Hospitalization and Book Club Update

Well, I’m back finally.  I have been in hospital since Tuesday evening.  I cultured strep pneumonia in sputum as well as a different variety, strep micus, I believe, of strep bacturemia in my blood.  After several days on three kinds of antibiotics, Cefepine, Vancomycin, and Bactrim, my temperatures finally subsided.  There is still a bit of an open question about why I continue to get so sick.   Flow cytometry on a peripheral blood sample won’t be back until Monday.  But with my diminished blood counts rising ever so slowly, the specter of relapse seems to fade.  Next month a second CT scan will determine if I need sinus surgery or not.

Tomorrow, Monday, we are set to begin our next Book Club discussion. Called Back: My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life.  The author, Mary Cappello, sent me the following note:

I wanted to let you know how honored I am that you’ve dedicated a discussion space to my book, Called Back: My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life, in the coming weeks on your “Being Cancer” blog site. In the event that you and your readers are interested, I thought I’d send along a few other links relative to the book. For example, a radio interview that I did with Jean Feraca, the Wisconsin Public Radio host of “Here on Earth.” The program was titled, “The Language of Cancer,” and can be accessed on my website on the “interviews” page:

I’ve also posted, in two parts, videos produced at the Here, TV studios in New York of journalist Julie Bolcer’s interview with me about Called Back. They can be found at and are titled, “Breast Cancer Book Talk with Author Mary Cappello, Parts 1 and 2.”

Two on-line reviews of the book that readers might find of interest appear on The Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine website, and at the Jessie Kornbluth’s blog dedicated to cultural and literary commentary, “HeadButler”:

Last but not least, I carried out an in-depth interview with my press, Alyson books, and that can be read on-line at:


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.

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