Saturday, September 30, 2006


We have raised $12,750 to date thanks to all of you and many others who may not be bloggers. The Light the Night walk was a great event. We had a beautiful fall evening for the walk and about 20 walkers showed up to walk on my team. The total turnout for the walk was probably in excess of 2000 people, each walking the 2 miles with a lighted balloon. (the furthest I've walked in 2 years!) Thank you to everyone who donated and who walked. It lifted my spirits, and other survivors as well.

Inspired by Thursday night's walk, and wanting to enjoy our beautiful fall weather, I took a 2 1/2 mile walk this morning. I'm feeling quite well, despite the surgery of 2 1/2 weeks ago. My good feelings are no doubt attributable to the absence of any chemo for the past month. The absence of those drugs, and my increased energy, always awaken me to how much those drugs fatigue me. I'm not looking forward to a return to that regime and am hoping that this coming Monday's visit with Dr. Rifkin will bring news of another week off--in the interest of allowing me further time to heal.

I have heard the clamor for Julia's picture, but I can't figure out how to download it onto this site. I will forward it to Ted and ask him to send to his son, Glen, who does all our photo postings.

I will probably get some myeloma numbers later next week, and if so, I'll let you know how my numbers are after this month off from the chemo. Keep your fingers crossed!

Much love to all,

Post Script: Monday morning: Had my blood drawn for myeloma testing but no visit with the doctor and no chemo. I was advised that Rifkin will see me the end of next week, and make decisions then about when to reinstitute the chemo regime--he wants to give me ample time to heal from surgery. While Susan and I are a bit nervous about being off of chemo for almost 5 weeks, I welcomed the news, as I was really not looking forward to a return of the chemo rollercoaster.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Home From Yet Another Surgery

The prostatectomy took place on Tuesday, although late in the evening due to an unexpectedly long surgery in the operating room ahead of me. Susan and Catherine were waiting for me in my room when I was wheeled in around 10 p.m. The surgery went better than expected, and although we do not yet have the final pathology report back, my surgeon seems optimistic that we got all the cancer (couched in the appropriate disclaimers we lawyers are trained to recognize). I was discharged yesterday morning and Susan and I promptly went for a short walk around the neighborhood. An activity very reminiscent of last summer's multiple hospitalizations and recoveries. One of our neighbors even asked if I had had a relapse, having noticed my slow deliberate pace. Fortunately that was not the case.

I feel surprisingly good after undergoing this 3 1/2 hour surgery. I walked close to a mile this morning and will take a shorter walk this evening. The walks tire me out but I have learned they are the best recovery mechanism available.

The Light the Night Walk is gearing up well. The response has been tremendous. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this endeavor. I've already rasied over $6,000!!! I am so committed to this because the new drugs are what has saved my life and I know that others will be facing what I faced when I was first diagnosed. Whatever you can do is greatly appreciated.

Oh, and Julia has, in fact, now shaved her head. We have seen pictures....she is still cute. And we get to see her this weekend. She's always been one to push the boundaries so we're not surprised. She makes me smile. My brother Tom thinks it is a great display of self confidence. Yeh, that's one way to look at it. Or another is ......never mind.

I don't know when we'll start the velcade/steroids routine again, but am actually enjoying the clearheadedness I feel after almost 2 weeks without chemo. I'll probably get next week off also, then back to the weekly chemo infusion. Oh well, that's my life. Thanks for all the support through this last surgery. It feels good to have it behind me.

My surgeon just called with the path results: clear at the margins, which means it does not appear the cancer spread beyond the gland that was removed; or the hormone shots I've been getting for the past year caused it to retreat. He'll watch me for a year or so, with PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests of the blood just to make sure.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bloggers--Help Light the Night

Below you will find a fund raising solicitation letter for all my blogger friends. Later this month I am planning on participating in a Light the Night fund raising activity here in Denver to help raise money for research on blood cancers, such as myeloma. Cancer has touched so many of our lives and sadly, as we get older, it seems to happen more frequently. But, the good news is that we are finding more and more cures as well as discovering new drugs to prolong and enhance the lives of cancer patients.

After five failed chemotherapy regimes, including a failed stem cell transplant, this April my blood cancer levels finally started dropping after I started a new drug combination, velcade with decadron (a steroid). Velcade was approved by the FDA only about 18 months ago. Its success in clinical trials was so impressive that it was fast tracked through the approval process, so patients like me could be given a chance to live. Another drug, revlimid, was also approved around the same time and, should the velcade stop working for me, I will likely be put on a revlimid regime. Not all patients respond to these new drugs. We need more research to develop new drugs.

On Thursday, September 28 The Colorado Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is sponsoring a Light the Night Walk in Washington Park in Denver, to raise money for blood cancer research (leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins disease and myeloma). My family and I have committed to walk in the event as well as to contribute financially. I am very excited at the prospect of participating in this effort, because a little more than a year ago I could only walk a block, and that required the assistance of a walker.

I am inviting you to walk with me that evening, donate to the cause or do both. A donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated, whether it be $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or more. You can register to walk and/or to donate by going to my web page which has been set up specifically for this purpose. Go to this site and follow the directions: If you would prefer not to use the credit card pledge, you can instead send checks to me, made payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Please send any checks them to me at 145 Garfield St., Denver, CO 80206 so I can present them the night of the walk. Donations are tax deductible. For those interested in walking with my team, my team is called simply, "Dan Patterson's Team" (how unimaginative, I know!)

Thank you so much for considering this worthwhile cause.

Love, Dan