Prelim

Called MD Anderson.

Preliminary Biopsy Results Show:

 

mrclean-707824.jpg
27 Months of remission. It’s like when you have a baby and you still count in months. I can’t wait until I can count into years!!!

Just blessed is all. I am so very very blessed.

Thanks for all the prayers & good vibes and for loving me.

Am I Awake?

The biopsy was as good as a biopsy can be. My technician, Terry, is awesome. She’s the best and my favorite because she’s hella cool too.

But it still hurts. Like a mofo. And I have a hideous bruise on my inner arm from the tape where they took a blood sample. I so look like a crack ho junkie now. (but that’s usual, no?)

Dr. Q says I don’t have GVH of the mouth. Then what the hell is it? He has no idea. Great. Tapering steroids starting tomorrow.

Labs look good. I got the all clear to go to Seattle for the summer. But of course.

I can do this. I’m very glad this day is over.

Good vibes for the biopsy results. I hate waiting, but still.

As Funny as Ass Killing Can Be 2008

I’m reposting this (original from Feb 2006) as I get another bone marrow biopsy tomorrow at MD Anderson in Houston. I hate them. It makes me so nauseated just thinking about it. The last one I had done was a mess ah… ROOKIE TECH!!! I was sore for months (usually only sore for a week). I’m dreading dreading dreading this one. I don’t know if I could even handle a result that tells me I’ve relapsed. I am not even going to mention pain. This is the most painful test they give us.

My lovely longtime reader Pam C just passed away. As did a very brave Alabama boy named Zach. I lost track but I think that makes 30. Please pray/send good vibes to both their families. Pam was a sweetheart and used to send Zoe letters and drawings and stuff. She had 4 cats and a spirit that just was so sweet. I am just a little numb over this.

Ok. Must force myself to pack. I always hate this drive!! Love you!

 

The test from hell is now done.

Not only did they do the bone marrow aspiration, they did a bone marrow biopsy as well. I haven’t had one of those since late October when I was diagnosed. I forgot how much they hurt. I am glad I didn’t know ahead of time that I was getting that done too. I think I would have flipped out a bit more. Last time I was sedated. I barely remember it.

This:

There will be a sharp stinging from the anesthetic injection. As the aspirate is withdrawn, there may be a brief, sharp pain. The biopsy needle may also produce a brief pain, usually more dull. Since the interior of the bone cannot be anesthetized, this test may cause some discomfort. Not all patients experience these symptoms, however

 

is a complete fabrication.

There is nothing brief, nor dull about that pain. Some discomfort? I don’t know one leukemia patient that doesn’t experience major pain with this procedure. It’s like having someone drill a corkscrew through your ass cheek into your hip bone. That’s exactly what it’s like.

I was cursing up a storm. In Spanish even. I don’t even hablo Espanol.

I cried though. It was like spontaneous and I couldn’t stop it from happening. It was so weird. Afterwards my blood pressure went way high. Like 188 over 135. They had taken it earlier and it was 122 over 72. I never have high blood pressure. Never. This test, she so not normal.

I took a Darvon beforehand, but I might as well have swallowed some M&Ms. And since they had me do it early in the morning, I ended up limping around to my other appointments. Chest X-ray, labs, leukemia doc, pharmacy, (got a yum lunch in here), then my endocrin doc, back to pharmacy.

The tech numbed me up so much, I was numbed all the way down to my right toes hours later. I came home and passed out while watching Footloose. I think that’s what you are supposed to do when you watch that movie.

I’m still having problems walking, but I hate to take anything for it. Makes you too groggy. Thanks to my ‘Bubellah’ Monkey Boy for sending me funny text messages all day. Because there was nothing funny about today.

Tomorrow I only have a few appointments, but my schedule is now three pages long. All kinds of tests. I’m glad they are starting to do this, but gosh, it’s exhausing. I want me one of those little scooter things. But I know this walking is good for me.

I can do this. I am doing this. With a sore ass, but still.
Today your assignment is to give someone a massage. The world would be a better place if people gave more massages. And if you don’t have anyone to give a massage, go get one. You’ve earned it.

May 5th – 19th Thank Yer Mom by Saving a Life. And Pie.

