Saturday, December 13, 2014

Too often, we loose

Shannon McNeil, wife of my cousin, Dan McNeil, lost her battle against cancer back on November 17th.

F%#k cancer, and the horse it rode in on.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

3 year old Lethargic Old Man

...I had to think of a good opposite to 'bouncing baby boy'.

Happy 3rd Birthday to me !

Three years ago today, I received my Stem Cell transplant.  I seem to be so far going good !

News over the last year ? Nothing too exciting.  I am now down to every 6 months between checkups with my oncologist and they feel everything is going very well.  I am getting monthly phlebotomy where they take out a pint of blood, and chuck it into the wastebin.  The reason is to try and lower my iron levels which are crazy high due to all the blood transfusions.

The GVHD symptoms have been benign, and result in very dry flaky skin on the head and face.  My hair while very fast growing is just too thin to let grow long.  After it get about a cm long, it just looks horrible, like I am a cancer patient.  Keeping the hair also winds up making the GVHD rashes on my scalp worse.  I just shave it daily now.

Other than that, everything is good, and I am one lucky dude !

Special future shout out to my donor !  We received some details awhile ago, and will be reaching out to her shortly. 

Give blood !

Monday, June 03, 2013

Ha ! I knew it !!

I knew it !

Summary : "Surgeries on Friday Are More Frequently Fatal ... compared to those who opt for really bad Mondays"

There is a reason the blog's url is "Bite Me Friday" !

See :
Other than that, I am still alive and doing good.  I still see an oncologist every 3 months now, and there is some super minor GVHD symptoms (dry skin/rash on head/chest) but I don't need to take anti-rejection drugs, etc.

Also, we have found out some information about the donor.  I will not say more than that as she has provided her info to me, not you ;)

I will post an update with some more details with our plan related to that.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blood turns 2 !

Happy 2nd Birthday - To Me !!!

Oct 27, 2012 will be 2 years since my stem cell transplant.

Going Strong !!

I will now take this opportunity to brief you on an important message from our sponsors, me:

There is a common problem that affects many of us nowadays.

There is just too much of it.  Money everywhere, cluttering up the floor, getting stuck in the furniture, etc.
Sometimes it can create a fire hazard - Those $50 bills burn like nobody's business.

Do what I did, and get rid of your excess money before it causes you harm !

As some of you know, in 2009 I was diagnosed with Leukemia, after a few rounds of Chemo it looked like it was gone.  Unfortunately, just about a year later, it came back.

In October of 2010 I received a Stem Cell transplant, and so far the Leukemia has stayed away, and I have returned to a mostly normal life with only a few minor issues.

On October 20 – SATURDAY !, just a few days before what I call my 2nd Birthday, I will be talking part in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s (LLSC) Light The Night Walk to pay tribute and bring hope to all those affected by blood cancer.

Yes, it's a fund raiser !

So before your house / apartment / cardboard box burns down from all the money that tends to pile up under the couch, bed, corners of the floor and ceilings, you can go here

And dump it off !  Every little bit helps - No pressure.

Warning – I might hit you all up again next year, so pace yourselves.

Thanks for your time


Friday, January 20, 2012



I made it to another year ! Yay me!

Another stellar delay before posting an update, but it has been a very busy time - work, Halloween, work, trip to the Island, work, Christmas, work, New Years, work.

In my last update, I was off Prednisone, and now, I am off Cyclosporin.

I am still on the Anti-Pneumonia, Anti-Viral, and blood pressure pills until the end of the month, and then I can stop all but the blood pressure pills.

So far everything has been clear for GVHD, but my energy levels have been taking a pretty big hit.

Next doctor visit is in March.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday !!

Well, first off, Googling first,birthday,transplant for an image for todays message is not a good idea unless you're looking for a bummer trip.

So, yes, here we are, or more importantly here I am, one year after getting my stem cell transplant.

I went for my checkup on Tuesday, and everything is going good.  I am off the Prednisone !!!

So, now we get to see a big glimpse as to how well my donors stem cells jive with the rest of my body.  So far things have been very good, but I have been on a lot of Anti-Rejection drugs.  Even in its weakened state, my shinny new immune system has been working pretty darn good.  I have been able to dispatch the colds that have taken down the kids with only a few sniffles and coughs.

We received the consent form today (how timely, thanks to Sonja) to give consent to provide information to the my Donor.

I am back again in 1 month for another appointment to see how everything is doing after the drop in prednisone.

I am looking forward to hopefully celebrating Christmas with my Family THIS year, though I am feeling an odd pull?, duty?, compassion? drawing me to be at T15 on Christmas Day...  I owe a bigger responsibility to my Wife and Kids though, this year at least.

ps.. I found two worthy pictures.


Monday, September 05, 2011

No news is good news I guess ?

....Or so my Aunt Elaine recently put in the wedding anniversary card/gift we received recently (Thank you btw !!).

In the writing I sensed a possible "snarky" dig at my complete and utter lack of updates on my progress on this blog.  I could also be wrong :)

Anyway, I guess it is about time for an update.

In short, everything is going pretty damn well.  I have been to the Abbotsford General Hospital for my 6 week checkup a second time, and everything went well.  It's nice not having to do the long drive in.  I do still have to go into Vancouver every so often to pick up some drugs that are not available out here.

My prednisone has been reduced to 5mg / day, but everything else has been held the same.  Once the prednisone has been reduced to nothing for a while, they will start reducing the others.

The tingling has gone down quite a bit, or rather I have just integrated the sensation into my normal life.  My muscles sometimes are quite sore in the morning, but that could just be age and lifestyle and have nothing to do with the drugs.  I am going to blame it on the drugs for now though.

It's been over a year now since the relapse, and in just under 2 months it will be a year since the transplant.  Once the medications are down, I will be getting my 'childhood' vaccination shots all over again.

The next few months will tell how much, if any, GVHD I will have to live with.  So far I have been pretty much symptom free, with my only issues being drug related.  Hopefully it will continue that way.

My next checkup appointment is on the 13th, and I am still going in every second week for blood tests.

On the 'life' front, I have returned to work after being out of the work force for many years.  An opportunity opened at an IT company in Chilliwack, I applied, and got the job.  Some of my doctors were a little concerned about the return, but my Dr. N. was ok with it.  Everything has been going great.

We've been camping up at Sonja's folks property up by 100 mile house, and we managed to make it to the PNE just this Saturday.  AJ starts all day kindergarten this year so that's going to be a big change.  He will be joining the play/work force like his dad.