7-09-10 Friday

Status: 9.5/10. Feeling very well.  Shopping, cooking, cleaning.  From this end of things, I’d say I was pretty much back to normal.

Events:  As we had talked about before, the usual sequence of events in treating AML is to induce remission (the 40 days I spent the hospital and the analogy of reducing a gallon of leukemia cells to a teaspoon) then after recovery another round of chemotherapy, called “consolidation,” in which you reduce the teaspoon to almost nothing (and for a few folks an actual “nothing” and thus a cure).  For all the others, an eventual bone marrow transplant.

  Because my brother was a known match, the plan was to move directly to transplant and skip the consolidation phase, but in his testing they found a potential incompatibility with my bone marrow.  So now we have gone to the pool of people (about 14 million) who have volunteered to be bone marrow donors.  They’ve already identified a number who are matches, and now the process begins in confirming their blood work, and evaluating them as potential donors.

  That all takes some time, so in the meantime we are proceeding on the usual track of going through a consolidation round of chemotherapy.  So I’m scheduled to be back in the hospital probably tomorrow for what is predicted to be less than a week stay, and treatment with just one of the previous agents, cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C).  Then back home for recovery, as I’ve enjoyed these last 6 weeks, and on to the transplant.

Comments: As to the hospitalization, I feel like one of those hardened criminals who upon given a light sentence says, “I can do the time.”  Six days doesn’t seem like much (certainly compared to a previous 40), although I’m looking at it from the perspective of someone who feels well.  I know I won’t be feeling this good by day 2 or 3, and won’t enjoy the wonderful freedoms I have now, but it’s a necessary part of the path we’ve set for ourselves.  Wish us a good week.  We’ll keep you up to date.

Love as always,



8 Responses to “”

  1. Ashby Beal Says:

    Dear Bruce,

    Susan and I will be keeping our fingers crossed, our hearts wrapped in prayer, and our minds thinking of ways to lend a hand as needed. In the meantime, our hands will be picking a suitable tune as we try to figure out what rhymes with cytosine arabinoside.

    Peace and Love

  2. wendy Says:

    I know this is a bump in the road…but the end goal is the same… go get them tiger…and life’s exerience can always build stengths..and in our field of dialysis and transplant we talk about a variety of treatment options, none being better than the other, just different… and new normals.. here’s to New normals and this chemo doing it’s job and “a cure!!!

  3. Andrea Tuttle Says:

    I can feel the disappointment in your writing, I know it has to be tough on all of you. Only 14 million more to consider? How do they and how soon can they determine a match?

  4. Judy and Larry Says:

    We are so sorry things didn’t work out as you had planned and are hoping and praying that you find a perfect match and a have an easy recovery.
    We are celebrating T’s 60th birthday tomorrow night so we will think of you and drink a toast to your cure.
    Take care and good luck.
    Love, Judy and Lary

  5. joel steinberg Says:

    We are so disappointed to hear this. Bruce, if one of us were suitable to be a donor for you, (or for anyone else, for that matter) we would volunteer right away. But because of our medical histories we are barred from donating anything at all. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the consolidation will go well and a suitable donor will be found. We hang on every word of your blog. Joel and Margaret S.

  6. Laurie Samuels Says:

    I am hopeful that they will indeed fine a perfect match for you. Meanwhile, warmest thoughts and prayers continue to be sent your way… Love to you and your family. Laurie

  7. Joe Robertson Says:

    OK Bruce, you got through the 40 days, you’ll get through the 6, and there WILL be a donor match for you. We’re thinking about the four of you and sending our best wishes your way. Love to you all, and don’t forget:


    Joe, Catherine, Claire and Antoine Robertson

  8. Bill Israel and Eileen Breslin Says:


    We’re so grateful for your updates — but, especially, that you’ve enjoyed an extended patch of feeling good, and are gathering strength and resolve. In Texas, we know about rains: your 40 days and 40 nights in the hospital must have seemed like Noah and the flood…will we ever get out of here? Indeed, you did – and the next storms seem manageable, in comparison. We’re rooting for you, wishing you the very best, and hope you might be up to some company in another couple weeks.

    Bill and Eileen

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