IT HASN’T HIT ME YET, but yesterday the FDA announced the approval of a new drug “widely expected to revolutionize care of chronic lymphocytic leukemia,” according to the Columbus Dispatch, and it’s the drug Wally’s been on through 2 clinical trials.
It hasn’t hit me yet, but it will.
I recall at the time of his diagnosis the survival rate for his type of CLL was 5 years. We are well past 5 years now. His counts are stable and he’s as close to remission as one gets with this disease.
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ONE MEMORY RISES this morning: 3 days before Christmas, 2010. We’d driven to Columbus early to shop before the checkup. That was the year we bought the two little boys the push bikes. (The little girls hadn’t come along yet.) Total impulse buy! It was the first genuine, spontaneous fun we had in so-long-we-couldn’t-remember. We were practically giddy.
We packed those bikes in the car and headed to The James for the checkup. After that, there’d be another 2 hours to home. Already the kids and grandkids were headed in from the far reaches and we’d see them all soon.
But when the labs came back, the white count had jumped from 9 to 20, and in just 3 months. The CLL was back. Relapse. Three days before Christmas and everyone piling into our house. What were we going to tell them?
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NO, it hasn’t hit me yet, how BIG news of this drug is and what it means to have been in on it before it was widely available and all the miles in the car and how our car knows its way to the OSU Medical Center on its own and how much campus construction we’ve navigated around and labs and scans and physicals and people we’ve met and the number of hair color changes some of the staff have had, and babies.
This morning I had to blow dust off my CLL journal, to go look for the year it was, that Christmas. I had to blow dust off it, it’s been so long since there was something to write about there.
And maybe that is the most telling news of all. May all CLLers of the world have nothing much to write in their journals! May all cancer patients!
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