As far as I know, this news doesn’t affect the Mariners chances of signing Prince Fielder, so I apologize in advance for the lack of update on that front.
I do, however, have some news to share. I underwent a bone marrow biopsy yesterday morning – my third one, in fact. The procedure is pretty crappy, and involves drilling into my tail bone to extract some bone and marrow samples for testing. On the list of fun things to have done to you, it ranks just slightly ahead of watching Carlos Peguero try to hit a curve ball.
But, the test gave my doctors a chance to look beyond simple blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels to determine the current state of my recovery. A few minutes ago, they called with the results of the test.
All clean, no leukemia anywhere to be found.
With that, the roughly six months or so of treatment have come to an end. I can now return to something of a normal life, with only occasional trips to the clinic for check-ups and maintenance. Obviously, we’re pretty happy to have gotten this far and have received nothing but good news along the way.
This journey isn’t over yet, of course. Cancers like to return to the scene of the crime, and Acute Myeloid Leukemia comes back more than most. Since we spend a lot of time talking about data here, the actual odds based on prior cases suggest that there’s about a 50 percent chance that the disease could return at some point in the next couple of years. Or, if you want to look at it from a survival standpoint, the fact that treatment has been successful so far and I’ve tested into the low-risk category based on genetic markers, the doctors estimate that I have something like a 60-70% chance of surviving through the next five years. In most cases, if the leukemia is going to return, it returns relatively soon, so making it through five years essentially would mean that I was cured, and that the disease would be behind me.
But, as I said when I received the diagnosis (and they gave me a 30-40% chance of beating this thing), I don’t really care about the odds. I’m either going to live or I’m not, so I’m choosing to believe that this will not kill me. So far, so good.
Plan on this being the last post on USSM about this for the next five years – I don’t intend to write another update about leukemia on USSM until I announce that I’m officially cured in 2017. A sincere thank you to everyone who has been so supportive throughout the process, however – you’ve all been fantastic, and the outpouring of support has been really heartwarming, both for myself and my family.
I look forward to seeing you all at the next event at Safeco this summer. Go Mariners.