Friday, October 19, 2012

Wrapping Up the Story (Unless Something Changes)

This blog was created so that I could journal my experience with acute leukemia and its treatment. I haven't blogged since September 9 because I didn't have any real health news. I love blogging, I love telling stories, I love explaining the Christian Scriptures and church history, and I love writing about health and scientific issues.

This isn't really the place for any of that, however.

I don't want this to be anything except the story of my leukemia battle because I think it's a story worth telling. It's been inspirational, honest, and humorous (I've been told). More than one person has told me I could simply turn the blog into a book, which is what I've hoped for from the beginning.

Let me give credit to others who have written inspirational stories (many of whom are in my blog list). What I've gone through and written about is not unique, but hopefully my perspective has been both interesting and unique.

So here's to hoping this is my final post on this blog. I'm only coming back here if new problems arise. The slow return to health is not really an interesting story, or at least I don't know how to make it one. And I sure hope that is what is in front of me.

I've spent a lot of this day with my foot up because my calf is really painful. Day before yesterday, I did a walk/run of about two miles on Monday. My calf was just a little sore the next day. Nonetheless I did laps around the warehouse, including some sprints the length of our 30-yard makeshift soccer field.

Laying around on the couch this afternoon

The next morning was scheduled to be a family trip to Big Hill State Pond, which is supposed to have the best fall foliage in this area, and my calf was very sore. Big Hill Pond is aptly named, and the best trail there involves a couple big hills.

I had to make a decision. I knew that making the trip with my family would be a terrible idea for my leg. I couldn't miss the combination of nature and family, however, so I went. Four miles of hills were a bit more than my leg could tolerate, so I've been working on my back and taking ibuprofen the last two days.

It was worth it.

About three weeks ago a mile run/walk one day followed by soccer with my son and daughter the next day created the same effect on my calf. It was so painful that I scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor to make sure it wasn't a blood clot. After an ultra sound, they assured me it wasn't a blood clot, and it healed up in just a week, which I was very glad for.

Hopefully this one will heal just as fast.

My last appointment with Vanderbilt was in mid-September sometime. They're very happy with how I'm doing. I'm having some GVH of the skin (rashes because my new immune system is attacking my skin), but it's mild and steroid cream is controlling it well.

The hemorrhoids have pretty much stopped over the last month, which is a life-changing improvement.

I'm still on minimal immuno-suppressives, and we won't try to wean off those until the GVH has stopped.

I feel like (and am hoping) this is the end of the story for me except a smooth transition back to full health. (I plan on walking a 5K November 3.) If you're new to this blog, you should start back at the beginning of the story when exciting things were happening. Or use my blog list to find others that are still in the midst of their battle, and please pray and hope for them.

If you want to know what's happening with me in the future, here's how:

Thanks for all your prayers and for following my journey. Please pray there's nothing more to follow!


  1. Paul,

    You are one of my "good news" blogs! You documented your journey well and I pray that it will always be a reference for those fighting leukemia.

    God bless and maybe write a little note on your blog every now and again? (I feel like I'm losing a friend . . .)


  2. I check on your blog somewhat regularly. I'll still be in touch. Thank you for calling me a friend, though. Easily the most wonderful thing about this adventure I've been on is all the people I've met ... including you!