Leukemia Free

Dave · January 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


134 Responses to “Leukemia Free”

  1. milloy48 on January 12th, 2012 6:27 am

    long time lurker, felt the need to register to tell you how happy I am for you. Great news Dave

  2. SBG on January 12th, 2012 7:36 am

    Greetings from Minnesota, congratulations on the excellent news, and my best wishes that the reports continue to be as good.

  3. smb on January 12th, 2012 7:50 am

    All I know is what I’ve learned over the last 5 years or so, not least of which is that as long as you are writing about this team and baseball in general, I’ll be reading it, and that even in the ongoing face of some of the worst and most hopeless hometown baseball that M’s fans have had to endure in the history of the franchise, you’ve consistently managed to illuminate at least some sort of path to respectability through roster construction and talent analysis, even when we’ve not had the FO personnel to execute such a plan with any semblance of competent operation. And for all that, I give my most sincere thanks. There’s a decent chance I’d have sworn off the M’s like so many others in the region after the torture of the Bavasi years, certainly if not for your consistent message that there is a better way of competing out there through empirical analysis.

    Despite the fact that most of the rest of our division is spending like a bunch of drunken socialites on Rodeo Drive, I’ve not had more hope for the M’s future since Rodriguez debuted. I’m choosing to believe right now that you will get to see the M’s finally win a Series with us someday, even if it’s in 2048.

  4. Gritty Veteran Poster on January 12th, 2012 8:01 am

    Dave, that’s awesome. I’ve been a reader for years and you’ve made me a smarter baseball fan – not just with what you’ve written but you inspired me to go out and learn more on my own. I love baseball more because of you. It was a punch in the gut when you announced this a few months back and it’s a real boost to get this news now.

  5. MTM on January 12th, 2012 8:04 am

    You are officially grittier than Bloomquist! Great news for Ms fans. Peace to you.

  6. harry on January 12th, 2012 8:09 am

    Excellent news, congratulations. Love to hear about cancer getting whupped.

  7. TheMightyMariner on January 12th, 2012 8:47 am

    Great news! I am happy for you and glad you’re winning the battle. Keep up the good fight!

  8. benthic on January 12th, 2012 8:59 am

    Congrats, Dave! Great news!!

  9. stevez723 on January 12th, 2012 9:07 am

    Dave, I’m a long time reader, but admit I don’t comment very often. I just wanted to chime in and say congratulations! I agree– let’s hear that happy update in 2017 that it’s officially gone.

  10. ladybug on January 12th, 2012 9:36 am

    Just wanted to say CONGRATS!!

    You’ve made front page news on halosheaven! Glad to know you’ll be around for mutual harassment of our players and fans.

  11. Keo on January 12th, 2012 9:40 am

    Awesome news! Thanks for the update.

  12. iHam on January 12th, 2012 9:40 am

    “They might be, They could be, THEY’RE OUTTA HERE!” (those nasty cancer cells, that is!)
    Good health and God Bless you!

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled program: “Will Prince make us Paupers?”

  13. SpokaneMsFan on January 12th, 2012 9:50 am

    Just elated to hear this Dave!

  14. fallingceilingtiles on January 12th, 2012 10:28 am

    awesome. yes! all the best!

  15. Pete Livengood on January 12th, 2012 10:32 am

    As I often do at this time of year, I was pre-occupied with the HoF vote and didn’t see this news until this morning. I apologize for being late to the party – and party is exactly what is called for – but let me just add this.

    I’ve known Dave (and Derek, and Jason – but Dave first) since the good ol’ days of the Mariners newsgroup on UseNet in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I like to think I played some small role in helping USSM come about (even though I probably didn’t), as I recall recommending Dave, Derek, and Jason to a guy named Chuck Taylor who was starting a baseball-related news-accumulator site called Baseball116.com in the wake of the Mariners’ magical 2001 season. He wanted some original content, and I remember e-mailing him about the great interplay and banter of these three young guys on UseNet who really knew their stuff. He “hired” them (not sure that is the right word, huh Dave?), and when that was closed down, USSMariner was born as a logical extension of that. Who knew then what this place would become? Amazing.

