Back to The 5%

Quality Time with Dr. N 
Monday was my normal appointment with Dr. Nelson.  My creatinine is now 1.37, so it’s back in the normal range.  Since my kidneys are happy again, we’ve increased by Tacrolimus dose to 2mg a day.  When I first started, I was taking 6 mg of tacro, so this is still well below my initial dose.  At this point we are trying to maintain the lower therapeutic range for the drug.  I need to stay at a therapeutic level so I don’t get full blown GVH, but we are staying at the lower end to increase the chances of Graft vs. Leukemia.  I’m back to weekly visits, so my next visit will be Monday 12/14.

It Was Inevitable
With 3 young kids in the house, 2 of which attend pre-school, it was only a matter of time before one became sick.  Of course when one gets it, they all get it.  So really it was only a matter of time before all 3 became ill.  Everyone has been snotting and sneezing for a few days now.  Sydney had a low fever over the weekend.  And me?  I have something, but I’m doing my best to fend it off.  Dr. Nelson said we need to keep a close eye on it because it could escalate quickly.  However, besides a runny nose and one temp of 99.7, I’ve been doing pretty good.  I’m a little more run down than normal, but I’ll take run down over intubated in the ICU.  Dr. Nelson said my lymphocytes are in a good stage to help fight this off, so I have that going for me.  He gave a complex reason for that that I don’t quite recall.  I really should write some of what he says down, but he uses big words.

The Stem Cell Transplant Diet
I can’t in good faith recommend the stem cell transplant diet to you, but it’s hard to argue with the results.  For all the rounds of chemo I had, my weight never changed much.  Right now however I’m down around 30 pounds from my pre-transplant weight.  I’m hovering just above 200.  I’m kinda hoping to dip below 200 just for the fun of it, but I’m also eating a little better so we’ll see what happens.  The Stem Cell Transplant diet involves small portions and no pop, so I guess you could probably try it after all.  It’s not that I don’t want pop, because I do.  But my stomach can’t handle it right now and after not drinking it for 2 months it tastes too sweet anyway.

Lindsey’s Gonna Ride My @$$
So now that I’m feeling a bit better, Lindsey’s going to be getting me on the treadmill.  The threats haven’t started yet, but I guess that’s because she’s in the Christmas mood.  I need to build up my lung capacity and stamina in general, so walking on the treadmill will be something good to do.  Heck, maybe I’ll even run.  Back in the day I ran a few 5Ks.  Well, maybe they were 10Ks, I can’t remember.  Aw, heck you weren’t there.  I ran marathons back in the day.  Lots of them.  I may not become a runner again, but I see plenty of walking in my future.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas IMG_5591
This year we have an artificial tree.  Lindsey has had this tree for longer than she’s known me.  It’s actually this very tree that helped let her know I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.  When we were dating I looked at this artificial tree and declared “I want us to have real Christmas trees each year.”  Of course that implied we’d be together for each year and ever since then we have been.  Real tree and all.  This year though it’s just easier to put the artificial tree up.  The kids like it all the same and technically I’m supposed to stay away from plant life.  Chance of fungi or something like that.  Along with the tree, we like to hang up Christmas cards.  Let me admit for a moment that getting the mail is one of the highlights of my day (there ain’t much going on).  So even if we haven’t been on your Christmas card list in years’ past, if you find yourself with an extra one, send it our way.  It’s a nice pick me up to get some mail, especially Christmas cards!  Rob and Lindsey Culross, 6650 Silverthorne Way, Indianapolis, IN 46259.

A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Father God, I thank you for health and happiness.  I mean, having cancer isn’t exactly the blueprint for health and happiness, but each day is what we make of it.  Thank you for helping me make each day as good as it can be.  Let me delight in the good days and help me through the days that aren’t as good as I would like.  Thank you for my family and all their support.  Thank you for another day.

7 thoughts on “Back to The 5%

  1. Oh Rob! Another inspirational post for sure! I am still laughing at your claim to have run a marathon. Perhaps, your stem cell donor ran one, or perhaps your confusing yourself with your sister (that would be strange)! Love the picture of the tree and looking forward to seeing it all in person! Thank God you are getting through this journey. I am with you all the way! Love you all, Mom

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  2. Well get working on that treadmill. Camp T is planning a 5k run/walk April 3 2016. All proceeds are to the benefit of you and your family.They are calling it Run with the Raccoons! They are hoping to make it an annual event probably benefitting different people as years go.

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  3. You had me laughing hard on this post- especially with that marathon part;-)! You have plenty of time to be able to run that 5k that Marquita mentioned! You can totally do it, just a little progress each day. In fact, in about 4 and a half years I will run another marathon in your honor and I expect you to run at least the last couple miles with me;-). Don’t worry I’m not as fast as Lindsey.
    We are looking forward to seeing you all soon and also to having the kids at the end of next month for the first ever Camp UMAC winter session!

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  4. Actually, I do remember that last marathon you ran. I remember it very well, because I finished only 5 minutes behind you, my best ever versus Rob. I believe that I may have out-trained you in the last few months — I dropped the chemo part of my regimen — so I think I may have your number the next time. Get ready to eat dust!

    Love, Uncle Claude

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  5. So happy for a new “installment” on your life up there! Sorry to hear about the sniffles happening. Not a good time of year to try and stay “healthy” and with kids, well just doesn’t happen! Sometimes you feel like you need a bubble to inhabit but I can’t see you wanting to do that! Besides with 3 youngsters they would find a sharp object to pop it! Fun times! Hang in there and keep up the fight!

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  6. Hey, I can relate to the tarco reference. My dosage bounces up and down like the stock market. I have found that my level of hydration impacts it, so I try to be regimented in what and when I intact fluid.

    You and I can attest to a weight loss strategy – just have a transplant! Can’t speak for you, but it’s not something I would recommend for the general population. Praying for you. Your journey is not a sprint, but a marathon and God is with you. That makes everything a success.

    Love, Uncle Jim

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