Friday, February 29, 2008

Treatment 5 & 6 to a Cure!

Hello Everyone,

Ok, I didn’t post after Treatment 5. But, basically everything went well with Treatment 5 and 6. I was able to get in and out in about 5 hours. My blood numbers are looking better! Your prayers are working.

What I want to talk about today are my friends Ann Moening, Ross Perich, and Galvin Main who are hiking for a cure, biking for a cure, and triathloning for a cure . Ann, Ross and Galvin are raising money for Leukemia research and I am their poster child.

Seriously, Ann is trying to raise $3,700 for Leukemia. If you would like to help Ann reach her goal click the following link:

Ann - Hike for a Cure!

If you would like to help Ross reach his goal of raising $10,000 for Leukemia research click the following link:

Ross - Bike for a Cure!

If you would like to help Gavin reach his goal of raising $5,000 for Leukemia research click the following link:

Gavin – Triathlon for a Cure!

Isn’t this a great world we live in when people can help others by doing things they love to do.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend! I plan on it!

Until we meet again,


Monday, February 25, 2008

Treatment 4 to a Cure!

Hello Everyone,

Well, I am sitting here at U of M drinking a nice warm Café Mocha and listening to my iPod. The day went well, met with the doctor and we are starting to show some positive trends in the blood but still have a long way to go. (Positive Trend in Blood Numbers is GOOD! :)

Tammy stayed with me most of the time but had to bug out to take the kids to the Dentist. I am waiting for her to return and pick me up.

Funny thing happened while I was receiving the IV. See, I had scheduled a conference call to review a project at work with my development team in South America and while I was conducting the conference call this nice massage therapist shows up and ask if I would like a massage. Well, what is a guy to do, of course I responded yes. So, I am sitting there getting chemo therapy and a neck massage, conducting a conference call with guys in South America, checking my email over the internet with my laptop, and if that weren’t enough the nurse shows up to take my vital signs (blood pressure, temp). I said to myself this is a great world we live in. I didn’t skip a beat! See it is all in the way you look at it! The Glass is Half Full!

I want to thank everyone for the continued prayers and support, it really makes a difference.

Until we meet again,


Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 3 to Cure (continued)

Hello Everyone,

I took the Rituxan again this morning and again no problems.

The fun part about today was John Giragosian, my friend, neighbor, and dentist stepped up to the plate and took me to treatment.

He got up pretty early to pick me up at 6:45 am on a cold snow filled morning.

It was nice having John there to talk with, of course, around 9:00 am I fell asleep and was pretty much out the next 1 ½ hours, damn Benadryl.

If you don’t know John, know this, it is people like John that offer small acts of kindness who make my life worth living.

John, Thanks for Being There!

Well, the kids are on their way back from Florida with Tammy and should arrive sometime before 5:00 pm. I really have missed them and am very excited to see them.

Thanks for checking in on the blog!

Until we meet again,


Day 3 to a Cure

Hello Everyone,

A few people have asked about making comments.

Step 1: At the end of the current listing there is the word "comment". Click it and follow the directions.

Step 2: I can respond to your comments directly in the blog or individually.

Early I said there was pencil I was mistaken.

I am off to U of M.

Until We Meet Again


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 2 to a Cure

Hello Everyone,

I just finished the second day of Rituxan and it went much better than day 1.

I did not have any allergic reactions and was done within 4 1/2 hours.

As part of the transfusion they give me Benadryl and Tylenol, so I get tired during the transfusion. After I got home I fell asleep for a couple of hours.

The blood work came back with a few improvements (don't go crazy were talking baby steps) but the Platelet number was still low. (Platelets are not expected to improve for a few weeks)

Tammy was great! Always by my side making sure I have food, juice, and always taking charge with the nurse's to make sure we know what is going on and why. I really don’t worry about much at home knowing she has it covered. I realize the strain she must have on her and all I can say is God has given her the strength to deal with the illness.

Tammy is my Guardian Angel!

Tammy is going to fly back to Florida on Thursday and bring the kids back Friday.

I have Thursday to rest and back to U of M on Friday!

Until we meet Again!


If you would like to respond click the "Pencil" icon link below:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 1 to a Cure!

Hello Everyone,

Tammy and I are going to U of M bright and early on Monday morning, 7:30 am, to get Rituxan!

Rituxan the greatest Mono-clonal antibody this side of the Mississippi.

It is a good day when we can get excited about a drug that is designed to save your life!

I will let you know how it went!

Ok, I completed the first day of Rituxan only after 8 hours in the hospital.

It was not fun!

I thought I was going to make it with no problems but then it happened.

Tight Chest, Fever, Chills - I did not feel good.

They stopped giving me the drug so my body could adjust. After I was feeling better they started it back up and I completed getting the full dose.

We got home around 4:00 and I went to bed to wake up with a fever 102. I got Tylenol and felt much better.

Slept for 14 hours and I am at work on Tuesday!

Crazy isn't it!

My goal is to keep everything as normal as possible, so, I plan to work as much as possible.

Keep checking back for more stories!!!

Until we Meet Again,


Summer 2007

Hello Everyone,

As you can see we had a great summer visiting the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

I suggest, if you haven't been there, you make it a point to visit.

Well, you all probably know that the Leukemia has come back. (Yes is does stink!) But, we must play the cards were dealt.

Ok to catch everyone up I want to share with you the past few months in a few short lines.

At a January visit with the hematologist, we found out significant changes in blood levels (low platelets and high white blood cells). We made a trip to Columbus to visit our CLL expert Dr. Byrd. As a result of more tests, we found that my bone marrow showed the presence of leukemia cells. It was time to come up with a treatment plan.

The plan:
1) Raise the platelet's with a 3 times a week for 4 weeks treatment with Rituxan.

2) Evaluate how I am doing after the 1 month

3) Start Chemo for up to 6 months to get into a Complete Remission. (Does not mean cure.)

4) Get a Stem Cell transplant from a donor. If you want to know what it is I would not get marrow but rather stem cells from blood. The procedure is actually pretty easy for the donor and receipent all we have to do is give and get blood. The transplant will most likely take place at OSU with a doctor that specializes in transplants with CLL patients. This would require a stay in Columbus for a minimum of 100 days.

The GOOD NEWS, if all goes according to plan I will be CURED of LEUKEMIA!

Really, Stem Cell Transplant can cure me of Leukemia which means the Leukemia is dead and gone and I can live a long fun filled life with my beautiful wife, Tammy, and great kids, Craig, Hannah, and Scott.

I plan to keep everyone posted by using this blog!

So, check back and leave messages or questions!

One last item to talk about before I post:


Until we meet again! Gary