Three year anniversary

Three years ago I started feeling the first symptoms from AML, but wasn't diagnosed until the end of March of 2016. What a journey it has been, but I am happy to report that I am doing very well. Last fall I moved to the Bay Area from Michigan to start a new job, and I love California. I haven't had any luck trying to get to see an oncologist that specializes in AML/stem cell transplants to continue my follow-ups, but I am doing well enough not to need extra care. It takes forever go get to see a doctor here, any doctor. I will finally meet my new family physician in a week and a half. I'm hoping everything will go well.

Going back to work was a rough transition, since my job is very fast paced, intense and requires using my critical thinking skills. I went from being at home all day, resting when needed, slow pace indeed, to working 9 hour days at a major university. I definitely needed more energy to get through these long days in the beginning, so I started walking every day before work and during my lunch break. It's fortunate that the weather here is very conducive to being outside year round. These daily walks greatly improved my energy levels. I now walk about 30 miles a week, including hiking in redwood parks and on the shore of the Pacific. I am finally feeling comfortable doing my job and get everything done. When I get home after work, I usually just rest and eat my dinner. I am too tired to do shopping or any other activity, but I am fine with that.

In July I will meet the young man from Germany who donated his stem cells to me. I am so excited about being able to say "Thank You" in person. What an incredible gift he gave me! I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.

Olga sent you a hug.
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Vital Info


July 9, 2016

Cancer Info

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

March 20, 2016

Life is a gift from God. Even on my bad days I can look for things around me to be grateful for. I can't control my diagnosis, but I can control what I focus on.

Flu symptoms, shortness of breath, chest pain

Had two induction rounds and two consolidation rounds.

Had a stem cell transplant in August of 2016. Suffered kidney disease as the result of transplant or chemo right before the transplant. Kidney problem lasted for three weeks and then went away. In October I was diagnosed with graft vs. host disease (intestinal). I was on Methylprednisolone until the end of November. In December GVHD symptoms came back, so I was put back on steroids until the end of February of 2017. In March I developed shingles, and was treated with for that with antiviral IV meds in the hospital and then for two weeks at home. I still have some rash from shingles (June 2017), but it's not too bad.


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