Update II

English rose

Just returned from my mother’s doctor’s appointment.  She had a chest x-ray for possible fractured versus bruised ribs.  Her doctor’s office is located in the same suburban medical complex in which I was treated for my leukemia both times.  I was diagnosed in the winter while today was a hot, humid July afternoon.  Still the place seemed much brighter than I remember.  My memories paint a perpetually cloudy and frosty setting.

For three months friends and family accompanied me the clinic to receive my chemotherapy (biotherapy).  Towards the end of that time we would stop for something to eat on the way home.  My treatment was usually early in the morning, often I arrived just after the nurses did.  Today my mother and I stopped at a nearby Arby’s.  I remember going there after treatments.  Colas had begun to have an acrid, metallic taste.  Ice cream drinks still tasted good and helped to counteract my slowly falling weight.  Later I weaned from thick, calorie-ladened cream drinks to the clear, refreshing taste of plain ice tea.

That all seems forever.  It was back in an unimaginable time when I thought that I might not survive the year.  Mostly I leave it back there, forever ago.  Maybe that is why it has been so easy for me to put the blog aside.  I forgot that this blog was not for me but for you.  Sorry.


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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