Thursday, January 24, 2008

it's the 2nd anniversary of my bone marrow transplant

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.

56 comments:

  1. God willing, I bet you will achieve your goal, John. Happy anniversary!! I can't believe its been two years already!! Its been such tough, long road that you have Krissy has walked and I know the Lord has been there walking along side you. My prayer is that he completely and totally heals you; he's awesome, we will just see what he has in mind for you both!!

    betty

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  2. Shalom John;
    My name is Laini and I just found your journal. Congrats on the second anniversary. My husband is also a cancer survivor; also Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. But thank G-d he didn't need the bone transplant. In fact, he is doing so well, he was send back to iraq on his third tour. Praying that you make that 50% kidney function.

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  3. Congrats on #2!!!!! WOO HOO! Doing my happy dance!
    Praise God!
    Sugar

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  4. I had forgotten the date, John.  I sure do remember when you had the surgery.  It really was a time of trials and tribulations.  You have kept your desire to survive in the forefront, with eyes focused on the Lord.  I am in awe of how you have come through these times with such strength and determination.  As always I'm. . .praying for you.  Love and blessings, Penny  http://journals.aol.com/firestormkids04/FromHeretoThere http://journals.aol.com/firestormkids04/TimeforaLittlePoetry

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  5. sometimes there are just medical miracles that doctor doesn't have anything to do with.
    I believe in miracles.

    Congrats in your 2nd year!
    Gem :-)

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  6. Just rejoicing and praising God with you!!!  He has surely had his hand in all of this.  -  Barbara

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  7. Happy Anniversary!!
    I've always considered you a miracle of God at work....
    To many more years and 50% kidney function!!
    Always Special Thoughts!
    Linda :)
    and I got the alert for your entry just fine.....

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  8. Happy Anniversary John.  It sounds like you are doing fantastically well at the moment.
    The body is a marvelous thing as we all know.
    I pray for your continued recovery.
    Hugs to yoy.
    Carolxx

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  9. Happy Anniversary!!  You sure do have something to celebrate!
    Missie

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  10. My mom's improved a lot before she got the infection and I don't think they want to give you hope afraid it won't happen but it happens glad you are doing so well
    hugs
    Sherry

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  11. Congratulations on your second anniversary, John. The body is an amazing piece of kit. Kidneys have a large overcapacity, precisely for this sort of contingency. Something tells me you will achieve your goal :-)

    Guido
    http://journals.aol.co.uk/pharmolo/NorthernTrip/

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  12. Congrats to you and thanks be to our good Lord!  I know it is a major celebration for you !  'On Ya' - ma

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  13.     I'm pulling for you.
    Jude
    http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

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  14. You've been kissed by God. You will do it. Tammy

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  15. John,
    Congratulations!  You survived against big odds!  We who have cared about you & have prayed for you are sure glad that you are here! And thrilled to hear this good news from you!  The best is yet to come for you!  Merry

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  16. John you are such a fighter and such an inspiration.  I take my hat off to you (if I wore one).  You had so very much prayer from us in J-Land and I believe the power of prayer is very strong.  God has certainly watched over you.  Happy anniversary to you and may you continue to strengthen and grow and reach you goal and more of fifty percent kidney function. God bless you.

    http://journals.aol.co.uk/jeanno43/JeannettesJottings/

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  17. Congratulations! I hope your kidney function continues to improve!
    Pam

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  18. Well done John you have been a very very brave man and you also have a very very brave wife too.You both deserve the very best.I am so happy to read your functioning is getting higher."Happy Birthday" for  Sunday You and Krissy enjoy.God Is Good.Take Care God Bless.Hav e a lovely week/end . Prayers continueing Amen.Kath
    astoriasand http://journals.aol.co.uk/astoriasand/MYSIMPLERHYMES

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  19. Well done John you have been a very very brave man and you also have a very very brave wife too.You both deserve the very best.I am so happy to read your functioning is getting higher."Happy Birthday" for  Sunday You and Krissy enjoy.God Is Good.Take Care God Bless.Hav e a lovely week/end . Prayers continueing Amen.Kath
    astoriasand http://journals.aol.co.uk/astoriasand/MYSIMPLERHYMES

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  20. Happy Birthday John!  A tremendous testimony for the Lord!
    loving you
    karyl

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  21. (((((((((((((((JOHN)))))))))))))))Happy Birthday and many,many more to come.Have a great weekend.

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  22. I`m so happy that you are doing so well after what you`ve been through  John. I `ve followed your story via Krissy`s journal and hope and pray that you will get stronger and healthier as time goes by.

    Love Sandra xxxx

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  23. Happy 2nd Anniversary John.  You are living proof that I am right not to believe anyone wo says "Sorry, it can't be done".  Have a great weekend.
    Angie, xx
    http://journals.aol.co.uk/faveanti/canyouallhearmeattheback/

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  24. Hey, Too Stubborn To Die, You are one heck of a man. There were times I would have just given up but you never did.  What you and Krissy went through amazes me.  I know it was faith in God and you both have made my faith stronger. I am so relieved and happy for you and I know your kidney function is going to go up.
    Happy Anniversary.   Love and hugs                  Myke

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  25. Congrats!  -Dawn-

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  26. kellygib1@hotmail.comJanuary 25, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    i hope you have many, many more to come. Nothing but well wishes and lots of prayers go out to you....
    Kelly~

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  27. happy anniversary great interview you gave your wife.