I had leukemia and needed a stem cell transplant. My awesome brother was my donor. And I am one of the lucky 30% of patients who have a related match from someone in their family (Good Catholic family with six siblings – whew!).

I’m now still alive two years later solely because of my transplant. As of today, literally, I have now lost 30 friends in those 2 years to leukemia or transplant-related complications. I promised my “freakishly strong” friend Brenda Donato that I would never ever ever give up trying to find a cure. That I would never let anyone forget her or what she went through. I made my daughter promise to continue that mission as well. teamzoe.net (she’s pretty gung-ho this year & wants to raise $30k)

The National Bone Marrow Program is here to help the many patients who do not have a match. Please consider joining the registry. The procedures for donating are not as hideous or painful as shows likeGrey’s Anatomy and House show them to be (um, can you say sedation? Painkillers? Apheresis?). My brother did his apheresis and drove from Houston to Austin the same day as his donation. I gave him a lemon meringue pie (per his request) for saving my life. I could never repay his gift to me; except by living a very long, stubborn, happy life. And by trying to spread the word to help others.
(go here to get your own cute blog/myspace widget)

Or a banner:


Donor Garden

I’ll be writing more posts on the drive. Seriously. If you are not registered, you can register at a donor drive for free AND ONLINE during the Thanks Mom Donor Drive. Just a cheek swab kit mailed to you – kinda like those cool CSI DNA tests.

It sounds scary, but imagine if one of your loved ones (or you) were going to die because they don’t have a match. What if you knew that there is someone out there that could save their life? That the donor probably has no clue about the program or that a simple donation of some stem cells (no, not embryos – don’t go there) could be their only hope for a cure. Save a life. It’s the right thing to do. And you might get pie. Or Pi. Or both (for Kiera)

When you become a bone marrow donor, you join the global movement of more than 10 million donors who stand ready to give someone a future.

 

That “someone” was once me. I’m so grateful to still be here to talk about it.

And if you end up donating, I promise I will send you a pie!!

My stem cell transplant month posts if you are interested in what happened then.

 

Mother’s Day and Thanks Mom Campaign
May 5 to May 19, 2008
During the two weeks around Mother’s Day, be part of our Thanks Mom awareness and donor recruitment campaign. What better way to say “Thanks, Mom” for giving you life than to share that gift with another person!

During the Thanks Mom campaign, costs to join the Registry are covered by our generous partners and contributors for the first 46,000 who join the Registry. (This includes the first 10,000 who join online.)

Help patients who need a life-saving marrow transplant:

Join the NMDP Registry. You could be the one to save a life.
* Tell your friends and family others about the opportunity to save a life by sending them an e-mail (upper right corner on this page).
Give a financial gift. Every dollar you contribute gives patients hope.
You can provide hope to the thousands of patients who need a life-saving marrow transplant.

You are needed

* On any given day, the doctors of more than 6,000 children and adults are searching the NMDP Registry for a life-saving donor.
* Seven years ago Alexandra needed someone and a donor was there for her. Today, 13 year-old Alex practices karate with her brother Matt, is a voracious reader and loves playing with Rosie & Princess the beloved four-legged friends in their family.
* Like 70% of patients, Alex and her brother Matt, who has the same disease, did not find someone in their family who matched. Two compassionate people, perhaps someone like you, gave them a chance to grow up, to play, to just be kids.
* Diverse donors are critical. Patients have the best chance of finding a match within their own race.

As Alex and Matt’s mom said, “It is a beautiful world when we all work together to make a difference. I will never be able to thank the kids’ donors or all of you enough for giving me my children and these priceless lessons. I am just a mother who tried to save a life. Twice.

Every person deserves the best chance for treatment
The NMDP is dedicated to providing hope and delivering a cure to people who need a life-saving marrow transplant.

You can make a difference.

* Join the Registry. During the two week campaign, our goal is to add 10,000 donors online and 36,000 donors at marrow drives.
* Tell your friends and family by sending an e-mail (upper right corner).
* Give a gift. Raising $100,000 can only be accomplished with your generosity.
* Grow the garden. Add your photo and encouraging message to this virtual Donor Garden, a community passionate about saving lives.

Every donor added and every dollar raised helps save lives.

Please, people. it’s the right thing to do.

Killing time before soccer practice

70 Questions Guaranteed You’ve Never Answered…

Or have I? I am pretty weird.

