Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts, an update

BigDanSBigDanS Senior MemberPosts: 6,821 Senior Member
Last March 2012 I asked for your support as I went into six months of chemotherapy in April.

Some of you know I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) in September of 2010. I had just turned 50 and been told I had a blood cancer that might not require treatment, but only time would tell. Although about 40% of CLL patients never need treatment, that wasn’t me. Without going into lots of detail, your white blood cells should account for less than 1% of your blood volume. When I was diagnosed my white cells were 4% of my blood volume and by April 2012 they 35%. I was in danger of having a stroke, being anemic, and having no platelets to help heal any cuts.

I started chemo treatments with a three substance cocktail called FCR, Fluderabine, Cytoxin and Rituxin. Rituxin is a miracle treatment, a monoclonal antibody that attaches specifically to cancer cells and kills them. The other two substances are drugs that help the Rituxin kill off other cancerous white blood cells.

I looked for a guide as to what I was going to go through , but could not find it, so I decided to BLOG about my experience, and started a thread with the CLLFORUM.COM, a community of people online throughout the world that are dealing with CLL. If you have an interest in reading my very long blog, over 14 pages at this time, it can be found here:

The treatments were three days long every 28 days. Day one through three I actually felt pretty good. Day four was not as good, and days five and six were days in bed. My immunity was basically killed off and then set to recover, so the first 14 days or so I was homebound, then the next two weeks I could lead a fairly normal life. I had to avoid getting sick and getting infections, and limit myself to easier tasks.

I never lost my hair, and although I had a lot of nausea that was controlled by drugs, I never threw up. I had my family by my side supporting me helping me get better. Eventually I actually started exercising on the treadmill to improve my recovery. After treatment one my weight was down to 188 lbs. I am 6’3” and I haven’t been that light in 30 years. Today I am back to a more zaftig 216 lbs.

After three treatments my blood counts were normal again, and I continued through six treatments that ended Sept 9, 2012 almost two years to the day after my initial diagnosis. It has been just over three months and my white counts have not started to escalate.

My physician has told me I am in remission and I am beginning to believe it. I feel normal again and have lots more energy. I am living a little miracle. If I were not treated I most likely would not be here today. What’s more amazing is there are new drugs in the pipeline called BTK inhibitors that are exceptionally effective. They aren’t considered chemotherapy. Patients in the phase three trials take three pills and their blood cancers are controlled. Not cured, but controlled.

Although I have what is essentially a big liquid tumor that is exceptionally hard to get rid of all of it, I thank God every day for the blessing of one more day, my family and friends that have supported me. A HUGE thank you to all of you that have supported me over the past year and with luck and God’s will I will have a durable remission. I have been told the average remission is six years. Some get two, some get ten or more
I humbly suggest you give thanks for whatever the day brings, because every day is a gift! My Merry Christmas present today was being here for my 8 year old on another family Christmas.

Miracles do happen! Merry Christmas to all!

"A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    God bless you. :angel2:
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I am so happy God has smiled on you and glad you are doing great!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Great news, Dan! Hang in there and keep up the good attitude! Facing our own mortality is quite a game-changer. Getting two stents in my heart, and the associated lifestyle changes that came along with cardiac rehab has made me look at the world from an entirely new perspective. There is simply nothing that's as important as keeping up a good relationship with family members and a few close friends- - - - -and no matter what the pay rate, getting stressed over a job simply isn't worth it! Nobody's tombstone ever read "I wish I'd spent more time working!"

    For those of you who are thinking "I'll do (fill in the blank) someday when I get around to it"- - - - - - -Here's one for you:


    Now, get busy! It's later than you think!
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,430 Senior Member
    The leaps and bounds you have seen with your treatments over the previous generation of drugs is nothing short of amazing. More amazing still is the great outlook you have on life. Wondeful and inspiring and I'll continue to pray for you.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Happy to hear that Dan. Gives me some positive hope in my dads case. God bless.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,666 Senior Member
    Good news indeed.:angel2:
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,845 Senior Member
    Great to hear Dan! So happy for you and your family! I can't think of a better Christmas Gift!
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Glad to hear, Dan. I've been wondering how you were faring.

    I pray I may be as courageous as you. I'll see you at the next shoot, hopefully.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,747 Senior Member
    Excellent news Dan. I look forward to catching up with you next year at the SE.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Great news Dan! My :angel2: are with you and your family.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    Great news Dan. I went through a bout of prostate cance a few years ago, treated with chemo and radiation. I firmly believe that your attitude counts a great deal towards your recovery, as I am now 5 years cancer free. You will beat this beast within you, and I will see you next May......Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,240 Senior Member
    Great news, Dan!
    Overkill is underrated.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,999 Senior Member
    Glad things are doing so well for youz.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,220 Senior Member
    Glad to hear the treatments worked. :angel:
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.

  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Man, that is good news, so glad to hear that.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,227 Senior Member
    That is amazing! I'm glad to hear it went well for you.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    BigDan, God bless. We are a tight bunch here and our good thoughts and prayers go out to all who need some boosting. Good luck on the chemo.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    BigDan, we're pulling for you. This is a tightly bound forum and we've always got best thoughts and prayers toward any members who need it. Glad the chemo is working! God Bless.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,821 Senior Member
    Thanks all. As it stands, if Jerry and Mary will have us, I plan to be there.

    I am basicly back to 100%, and your support certainly helped get me there. I can't tell you how incredibly uplifting it is to know people actually care. :)

    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,834 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »

    Miracles do happen! Merry Christmas to all!


    Yes they do.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
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