The past, the present and the future

Well, I survived chemo again and in the process fixed my sleep problems it would seem.  On Tuesday I was informed that they were closing the place I got chemo at for 8 weeks due to the Corona Virus, and I would have to drive to the downtown location for chemo on Wednesday and someone would call to set up a time.  Well, if you know me, you know I do not like driving on the freeway and I hate going downtown.  So, a lady called, gave me the same time slot that I had and apologized for the inconvenience it was going to cause me.

So, I begrudgingly went to the downtown office to get my chemo.  I am just thankful that it was Corona Virus traffic.  Not nearly as many cars on the road.  The drive was almost pleasant.  I got there 25 minutes early but only waited 3 minutes in the waiting room.  Then when into the chemo area, able to handle about twice as many people as where I was used to.  Saw a couple of the nurses from the other place there, as a matter of face, one of them is the one who hooked up the IV to me.  Anyhow, the Zofran and then the chemo went in without any problems.  Just when the final beeps went off, I waited about 10 minutes for a nurse to come and disconnect me so I could go.  Very annoying.

The temperature had dropped 20 degrees or so from when I went in to when I left.  I did not have a jacket, it was darn right chilly with the wind.  Anyhow, the drive home was nice except a semi tried to move into my lane where I was.  Foot on the accelerator and horn honking I flew out of his path.  Got home, and took a nap.

There is still no stay at home order in Iowa, but as I have said, there really isn’t any place to go so you might as well stay home.  The governor keeps saying we don’t need a specific order as she has enacted every part of the stay at home order without using the words.  OK, I guess she is right.  And the amount of times I hear “Save a life, Stay at Home.” is a bit of overkill, but I get the point.

I was social distancing when social distancing wasn’t a thing.

I can not wait for this Covid-19 business to be over.  I know we got a long road ahead of us still, and we haven’t reached the top of the curve yet.  But I am a far ahead looker.  I just want things to get back to normal.  Really, it will be so nice to actually get to go out for dinner again.  Hell, even the comic book store is closed.

My sleep schedule appears to have been fixed.  Force me to be awake and ta daaa, things go back to normalish.  I am sleeping from 11;30pm to 6am.  Then from 7:20-9:30ish.  Plenty of sleep.  Very few naps.  It’s all good.

I need to call Dr. Wehbe’s office and move my 16th appointment to the 23rd.  And also I need to schedule my next 3 days of chemo, May 4,5 and 6.  Then a 2nd Wehbe appointment 2 weeks after that, like the 21st of May.   Then I have my appointment up at Mayo on the 28th.  A word of advice, don’t get cancer.  You’ll end up spending too much time at a doctors office.  Plus I need to call my shrink and cancel the appointment I have because it was scheduled to be after my bone marrow biopsy and now my biopsy is not happening then.  And I don’t really NEED to see him right now.  I guess I got a lot of calls that I need to make.

It is looking like I am going to survive to hit age 50 in August.  I really, honestly, didn’t think I would make it to 50.  Too many close calls to death in my life.  However, surprised that I will reach 50 and be able to join AARP finally (they have been mailing me since I got medicare back in 2000), I am happy that I get to spend this time with my wife.

On April 1st, I became a statistical anomaly.  I survived 5 years after I started treatment for AML.  So few of us actually survive that long, so the statisticians stop tracking survivors at 5 years, thus making me a statistical anomaly.  That is cool.

On May 17th, I will be 2 years out from my transplant due to the MDS.  According to Dr. Alkhateeb, of the 17 patients he got around the same time as me, I am the only one still alive.  Hell, I am not just alive, I am thriving.  Hemoglobin 12.2 Platelets 260.  Yeah, buddy, I am thriving.

On May 28th, I should have a clean bill of health in regards to my bone marrow.  (well, 5 or so days after the 28th is when I will get the results).  That is what I firmly believe, it is obvious that all the parts are working as my blood stats continue to climb and if something was wrong that logically wouldn’t happen.  So we shall see.

The future probably holds another Stem Cell Transplant, since my first donor has a circulation problem and can’t be tapped for anything else I need.  This would mean another roll on the GvHD roulette wheel.  I got really damn lucky last time.  We’ll worry about that when/if this transplant happens.

In the mean time, I will be on chemo perpetually.  5 days out of every 4 weeks starting the week after my biopsy.  SUCKS, but should give my blood numbers are serious boost.

And like I said, as long as I on chemo, I won’t be able to travel.  No biggie now, no one is traveling.  But after Covid-19 isn’t an issue I still won’t be able to travel.   Sucks, but that is how it is going to be.

OK, I have blathered long enough.  Stay healthy my friends.  Stay at Home as much as possible.  I don’t want to hear of anyone I know dying from a disease named after a Mexican beer.  Peace my friends, I will keep you informed of things, you have my word.

Author: Jeff Campbell

I am 50 year old guy, who beat blood cancer but is getting his butt kicked by bone marrow cancer. At this point it appears I am dying. Married and in love with the most wonderful woman in the world (27 years). She has stood by me thru a lot of crap and I love her so.

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