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Another Perspective


Since my last blog I’ve been preoccupied with treating my CLL and writing Hangtown, an historical novel.

In March I began taking Ibrutinib, the current “wonder” drug for CLL. Three pills a day and the disease is contained and managed. The cost for the first month alone was just over $2700, with additional months  Read More 
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Watch and Wait Ending

Over the past three-and-a-half months I have been in a watch and wait phase. This is a period when treatment is not indicated but the progression of the disease is closely monitored. For a couple of those months the leukemia has been progressing negatively, slowly and steadily, while the preferred treatment wasn’t F. Read More 
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Connecting to the Holy

Life is Holy.

I have felt the presence of the Holy many times throughout my life. This is probably one of the main reasons I became a priest, though at the time of my ordination I didn’t know it. What follows are some of the ways the Holy has used to touch my  Read More 
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Watch and Wait

I saw my oncologist yesterday. He said I am finished with the Chlorambucil. It has accomplished what it can. The long-term risk of damaging my body outweighs the short-term benefits continuing on the drug might provide. I am again in a “watch and wait” period.

It is unclear at this moment if my body  Read More 
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Time Out: Chlorambucil

The only decision made on December 3rd was for me to stop taking Chlorambucil for a while. All indications from the blood tests are that it is working at bringing my CLL under control. However, my red blood cells are also decreasing. My hematologist/oncologist said it is unclear whether Chlorambucil is responsible for  Read More 
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The Infusion Center

The check-in for the infusion cancer center is in the main lobby of the Moores building on the UCSD campus. I don’t know about you, but I’d never been to an infusion center before I needed to go myself. It is the room where cancer patients receive their chemotherapy.

It is a  Read More 
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December Decision

After meeting with my oncologist last Tuesday there is some good news and some disappointing news.

The good news is my white blood cell count continues to decline. From a high of 161.5, it is now 42 (normal is 4-10). The Chlorambucil is clearly doing its job. I have more energy and on occasion recall what  Read More 
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In Honor of All Saints' Day

Growing up in the Episcopal Church I’d participated in more than a dozen All Saints’ Day activities by the time I was a teenager. It never meant much to me but I loved the music, especially “For all the saints who from their labors rest.” Not only did I participate in All Saints’  Read More 
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Initiation by Fire

Throughout our lives each of us experiences a series of initiations. These are rites of passage whereby we move from one level of awareness and understanding into a new, more expansive and profound one. The church calls these sacraments. Often these initiations involve pain, suffering, an enduring of fear, humiliation and loss of social  Read More 
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That Burning Sensation

After last Tuesday’s dose of Chlorambucil, I had an intense burning sensation fill me. It felt like I had a fever: violent chills, shaking and a headache. I was miserable for about 4 hours until these symptoms went away.

This was a nasty enough experience that doing it again in two weeks left me  Read More 
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