This Sunday is a special day. It's a second anniversary for me. On January 27, 2006, I had a bone marrow transplant, which put my bone marrow cancer into remission and prevented me from developing leukemia. This transplant also made sure that my Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which had been in remission since 1999, would remain in remission indefinitely. The transplant did what it was supposed to do, but it left me with nearly constant complications for almost a year, and frequent complications for a year after that.
But during the last six weeks, my weekly lab tests have shown a big improvement in some major areas of my health. My immunities have been in the normal range for a month and a half. This is a great relief after having very low immunities for most of the last year. The three most important measurements of my red blood cells also have been normal for the first time in three years. And my kidneys have improved from 30 percent function to 40 percent. While my doctors are all pleased with these changes, I'm thrilled. Maybe now I can have a life that's closer to normal. I'm looking forward to that.
My home town nephrologist (kidney doctor) was surprised as well as pleased by the improvement in my kidneys. He's told me several times that damaged kidneys don't repair themselves. But that's what my kidneys appear to have done, at least partially. He isn't sure how this can be.
This has happened to me several times. In the summer of 2006, I had total kidney failure. The nephrology team at Hershey Medical Center started me on dialysis the next day, but they told my wife Krissy to prepare herself, because they thought I would die. Obviously, I didn't die; a week later they told Krissy that I would live, but that I would be on dialysis for the rest of my life. A week after that, my kidneys were working well enough that they took me off of dialysis.
When I got home, my local nephrologist told me that my kidneys were functioning at 25 to 30 percent. When I asked him if my kidneys might improve more, he said that he doubted it very much. Now, a year and a half later, my kidneys are functioning at 40 percent. This time when I asked him if my kidneys might continue to improve, he said, "I doubt it -- but never say never." Apparently he isn't completely ruling out further improvement.
I like surprising doctors when it's in a good way. I've set a goal for myself: I want to reach 50 percent kidney function. Maybe it's not realistic, but I'm determined just the same. I know that I owe a lot of my success to the prayers and support of you and the readers of my wife's blog, Sometimes I Think. I believe that the Lord has kept me alive for a purpose that He has in mind. God willing, I'll achieve my goal.