Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 17 on Maintenance

Dale is now on maintnenace chemotherapy which consists of iv chemotherapy twice a month and pills every night for the month of December. The leukemia is still present in his marrow and blood. He was not able to get into remssion from the induction protocol last month. It was a long shot since the chemotherapy regimen was fairly light for a three time relapse. He had about 7% left in the marrow. The peripheral blood shows 12% blasts. Normally, you should not see any in the blood. Despite all that, Dale continues his studies and manages to play golf , basketball and occasionaly go to hula. His last ANC was 1200, Hgb-8.3 and Platelets 77,000. The platelets went up as high as 109,000 but with the start of the maintenance (6-MP) the platelets have dropped . Highlights for the past few weeks have been playing in a golf tournament at Malibu Country Club,going to see the Christmas Story at the Chrystal Cathedral with the Chong family, and going to see the UCLA Bruin basketball game and watching his favorite player Josh Shipp in action. The golf tournament was planned especially for Dale. There were 10 teams consisting of adults and kids. Dale and his golf teacher/friend Ryan traveled around playing 1 or 2 holes with each team. At the end of a long day, he told me it was one of the best days of his life. Dale was not feeling well the day before and the weather was questionable but on Saturday morning he woke up to blue skies and a lot of sunshine. He did not complain of any nausea or fatigue. He was running around the course with a big smile on his face all day. Uncle Kirk was able to get a cart cover to keep the wind out and a small heater to keep him warm. Although, I think Auntie Shari was riding in that cart more than Dale during the last 2 holes. Just as well, because it gave Dale a chance to drive with me in my cart. I was scared but he had fun. Luckily we did not damage the course or run into anything. Dale is now going to school for about an hour and a half every day. He loves going to school and seeing his friends for this makes him feel somewhat normal. Dale mentioned to me yesterday that he made a basket during his game and it sounded like the whole gym cheered for him. He also mentioned how good it made him feel when his whole team gave him "high fives" . As you can see, Dale continues to hold his own for now. Thank you for the prayers that keep Dale going. Wishing you all a blessed holiday season.....