    Over the years, we’ve seen countless versions of what JoshJones wrote above (‘…try being less of a dick when you comment back to people. Telling everyone to shut up and leave or their opinion is useless…”), though to be fair to Josh, in full context he expressed that opinion more caringly than most. I’m here to tell all of you who feel this way:

    If you’ve ever had the privilege of sharing a game, a meal, or a conversation with Dave, as I have quite a few times over the years, you know that Dave is one of the smartest, most kind and caring people you will EVER meet. He may disagree with you, and will do so directly, but it NEVER comes across as uncaring, short, or unwilling to listen to an opposing point of view.

    That doesn’t always come across online. I think that is directly related (and perhaps inversely proportional) to Dave’s prolific output. He simply doesn’t have the time to respond to every half-baked, ill-informed idea (usually spouted with certainty but not backed by evidence) that comes along – especially when he’s probably responded to the SAME argument 100 times before in the 10 or so years this blog has been around.

    Well, I am VERY grateful that Dave DID have the time for such things when I first met him. More than any other person, Dave is responsible for ushering me into a new way of thinking about baseball – my ongoing sabermetric education if you will. Dave, I can’t thank you enough for the patience and friendship you’ve shown me over the years.

    More than that, I am so HAPPY and grateful to hear the news that Dave has beaten back this cancer! Whether you view it from a religious standpoint or not, I am a firm believer in the power of positive, collective thought. Let’s keep that up, for Dave, and assure that he is around to keep us informed and educated for MANY years to come.

  16. MMonkman on January 12th, 2012 10:47 am

    This is great news, Dave. And best wishes for continued success in beating your cancer.

  17. rayrems on January 12th, 2012 11:42 am

    Dave, that is fantastic news! Way to go!

  18. cjudnich on January 12th, 2012 11:51 am

    Congrats Dave. Awesome news. Here’s to more time covering baseball and time spent with your wife and family.

  19. NRFully on January 12th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Way to hang in there and fight. It’s great that you keep a fighting and positive attitude through fighting the cancer. I look forward to reading your articles about the Mariners, good and bad, for a long time.

  20. kinickers77 on January 12th, 2012 12:56 pm

    Right on Dave, great to hear. Looking forward to that 2017 post too. 🙂

  21. built2crash on January 12th, 2012 1:56 pm

    Excellent news Dave! I’m very glad to hear it! cheers!

  22. patl on January 12th, 2012 2:27 pm

    Fantastic news! I’ll be continuing to pray for you and joining you in celebrating a huge milestone.

  23. wh33ls on January 12th, 2012 3:47 pm

    Congratulations, Dave. Great news!

  24. UofWAlum on January 12th, 2012 5:35 pm

    Excellent news to start the new year! Long time reader, first time making a comment here. This story should also serve as an inspiration to others who are faced with the battle of this ominous disease. I am very happy for you and your family the putt broke this way.

    Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

  25. Section329 on January 12th, 2012 6:38 pm

    Great news, Dave. Can’t wait to see you at Safeco this summer!

  26. Leog on January 12th, 2012 6:51 pm

    Congrats Dave. Have a long a fruitful life…long enough to see the M’s win the World Series. ( That may be optimistic)

  27. MKT on January 12th, 2012 7:38 pm

    This is certainly good news, most of all for Dave but for us readers too.

    I hadn’t realized that the odds were so much against Dave initially … yikes. Better odds now thankfully, knock on wood.

  28. Hunkerdan on January 12th, 2012 7:50 pm

    I am excited for you, and sorry about the hardship involved even in getting good news. Congratulations on the excellent report; my father has likewise recently been declared leukemia free. Thanks for this website as well!

  29. alexigor on January 12th, 2012 11:22 pm

    Such wonderful news! I feel like I can breathe again after all these months. Our prayers were answered.

  30. rsrobinson on January 13th, 2012 6:42 am

    Fantastic news, Dave! Reading this made my day.

  31. niterunner on January 13th, 2012 8:27 am

    Great news. Congratulations Dave.

    I’d like to know more details on how your wife detected your condition from your sleep.

  32. Henry Jasen on January 13th, 2012 9:54 am

    Congrats and continued health and recovery.

  33. wabbles on January 13th, 2012 11:12 am

    One of the best USSM posts ever! Congratulations Dave!

  34. samregens on January 16th, 2012 3:39 am

    That is awesome news Dave!

    Best wishes for your continued good health!!

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