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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, March 20, is the first day of spring, although one would never know it by the piles of snow still on the ground.  This day signifies the end of a tough winter and a time of rebirth and hope.  And so it was for me on March 20, 2012.  That day signified my time of rebirth and hope as I received my autologous stem cell transplant.  Today marks the second birthday of my new immune system.  So far, it is working well.  Thankfully, I am still in remission and doing great.  So Happy Birthday to me!

Today is also the day that my bone marrow biopsy results are supposed to be available.  I checked the Patient Gateway website, and for the biopsy results, it says, "See Medical Records".  I put a call in to Muriel to see if she could tell me the results over the phone, but she hasn't called back yet.  I may have to wait until next week.  I will be going to the Farber on Monday for the monthly Writing Workshop meeting, so I can probably pick up the lab reports then.  What I am most anxious about are the Flow Cytometry results to see if there is still no evidence of residual disease.

I was recently contacted by Melanie Graham, an editor for the Dana Farber weekly blog, Insight.  They are beginning a series on “Coping with Cancer Through Creative Expression”, and she invited me to be one of the patients featured in their initial launch issue, which was published yesterday.  Here is a link:

Click "Read more" on the first article to see the full blog post.  Melanie also invited me to contribute blog posts to future issues, which would be an interesting and fun challenge.  I have to thank Amy Boesky, our writing workshop leader, for recommending me to Melanie.

 Meanwhile, the Mohs surgery for the squamous cell carcinoma on my cheek is healing nicely, as you can see from this selfie.  I took the bandages off yesterday.  Since my "lunch time facelift", this is now supposed to be my good side.  This scar has a long way to go before I could consider this my good side.

Next up will be surgery in early April to remove the squamous cell carcinoma on my right forearm.  I am now paying the price for all those severe sunburns I subjected myself to in my callow youth.

I can't wait.


  1. You can always tell people that it is an old dueling scar. ;-)

  2. Happy Birthday! We always need to celebrate milestones and count our blessings! The scar actually looks good and will continue healing I'm sure. Living in Panama Canal Zone and Florida for over 20 years will probably ensure some surgery for me in the future as well. EZ and I definitely get checked all over once a year! Glad they are on top of it with you~