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  • Writer's pictureBostnMike

Do You Believe in Miracles [and Science]?!

Updated: Jun 26

(The Non-Team USA Miracle On Ice Edition).


It has been 93,600 minutes since the last update. (I know, it doesn't quite have the same ring as in "Rent," but hey). I blame the delay on a combination of limited news (until now) and being "wikkid busy, kid." #ItsABostonThing


Since then, I:

  • ...logged ~12,720 air miles Seattle (twice), Atlanta, and Austin (twice) #RoadWarriorOnRehabAssignment

  • ...enjoyed [another] game 7 Maple Leaf's first-round loss #ItNeverGetsOld

  • ...deepened my loathing of the Florida Panthers and watched the B's 2nd round exit (while flying back from Seattle) #LongFlightMadeLonger

  • ...endured another 2nd place finish of The Arsenal to the Oil-Backed-115-FFP-Violation-Carrying Citizens of Manchester #RelegateThemAlready

  • ...got my first illness post-bone marrow transplant. (A cold that lasted two weeks) #TheColdThatWouldntLeave

  • ...had three maintenance treatments #RoutineNotRut

  • ..."enjoyed" (well, kind of) my 4th bone marrow biopsy. #RoboticsFTW


  • ...Oh, and I received the results of said bone marrow biopsy.


Don't worry; this won't be a detailed travelogue of all 12K+ miles. And no, I'm not covering every bullet ad nauseam (some won't be addressed)... with that crisis averted, let's jump in!


Seattle

The first work trip to our new corporate HQ. Wow, what a gorgeous facility! The view isn't too shabby, either. I'm returning for a third visit later this week and go back again right after July 4th. I could never afford to live there, but it's a fantastic place to visit!



Bruins

While ripping the hearts out of Toronto in a Game 7 never gets old, losing to this flopping-embellishing-sucker-punching-cheap-shotting-mouth-guard-gnawing Florida hockey club is way less fun.  And don't get me started on the "goaltender interference [that wasn't.]"


In-flight viewing of Game Seven, also known as Heartbreak @ 30,000 feet.


No, I didn't expect the Bruins to win the cup this year... that was last year. 🤬


It's not [so much] "that they lost." It's "how they lost." Yes, I realize that no one play/player was the reason they exited. However, the confluence of events surrounding Sam "The Piece-of-$hit-Cheap-Shot" Bennett is mind-boggling. 🤬🤬🤬


There is a special place in Hockey Karma Hell waiting for him. How is he allowed to play after the punch to Marchand's head? ... AND then shove Coyle into Swayman, and, of course, he scores... how is that goal allowed?


I swear I've never wanted Evander Kane (or any Edmonton Oiler) to beat the hell out of someone more. Maybe Sam will drop the Stanley Cup on his foot and mangle his toe on his "Day with the Cup."


A guy can dream.


Yeah, I know the Panthers haven't won anything... yet, but it doesn't look great.


And while we're here, why the hell is FLORIDA such a hockey "hot" bed? First the Lightning, and now the Panthers? Enough already! But I'm sure you didn't jump on here to read a Bruins rant... or did you?


Arsenal

No, you joined for the Arsenal rant. Well, I am sorry to disappoint. There is not a lot to say other than a title is coming. Much progress has been made, and I look forward to the summer transfer window. #COYG.


Man City will get their comeuppance, and when they do, I'll enjoy watching them in League One in the English Football Association. For the neophyte, League One is actually the 3rd tier. Don't ask it's as confusing as Cricket.



Right, moving on...


Bone Marrow Biopsy Number IV

In addition to this blog, I'm working on a Zagat listing for Bone Marrow Biopsies. If you need a refresher. Zagat is a 30-point scale. 26-30 = Extraordinary, 20-25 = Excellent, and anything less than a 16 being "absolute buns." Biopsies one through three were all 9s (because there's gotta be worse things in life, right?) - not that I'm looking to find them.


But Biopsy 4, a solid 19! (because how could it ever be "Excellent")? Amazing things happen when you're not laying with your knees at your chin for 20 minutes with the exquisite experience of alternating sing/burn/sting/burn of lidocaine shots working their way to your hip bone... Before "the real fun" of hand drilling and extracting marrow happens while... you're wide awake.


Instead, they started an IV, and a little fentanyl was administered to ease/mask the pain and "remove the edge." I was rolled into a CT procedure room and laid on the table on my stomach (with my knees below my waist... where they belong). CT images were taken, and some numbing meds were administered. Once moved into position, my only job was to "hold still for a few seconds" as a robot drilled and extracted the marrow. (A very slight pressure is felt during the extraction), et viola, job done!


Since there were stronger pain meds administered, I was not able to drive myself home (like with the other biopsies). Therefore, the only "near event" was when my oldest son almost passed out during the start of the IV. He's not a needle guy, and it took them a couple of tries to start it. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's not bad at all. My guess is that Billy likely feels otherwise.


Results take a few weeks. Preliminary results return in about a week, but the final MRD takes roughly three weeks. Why does it take so long? Well, it took a while to count and analyze 3,073,059 nucleated cells. So, in this case, these pictures are worth 3 million + words.


In business, you almost always want the chart to go "up and to the right". With heart rates, you never want to see a flatline... Well, in this case, a flat line down and to the right is "a beautiful thing."


Nothing, None, Nada, Zilch, Nix, Nil, Zero, Bupkis, Zip, Naught, Bugger All, Love, Bagel, Not a Thing... you get the point.


It took a full week for this to sink in.


Remission

That's right. I'm in the Remission Phase! I'm not cured (there isn't one... yet), but there is no evidence of MM in my blood right now. For those who are now saying, Mike, you could have started the blog with this news, couldn't you?


First, I would direct you to Ralph Waldo Emerson: "It's not the destination, it's the journey." How I got here is as important as being here.


Next, I would say you are probably the kind of person who jumps to the last page of a mystery book or watched the final episode of Breaking Bad first. And where's the fun in that?! Oh, and "not for nothing," didn't you notice the blog title? I mean c'mon. #Foreshadowing.


Afterward

I just had my most recent treatment/visit with my Oncologist today, and his comments were: Based on the genetics of my specific myeloma, the median data suggests 4-5 years before it resurfaces.


Based on current science (which is a big caveat), when it resurfaces, it would be treated the same way (another bone marrow transplant). He also said that the science and treatments are moving so quickly that he could not predict what will happen next year.


"focusing on the now."


My objective is staying here for as long as I can.

I don't love that this was a Yankee's GIF, but it did make me chuckle.


And that, as they say, "is that."


The intention of the blog has always been to serve four purposes.


  1. Keep my amazing support global group, "in the know".

  2. Help me process all of this (while I've also been seeing a therapist); this was a huge part of maintaining my attitude and mental health.

  3. Provide hope (and insight) to others dealing with, supporting, or treating this condition. If it helps just one other person, I've succeeded.

  4. And most importantly, to entertain you. #MakeEmLaugh


What a ride this has been! 610 days! (14,640 hours, or 878,400 minutes) - give or take! From sneezing and breaking ribs (which turned out to be the first warning signs in October of 2022) to this Remission Phase... and all the events I've documented in between.


This isn't the end; it's a whole new beginning!



PS: Let's go, Celtics!



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2 Comments


Danny Allan
Danny Allan
Jun 12

Love the journey! And so happy for you!

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jillastmann
Jun 12

Such great news!! (Jill)

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