Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia


We just got back from the hospital. The official diagnosis is chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dave's going to the hospital (as an outpatient) for the next three days, for IV chemo. Then he has 4 weeks of "rest," then another 3 days of chemo, then 4 weeks off, and so on, for 6 months.

Then, assuming his tests show a satisfactory improvement, he will have 18 to 24 months of "normal" life. Satisfactory test results mean that the percentage of cancer cells in his bone marrow drops from (the current level of 80) to 20 or less. The cancer will slowly return, and when the levels get too high, he will return for another round of chemo.

The prognosis for this kind of cancer is about 10 to 15 years. Better than the 1 to 3 months they first offered us, but not not good enough for Dave. He's a little pissed right now.

2 comments:

ramona soto said...

Anna,

I just now read about all this. I'm so sorry! Please give Dave my best. I've always had positive, friendly interactions with him, even though I don't yet really know him that well.

And I just LOVE his photography. I'm sure you and he will think of a way for him to photograph in there. (Think Frida Kahlo, painting while stuck in bed.) (Although she didn't have to worry so much about germs.)

You take care, too. They're doing what they can for his health, and it's important for you not to forget about yours during this ultra-stressed time.

Please know we're thinking about both of you.

Ramona

Vincent Baine said...

Anna & Dave,

Hang in there, there'll be plenty of time to make art. Human beings do not come with expiration dates despite the medical prognosis of any doctor.
Glad you have a hearty appetite, Dave!

A fan,
Vince