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  28. Hello John, just read about your battle via Jeanette's Jottings.  I send you my best wishes and my prayers for your total recovery.  I hope that your remission remains with you and that you are able to pass on your experiences and feelings to those who are standing on the threshold of this terrible illness.  Your strength and ability to cope with adversity will shine as a beacon of hope for those who are afraid.  May God bless you and your family.  Eileenx

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  29. John,

    Happy 2nd anniversary--and 46th birthday!  May you have many more of both!  You are truly an inspiration to us all, as is Krissy; and my prayer is that God will continue to bless you in every way, giving you the desires of your heart.  May you soon reach 50% kidney function and keep going up from there, by the almighty power of God!

    In His love,
    Jeanne Dininni
    http://www.writersnotes.net/

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  30. What a wondeful success story.  Congrats to you and may everything go your way so you can achive many special things in your life.  Joni

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  31. Congratulations!  I hope you have many, many happy years ahead of you.  Linda

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  32. Way to go John!
    Hugs and Love, keep it UP!
    Ang

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  33. Ok John on to your next birthday and many more. Happy Birthday!

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  34. Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday too.
    It looks as though you have God well and truly on your side.  Looking forward to reading about your 50% improved kidney function in the not too distant future.  As the doctor says....'Never say never.'
    Jeanie

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  35. Happy Birthday John:) you have come a long way with God right beside you:) i have added you to my alerts so i will be back

    Deb

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  36. YELLING FROM TEXAS

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! XOXBARB

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  37. Hello from Alberta, Canada JOHN

    I am so pleased with your progress and knowing that it can be a dark valley we go through at times of life....the great Physician is always there caring for us and our loved ones as well.
    May the good Lord continue to bless you and Krissy and may you health keep improving.

    Blessings,

    Lori

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  38. Krissy was telling me about your kidney failure and how you have turned it around and improved it.  It's an issue I'm dealing with myself but, not from medications and transplants like you've been through.  Unfortunately mine is from not being good and eating healthy.  That is changing.  Anyway, I've been so happy to hear your progress and I've always kept you and Krissy in my prayers.  I wish you many more years of happiness with Krissy, and with your health improving.

    Monica

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  39. Happy Anniversary!!!
    I can't believe it's been two years--it seems like just yesterday I met Krissy and through her--you--although I didn't actually meet you till recently.

    I'm glad to hear you are doing sooo much better.

    I'm sure your kidney will keep improving!

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  40. congrats John. And I know each anniversary after this will be a great one also. ((((((((hugs))))))))
    Cindy

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  41. congrats on your milestone and may you celebrate many more !

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  42. Oh joy!  What a ride it has been!  I can see all of the positive changes you have made in the last two years, John, but only you know exactly has all this has affected you... You and Krissy have inspired me so... as I tell her... You two are MY WIND... LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  Val xox
    http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

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  43. This is the first time I came across your blog and wanted to tell you how inspiring it is.  I do believe that GOD does have plan for your life and you will acheive it.

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  44. Happy Anniversary hon! I'm so glad your celebrating your 2nd. Krissy means a lot to me and I know your her whole world in so many ways. Here's to celebrating life and so many more years ahead. (Hugs) Indigo

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  45. First time here by way of Jeanette...so happy for you that you are celebrating this anniversary. I also loved your rabbit stories....take care, Sandi

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  46. Hi John,

    Keep fooling the docs - and live every day not as it's your last, but as a blessing.

    God is good, and god has a plan.

    Carl

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  47. happy anniversary! I was sent by Jeannette too, thank you for sharing with us

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  48. Happy birthday John!  God is good!  God bless.
    Hugs,
    D

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  49. "Happy Birthday"
    May you have many more  ;-)

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  50. What excellent news. Congratulations for being such a good example to the rest of us. We'll put you in for a prayer of thanks and a prayer of supplication for continuing improvement.
    ;^) Jan the Gryphon

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  51. What excellent news. Congratulations for being such a good example to the rest of us. We'll put you in for a prayer of thanks and a prayer of supplication for continuing improvement.
    ;^) Jan the Gryphon

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  52. That is the best news that you could possibly have gotten about all the improvements, and finally things are going toward normal.   I know what a struggle it has been for you and Krissy.  Many more 'Happy Birthday's' to come John!   mark

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  53. I've been amazed by your courage and faith as I've read about and prayed for you and Krissy.  Congrats on the anniversary!!  
    Keep close to Jesus,
    Kellen

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  54. Happy Birthday John. Well we know how your kidneys are healing them selves, don't we? lol God is good. I am sure that God has a reason. Will keep you in my prayers. God Bless, Janie

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  55. Happy Birthday John, I know God has good things in store for you (and Krissy) in the coming years.  Linda in Washington state

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  56. Happy Birthday John! You sure are a fighter and I wouldn't be at all surprised if you achieved your goal. Wonderful news about your health; I'm so happy for you. ;-)
    Deb

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