Stolen from Cariskicker.

 

-Would you kill your neighbor?
I don’t know them well enough to want to kill them. Or anyone else for that matter. There are a few people I’d like to be a little bit injured in a car/pedestrian accident though.

-What were you doing ten minutes ago?
Helping mom unpack groceries. Twittering. Missing my sweetie.

-What did your last text message say?
“Baby, I know how you feel. I am just incomplete without you…”

-Who have you talked to most today?
Tim

Do you carve pumpkins every year?
Someone does. The slime grosses Zoe out.

What are you wearing?
Shorts, 3/4 sleeve shirt, loafers, headband. Soccer later tonight and I’m DREADING the heat. It’s sooo sunny.

-Who’s on speed dial 2?
The debu_dude

-Whats your favorite season?
Winter

~How are you feeling right now?
Sleepy and too full from a sammich.

~What did you do this past weekend?
Had the best weekend ever in Seattle with Zoe, Tim and his two girls.

-How many times have you moved?
Ten times. It’s getting kind of old.

~What is the last thing you touched?
My water bottle.

~Would you do anything for someone else?
Of course. Within reason.

Have you ever been called a punk?
Lots of other things, but punk, no.

Was yesterday better than today?
About the same

~What is your ring tone?
The Pink Panther song and some Lenny Kravitz of course.

~Do you have a favorite number?
27 I guess.

~Do you hate anyone/anything?
Racism. Intolerance. Cancer. Child abusers. More things than any person.

~Does your best friend have a myspace?
Yeppers

~Last time you went out to lunch?
Got a sammich today.

~Do you have any music you’re ashamed of?
I dig some Brittney Spears and now I really like some Miley Cyrus.

~Have you ever been in a physical fight with the opposite sex?
Not on purpose. Was the end of my marriage. Hit me once and it will be the last time.

~How old will you be in 2 months?
I will be turning 41. But I still act like I’m 21 sometimes.

~Do you think you’ll be married by then?
Be married. No. Feel married. Yes :P

~Do you have one or more Britney Spears CDs?
Nope

~What did you do last month?
Barf a few times?

~Do you have plans tonight?
Soccer practice. Hide from the sun!!

Whats your favorite movie?
Way too many to list, but Sophie’s Choice is way up there. So is Bull Durham, Jerry Maguire, Moonstruck and Princess Bride. Kung Fu Hustle is awesome.

~Do people ever spell your name wrong?
Yup. Even my dad sometimes. It’s Debby with a “y” and even though it’s really Deborah, if you call me that, I generally wouldn’t answer. It’s so foreign to me.

~Can you sing?
Not well. And only to Zoe.

~Are you ever a freak about cleanliness or organization?
Quite often. I wanted to start an organization company because I’m terribly good at it, but I generally don’t have the energy to finish. I’m so good it’s scary. And I really enjoy it when I’m not too tired. Cleanliness, well it’s a given as I have to keep things super clean for health reasons.

~Have you ever been to South America or Africa?
Neither

~Do you know how to knit?
Nope.

~What are you doing right now besides this survey?
Watching some weird history thing with mom, who is asleep.

~Do you know how to play poker?
Not well. I always forget what is higher than the other.

~Baskin Robbins or Coldstone?
Coldstone! Not often

~Physics or chemistry?
Chemistry! But only the physical kind because I’m terrible at science.

~Do you wear any jewelry?
I rotate out a few pieces. Depends on what I am wearing. I usually wear my medi-alert bracelet.

~What color are your bedroom walls?
I think they are yellow?

~When do you prefer to take a shower, morning or night?
In Texas – damnit – both. It’s so hot and nasty here.

~Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars?
Probably Star Wars. I do have a big crush on Viggo though since I saw him in Eastern Promises.

~Fly or road trip?
Depends on where I”m going.

~Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Tanner Vineyard, or Shalayna Hatcher?
Don’t even know what the last 2 are, but I loved Christian Bales in Batman. Want to see the next one.

~What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Was The Man From Snowy River Disney? Stuff like Escape From Witch Mountain. I don’t dig the new ones so much.

~What are you excited about?
Spending the summer in Seattle. Having a boyfriend who isn’t a total dick to me. He’s beyond sweet.