Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Takin' a break

I'm obviously informal since I am using an apostrophe instead of a 'g' in taking!

The weather has vastly improved. Last week was what Sacramento is famous for, hot weather! And it was hot, hot, hot! We topped out at 109 or 110, depending on where in the Sacramento region you are.

I bought a window air conditioner for the laundry room, for our semi-feral cat Mrs. Chippy. It was so terribly hot in the garage (the laundry room is the breezeway, sort of, between the garage and the house. It worked great! For $62, it was a bargain and it lowered the temperature into the 80s, a big relief from the 110 degrees it was probably in the garage. I'm going to keep the A/C there until summer is over in two months, and then put it away until next year.

On the topic: I've decided to take a break from CLL. I know that sounds odd, but I've had treatment in September, October and November 2006, and then again in May, '08. I had a partial remission from the HDMP+HDR (high dose rituximab), but relapsed quickly. I have terrible markers and no one, including me, was expecting me to last 10 years with this form of CLL. (It will be 10 years on October 1.)

My last blood numbers on June 19 showed a nice drop from my rapidly escalating WBC, and I feel pretty good, so, why not? I did see the local oncologist at UC Davis regarding the lumiliximab (randomized to 1/2 of the participants) trial. They remarked that they thought it was odd I'd be undergoing treatment when my performance level is '0' (zero, the lower number the better), working full-time, etc. So I took that as sort of a sign, maybe from God, to ignore the disease for a month. I'll have my next blood test on July 19, which is coming up fast. We will decide what to do then.

In the meantime, I am chugging away. My wife, who has severe asthma, is having trouble with our high temperatures and smoky conditions. Visibilities have been on the order of a mile or so. Terrible. You can see the smoke in the air, the sun 'sets' about 4 pm, and there is actually ash falling nearby. It has been a horrible year.

Note the sad loss of P.C., Chaya's husband, Tony Snow and others from cancer. This disease seems to take the best and the brightest, doesn't it? I don't have survivor's guilt, because I will most likely die from CLL unless something else gets me first, and it could happen in a hour, a day, or a week from now.

So, a short break from researching CLL, reading CLL blogs, thinking about the physiological nature of the disease, etc., is in order for me, and, I might add, richly deserved, at least in my opinion!

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