Friday, February 20, 2009


I've mentioned Yanni here a couple of times. She lives near Seattle and was diagnosed with CML in the fall of 2008. Unfortunately she was diagnosed in the advanced stage of the disease. Gleevec didn't work for her and the leukemic cells invaded her central nervous system (basically her spine and brain). I probably don't need to spell out how bad that is.

She's subsequently been through about half a dozen rounds of chemotherapy, a handful of thoracentesis procedures (to drain cancerous fluid from around her lung cavity) and more ups and downs than you can shake a stick at (although I'm sure she's tried, she's rather feisty). Currently, she's going through one more round of chemo in the hopes of avoiding a transplant or drug trial and going back on one of Gleevec, Tasigna or Sprycel. I deeply hope that she's able to go back on one of these drugs instead of heading down the transplant route.

We've gotten to know each other via email and instant messenger over the last couple of months. She's incredibly nice and thoroughly undeserving of her current predicament. This last weekend she was in good enough health to fly down to meet Wendy and I. We stayed overnight in Sausalito at the Casa Madrona hotel where we got to know each other a little better over dinner on Sunday night. We talked about treatments, about the future, and about how much this sucks. Monday morning we went traipsing around Sausalito checking out a few shops and having breakfast.

Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling very well at all on Monday, so Wendy and I went home in the early afternoon (I slept the entire way). It was a great visit and I'm very glad to have met her. I wish her the best in the coming months as the direction of her treatment becomes more clear.

Yanni And I

As for me, I'm still plugging along. The nausea has come back in moderation and I feel like I'm getting progressively more tired. It's to the point now where I can't make it through a full work week. In fact this week I went to sleep early Thursday morning and woke up Friday late afternoon - almost 2 days. I'm working on getting more exercise in the hopes that the fatigue is related to that. We'll find how my blood is doing in a couple of weeks during our quarterly visit to Stanford.

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