Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh, what a difference a year makes

Ah, here it is, the "numbers" report. IGG's are at 1207, a very slight 19 point rise from the previous 1188. Although a few other markers still show the presence of cancer in the blood, there is no treatment planned based on these latest numbers, primarily because the IGGs are still well within the normal range of 680 to 1680. White count is good, as are platelets. Hematocrit is low for most people, but good for me. I continue to feel better, although fatigue is still an issue, but I need fewer daily naps than before. Still some other lingering issues, but they are small compared to where we have been.

I have resumed the herbal regime that I started and then stopped in January when I went on the velcade (that does seem a long time ago, doesn't it?). I've only been doing it for about 2 weeks, so too early to know whether its effective (maybe we'll never know--if the numbers stay down, we can give credit to so many people, therapies, prayers, etc)

So life has taken on a new feel. It feels much less like the life and death struggle it was for so many months last year and into this year. Now we have 3 to 4 weeks of relative peace and then anxiety creeps in as the next appointment with Rifkin approaches. The good numbers report always brings me relief, although Susan would like for the numbers to stop drifting upward entirely. Of course, so would I, but I am a bit more accepting of the ups and downs of this experience. It will be what it will be. As time goes by I gain more and more confidence that new drug therapies and combinations of drugs will be developed which will keep me going and going and going.

This year's Thanksgiving was quite a contrast to last year's. Our friends the Richardsons invited us to their home last year and saved us from a very difficult holiday at home, as I was too sick to have company and even had to nap while at the Richardsons. This year Susan's cousin Arlene, and her husband Jim, came to Denver for the week, and we also had a few other guests, totalling 13 at our table. I was even able to prepare and stuff the bird. Susan, of course, prepared the 10 other dishes!! We even went out and "threw the old pigskin around" with Arlene and Jim. My passes were the worst, but it was great to just be out in the park in the nice Denver weather. Jim taught Catherine how to throw a perfect spiral , which was one of the highlights of the day in the park, the other being the game of tackle that Julia and Catherine engaged in.

I told Susan the other day that I felt like I was waking up from a bad acid trip. Her response? Yeh, except that you woke up shorter and fatter. Oh, what a difference a year makes! I don't get any respect.

My next appointment is just before Christmas so we won't have any numbers until after the 25th. I'll check in with you all then. Until then, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy? Kwanza, and every other holiday wish you might like for the upcoming season.



Arlene said...

Good Morning,

Great news!

We are back and settling in to work (yuch!). We had a GREAT Thanksgiving and visit. I will send pictures later this week of the "Turkey Bowl".

Love to all,


Arlene said...

Almost forgot -

Catherine and Julia -

You can find "Making April" on

Patty Nelms said...

GO DAN, GO!! I'm so glad your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Stay in touch.
Love you,

Howie said...


Just wanted to let you know we're still out here cheering on your improvement. I'm checking the blog at least once a week for updates so keep them coming.


Tom said...

Hey Dan,
It's been quite the year, bro, quite the year indeed. You're on the right road now - just keep it up. Hope you're getting along OK with Susan gone.


Dan's Mother said...

I just want to wish all the bloggers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for being there for Dan. We can hope and pray that his condition will continue to improve and with his attitude I am sure it will. My love to all. Dan's Mom

Dan said...

Just a note (not worthy of a new blog posting)to let everyone know we are enduring the blizzard. Julia was to be home today but is stranded in Colorado Springs. Susan just arrived home from a visit with our friends Sigun and Joe, in Paris. And we leave on Friday for a 2 night stay at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs to celebrate Susan's birthday. All is well here. The monthly appointment with Dr. Rifkin has been rescheduled due to the snow, so may not have any info on numbers until the first of the year....but I continue to feel well. More importantly I am deeply grateful for the blessings of all my family and friends. I'll check in with you in the New Year. My love to all.