I was able to go to church yesterday. I’ve watched sermons online, but there’s nothing quite like actually being in church. Singing along with 1,000 other people after being absent for over a month was awesome. We like to sit close to the front, and did so yesterday. I like to take Tucker up to the baptismal as people are getting baptized and did so yesterday. Granted, I wasn’t standing for the songs, but I don’t think God minds. And to my pleasant surprise, there were plenty of full communion cups to choose from 🙂
hc1 and AIM
I’ll forgive you if you missed the big news. The Today show didn’t cover it, but it is important none the less. I mention this press release for a couple of reasons (http://tinyurl.com/qa6cw74). First, I worked on this account at hc1 and love the AIM team. Second, AIM is leading the way to personalize cancer care via genomics. Personalized Medicine is a relatively new field where a person’s cancer is sequenced to find the exact mutations they have at a genomic level.
Current treatment is kind of like shooting with a shotgun. Typically you are given treatment based on the area of the body where the cancer exists. You are shooting a broad spectrum of chemo that typically works. Therapy based on genomics is like using a sniper rifle. After sequencing the cancer, doctors can tell exactly what genes are mutated and prescribe medicine that targets those specific genes. Furthermore, if multiple genes are mutated, doctors can try to target a gene that will have the least impact on normal tissue.
To see an example of the power of genomic medicine with Leukemia, look at this article: http://tinyurl.com/ayzhsre. Now, notice this is from 3 years ago. Think of all the advancements that have been made in those 3 years. Personalized Medicine is quite an exciting field!
So what does this mean for my treatment? Nothing right now. Genomics is still typically considered an advanced treatment. I’m progressing with standard treatment, which is the best course of action at the moment. It’s nice to know genomic medicine is available if I need it. But let’s pray that I don’t need it.
If someone ever offers you a deal where they tell you you won’t have to work, you can sleep in and take naps, and you’ll still get part of your salary, don’t take it. They are going to give you cancer. Not working always sounded appealing, but in reality not working isn’t much fun.
I haven’t worked in a month. That’s really odd to think about. In some ways it seems like I was just there last week. The mind boggling thing to me is that I won’t be working anytime soon. As in months. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that. I’m used to doing something. I’m used to solving problems. I’m used to trying to think of creative solutions. Right now I’m focused on my treatment, and I imagine that will consume my mind for most of my time off. Still, I miss the satisfaction of going to work. I dearly miss all my coworkers. I miss the leadership team I was on and the great things we were doing. But things happen in life. All things considered, I’m still alive and I have a path back to work. I know I’ll be welcomed back, and that is a big relief to not have to worry about a job after all this is over. I just wish I could be working now.
Bald is Beautiful
Losing your hair is just another part of cancer. While my hair has been falling out for some time now, I had been holding out on shaving it. I’m not quite sure why. Last time I shaved my head as soon as I got home from the hospital. This time around, I’ve held out. I guess I’m just used to me looking like me with hair. Not me looking like me as a bald person. Now, don’t get me wrong. I rock the bald head. And that is pretty much what I have now. I didn’t shave my head with a razor (yet), but Lindsey took the clippers and a number 1 guard to my head last night. I had already shaved my goatee, as most of that had fallen out. The interesting thing is my goatee is gone, but some of my other facial hair remains. It’s not growing, but the stubble is there. So it looks a little funny to have a bald chin and upper lip, with stubble on my cheeks.
Before Lindsey and I met, I tried online dating for a bit. It never progressed to anything in person or even a phone call. I’m pretty sure I used eharmony, but that doesn’t fit the theme of this post. On match.com, people search for their perfect love. On bethematch.org, people search for their perfect stem cell match. While I found my perfect love outside of online dating, I have now found my perfect stem cell match via bethematch.org. Ok, perfect may be giving it a bit too much credit, but I do have a 10/10 match. If you recall, they want to match 10 alleles to ensure the best possible transplant. Some centers will transplant with an 8/10 match, but 10/10 is better.
Today I received word that I have a willing donor who is a 10/10 match! I don’t know exactly what this means as far as timing at the moment. I have my appointment with Dr. Cripe on Wednesday, where we will talk about next steps. But the big milestone is having a match! One less thing to think about and one more thing to be thankful for.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Thank you God for a match. Thank you for someone who is willing to give me a chance at life. Thank you for their sacrifice and love for a stranger. I pray for others who are waiting on their match. Please comfort them and provide a way forward. Thank you God for the ability to go to church. Not everyone has that ability. Not everyone has that freedom. I am thankful for both. Thank you God that I am feeling better. Thank you for all the support we have received. Thank you for another day.