In the past few days I got a bunch of donations in and some check donations that cleared my account, so I passed the halfway mark to my original goal of $3,000! As of today, I’m officially at $1725 and counting. Thanks so much for your support! I’m still accepting donations, although my goal is to be wrapped up by September 1. Any amount helps! I’m also still accepting donations of HawaiianMiles to help pay for my airfare so that more money can go to the Leukemia Society. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help out.
This past Saturday I was able to run a 10-miler in Kailua with only minimal pain from my knee injury. I’m also going to be starting physical therapy soon so I should be in top shape for the race.
And speaking of top shape, here’s the latest update on John Kark. What great news!
Round two proved to be challenging. I had high fevers accompanied with Rigors (tremors and chills) from the treatment for over a week. I did some fighting to avoid going to ICU and having chemo stopped on me. They did blood cultures on me just about every day which always came back negative showing no infections. I had three separate reactions to different antibiotics that they had me on to protect me from infection. The reaction would come in the form of a drug rash that covers a good portion of my body in a rash ten times worse than any poison ivy that I have ever had. Then it turns red, swells up and bruises due to a low platelet count. I had about three days where my ankles and shins were so swollen and bruised that I could barely stand or walk. It looked like someone beat them with a baseball bat. It actually worked out in my favor that I couldn’t get out on those days and do laps around the halls because there was an infectious disease outbreak amongst the patients on this floor that I was able to avoid it because I was stuck in bed. I was definitely on the ropes this round, but like Muhammad Ali taught us, you can still fight back off the ropes.
I am still dealing with the third drug rash but they have removed some of the antibiotics that are suspect of causing the reaction and it is not as severe as the previous reactions. My blood counts are still low leaving me neutropenic with no immune system. I also still have an infection in my jaw that they are hoping will clear up as my counts start to rise. They did a bone marrow tap last week to see how much cancer was left in my bone marrow. If there was any left then they would discontinue treatment with the experimental drug because they could only administer it for a maximum of two rounds and then would try to treat it with conventional drugs which are not as strong or effective.
The doctor that performed my bone marrow tap came into my room and said; “This is the part of my job that I love.” The results showed that 100% of the cancer has been eradicated from my bone marrow and the treatment is proving successful. Against tremendous odds, I am clean after two rounds. I owe you all great thanks because your positive thoughts definitely made the difference. The doctor said that he would make me a deal. He would try to get me out of here as soon as possible under one condition….that I give him the “positive outlook” sign that I put on my door when I leave. I immediately said “Done”.
Although the fight is not over just yet, it is looking favorable on the score cards. So now it is a waiting game for my counts to rise and my immune system to recover to a safe level before I can leave the hospital. Then I will have some time at home for them to rise further. After a few weeks, I will come back to the hospital and get another bone marrow tap to see if any of the cancer has come back. Whether it has come back or not, I will still get to jump back in the ring for a third round of standard chemo and then receive a stem cell transplant from my brother. After that, I plan on reclaiming every area of my life and look forward to jumping back into a real boxing ring again that doesn’t require bone marrow taps after each round.
Thank you all for your continued support and positive thoughts.
“We are twice armed if we fight with faith.” – Plato