally risen above the 50K level on platelets, 53K to be exact. When it comes to platelets 50K is a threshold of sorts; above 50K and they watch it below 50K and they treat it! We have been juggling cancer and platelet treatments since February.

So, where am I on the old health-o-meter?

I would have to say on a zero to ten scale (ten being Olympic athlete) I am at a solid 7.87658954! :)

Just under: able to run 1 mile, but slightly above: walking briskly for 2.1 miles. :)

Tangent: People have said I have the same characteristics as Michael Phelps' except for the height, swimming talent, web feet, millions of dollars, very short haircut, goofy smile, and a few other items; which is why I thought of the Olympic comparison. Ha Ha :)

Seriously, getting the platelets above 50K is very good and allows me to move into the next phase of treatment!

Yes, we are talking about transplant! We have a few more test to run and if those checkout then I will be ready to go to transplant.

Yesterday, my OSU doctors informed me that they have found a transplant donor match for me.

The match is from two umbilical cord blood samples that some smart parents donated to the National Donor Registry. The frozen umbilical cord blood samples are waiting for some guy like me to come along and need them. So, for $50K dollars you too can have frozen umbilical cord blood.

I am serious about this, it seems crazy but this is the reality we all live in. It appears the umbilical cord blood which is harvested and stored after the baby is born is very rich in stem cells (baby blood cells) and works great for transplants. The problem is the volume of the sample is smaller then what an adult needs so we have to double it which is why you need two cord blood samples. The transplant process is the same after they give me the blood. The transplant process carries more risk of infection but less risk of graft vs host disease. This is a relatively new transplant process so on our OSU doctors recommendations we are going for a second opinion at the University of Minnesota. OSU has only performed a handful of cord blood transplants. But the Golden Gophers have pioneered this type of transplant over the last few years.

Except for the minor side effects of losing all wrinkles, gaining back my hair, developing buns and abs of steel and having the youthful appearance of a 21 year old, I should make it through this difficult procedure. :)

We will not have timing until after I go through the remaining tests. So, you will just have to wait for that nugget of information.

I am not done with this Leukemia stuff just yet and fear the hardest part is still ahead but I feel blessed and know GOD has been working miracles for me every step of the way.

We will keep you informed, so, just check back in once and a while for the latest information...

Thanks for stopping by,



kc said...

Great News Gary - and Tammy - !

Michelle Donberger said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!!! What an incredible answer to prayer! I sure will be thinking about you and the tough road you still have ahead of you.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is great news, guys! I haven't been on here to catch up in a while, but am glad to hear you're making great progress, Gary.

We've been busy all summer with fun stuff with the kids and all, but haven't forgotten about you all. You'll stay in our thoughts and prayers as long as needed.

Dave R (from Brighton)

Jim Allbery said...


I'm so happy for you all!

We'll up the prayers that everything goes well with the final tests.

God is good!


Jennifer Jennings said...

What terrific news! We are thrilled. Your hope and faith is an inspiration. We will continue to pray for you and look forward to more good news.

Amy Rosenberg said...

Wonderful news! I'm so happy for you!