IMG_0836Journal: May 2002

We arrived home in plenty of time to pick up Aaron at the airport.  He had been awake over twenty-four hours traveling home from Moscow.  He slept in late.  I did not.  I had a stack of mail, hundreds of emails, and a dozen phone messages.  There was plenty to do over the next few days.  Not the least of which was to start putting away the detritus of our trip that had filled up both the trunk and back seat of the car.  These included a box of boat supplies, eighty feet of one inch rope fallen off a ship and washed up on shore (probably during a storm as I found it half-buried high above the normal high tide line), a box of driftwood, sea shells, hermit crab shells, sponges and other beachcombing discoveries, a box of new used books, a box and garbage bag of items gleaned from my grandmother’s kitchen and personal items from her home in Florida, packed away for the past two years at a storage shed in South Carolina.  And this in addition to the items we left home with.

So I kept busy over the four days.  Tish had four tickets for a sneak preview on Friday night.  Both of the boys went.  Ben picked Aaron and myself up, driving us in his new car to meet Tish downtown.  We all ate in the food court of the downtown mall.  At the theater Tish thought that a woman in the row in front of us looked familiar.  It turned out to be Apra from Dr. Markham’s office.  Small world.  On Saturday we went to a friend’s birthday party.  I am usually shy at such parties.  I would have been at this one also, but spent the evening talking to someone I know, teaching about the intricacies of my leukemia and its potential treatments.  Sometimes I feel that all my conversations are about my disease.  And without it I would have very few interactions.

Tish and I went to Sunday Mass as there is a healing of the sick service on the first Sunday of the month.   Tish returned to work Thursday and Friday but was home for the weekend. Tish thought that I was getting a bit edgy, even grouchy at times.  I was aware that I was anxious to proceed once again, to get down to the business of dealing with my leukemia.


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

Leave a Reply