Home on the Range:
The official blog of the Creers in Salina, Kansas
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Thank you for your overwhelming response to my support letter! I am continuing to thank God for His goodness and for providing for my needs through you. I am currently at $5,900! I'm leaving August 28th. Thanks again! Hope to post again soon.
This is the statement by my oncologist said after my checkup today. Also after looking at my labs he said "Man these are good!" His final quotable statement was "You have been incredible since Day 1." That last statement refers to the fact that my indicators were the highest he had seen in his career. He's about my age so that would be a long time. It also refers to the incredible turnaround we have been experiencing. Now to get a little technical, he also said that we will see if I am on the flat part of the curve. Multiple myeloma is a rare cancer and there is still a lot to learn about it. Because of this no one is ever declared "cured". Usually, right after treatment, the numbers start creeping up and eventually another bone marrow transplant (BMT) is needed. this usually happens in 5-15 years. Occasionally some people stay on the flat part of the curve. Basically there is no change in the indicators since the BMT. He's being very cautious but so far there is a possibility that I'm on the flat part of the curve. If that is true he said he will be kicking me out of the clinic. It is the closest thing he can say to being cured. We praise God for this and also for the incredible amount of support from all of you.
As part of my post cancer regimen I get a checkup periodically. After I was taken off chemotherapy pills the checkups were scheduled every month to watch me closely. One checkup was before Thanksgiving and another was after Christmas. Each checkup includes recording my weight. Somehow I gained 10 pounds from before Thanksgiving till after Christmas. As a result I set a New Year's goal of losing 2 pounds a month with hopes of trimming 20 pounds by the end of October. That way if I gain 10 pounds over next holiday season I will have a net loss of 10 pounds for the year. Gary McClure, a friend who teaches at Southeast of Salina High School, inspired me when he shared that he had started walking at lunch. I now walk for about a mile at lunch in a little over 15 minutes. Last Sunday Michaela (my eldest) decided to see how I was doing. We walked to the YMCA on Sunday (2/19) and found that I had already lost 6 pounds in less than 2 months! I celebrated by having 2 pieces of cake when we got back home. After all I have 2 discretionary pounds that I can use before March 1st.
Since I have been in remission I have been on a regimen of a small dose of chemotherapy in the form of a pill as a safeguard against the cancer recurring. During this time I have been praying that I could stop taking pills. I told my oncologist that my first desire is to maintain best practice but a second desire was to stop taking pills. A factor about the chemotherapy is that it suppresses my immune system causing me to get sick frequently. I asked him how long I would be taking the chemotherapy and he said "Indefinitely". I accepted that but the next check up he did a reversal and suggested that I try a season off the pills. He said one of three things would happen: 1) I would stay in remission and my immune system would return to normal 2) I would stay in remission and my immune system would not change making its compromised state my new normal 3) My cancer would come out of remission. He didn't think #3 was likely which is why he removed the chemotherapy from my regimen. That was started in October last year and it looks like option #1 is what I'm experiencing. I feel great and am experiencing fewer bouts with viruses and bacteria that would keep from school and occasionally landed me in the ER. I apologize for not keeping you up to date. I will try to do better in the future.