Chemo, Radiation, Bone Marrow Transplant

Why I don’t like popsicles

I sent a little donation to a cancer patient today. It started with a casual browsing of <a href=>Wil Wheaton’s</a> site. He’s a alpha geek type who is best known for being the whiz kid on Star Trek the Next Generation, Wesley Crusher. Strangely enough my favorite newsgroup in the very early 90s was alt.wesley.crusher.die.die.die.

I saw a <a href=>post</a> on there from his wife about a their friend, Kris, who was diagnosed with lukemia not too long ago and is now undergoing her final treatment cycle:

For the week prior to her stay at City of Hope, Kris was taking anti-seizure medication and going to her doctor to do chemotherapy tests before beginning her intensive treatment. When she begins her stay on February 13, she will be doing several days of chemotherapy followed by several days of full body radiation therapy. Then they will transplant the stem cells they harvested from her (she was not a match with her brother, children, or the National Donor Registry). This option gives her a better chance of her body not rejecting the transplant. Then the slow recovery begins.

I read the entire post and immidiately tears welled up and my hands shook a little. I have the statistics for my own NHL battle firmly planted inside my head. 80% chance of a full cure for the first round of chemo and radiation treatments. If it does reoccur it is likely to come back within 5 years and then the treatment is transplanting bone marrow and the survival rate is 50%.

I sent them a small donation. I really hope she makes it, the support network helped me a ton, in fact my wife Micki saved my life during the worst part when I had a severe allergic reaction to compazine and my throat started to swell shut. My parents, brothers, the Gibbscrew network of friends, the people at my company, and a horde of others all let me know in various ways that they would help in any way they could. I still remember some little things like my brother and sister in law buying me an O’Reilly book of all things on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or a project manager from XUMA pulling me aside and urging me to fight it all the way and not to give up because he had watched his Dad give up after the diagnosis and pass away soon after.

I still politely turn down popsicle offers from my daughter, Kassie. I had popsicles, Otter Pops actually, during the chemo treatments at the Nevada Cancer Center. I don’t touch them anymore. Some day I’ll have to explain why I hate popsicles to Kassie.