Hit Me Again

I had an appointment with my oncolodoc the other day. This one was at my request because some of my Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia symptoms that reappeared a few months ago and were previously tamed by the steroid decadron are back again. And we knew that the steroids would probably only be a temporary solution before we would need to call in some bigger guns and take a few doses of some chemo. We just weren’t sure how temporary.

So that’s where we are. We called in the big guns today. Starting next week, I will undergo 6 rounds of Rituxan.  (which technically is a monoclonal antibody and not a chemotherapy agent the way many people would envision. ) This is one of the “smart bombs” that kills only what it is supposed to kill. Depending on the result and my reaction, we may introduce a second drug after the first couple of treatments.

Although this may sound like a lot, I only need to go in once a week for 6 weeks so it should be only a VERY minor interruption of the rest of my life. I shouldn’t have any problem working and training through and around it.

Of course the very first dose of Rituxan can be a little tricky. I tend to have mild reactions to it until they work out all of the kinks with the premeds, IV drip rate, etc. But I will eventually settle in.

IMG_9200I’m not concerned about this, so neither should anyone else be. I will be very happy to put these symptoms to rest and move on. Besides, I had very good success with this treatment historically, so …….. there is no reason to expect anything but the same this time around. And once these rounds are done, I expect to be able to lock this thing away again for several more years.

I’ll keep everyone posted. You all know this disease is an open book with me in the hopes that others may learn a thing or two or perhaps even ease someone’s fear or anxiety. Hey, maybe I’ll even sneak out some good video or pictures from treatment. I’m sure that may drive the nurses a little nuts but…… I think I’m supposed to do that.

No worries, life is GREAT.  As for this gorgeous day? I am out the door and on my bike.

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23 Comments

  1. David Wolovitz
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Amen! You are in our thoughts prayers and we send our best wishes for an successful and not difficult course of treatment. You are an inspiration to so many of us watching and hoping.

  2. Posted August 13, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    So many people navigate their way through this universe without making any noise, keeping their existence very quiet! You my friend are NOT one of those people and I love/thank you for it. KEEP making NOISE!!!! People ARE listening!!!!!!!!! BTW, if I may make a general statement for the record, ” Cancer can kiss my A$$”!

  3. Lainie Wolovitz
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks for updating us on your health situation, Birthday Buddy. We’ll be thinking of you & sending you positive thoughts for a smooth regimen.

  4. Bill Hauser
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Steve –

    Thanks for the update and keep up the positive attitude. You are an inspiration!

    Bill

  5. Bob Hayman
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Keep the faith brother.

  6. Midge Kerr
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    UGH!
    Go get ‘em!!!

  7. The Papales
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    We are pulling for you!

    Janet and Vince

  8. Gretchen Cooney
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for keeping the Cooneys in the loop. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you annoy the nurses. Thinking of you.

  9. Ali Wishnick
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi Steve,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you have to go through more treatment but know that you are going to handle it all like a rockstar! Coincidentally, my mother-in-law is actually going through Rituxan treatment at Fox Chase right now – if you happen to be going to Fox Chase on Tuesday mornings, say hi to Rita Lilie :) . She had an awful chemo experience for the last few months, and was nervous about her first Rituxan treatment, but it ended up being no problem.

    I hope you are feeling better and that I will see you out on the road soon. Will be thinking of you!

    Ali

  10. Chris Collins
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Yo Brother,
    First, thanks for reaching out, in your own very special way you always manage to put things into perspective helping us to focus on whats really important.
    Of course I’m sorry to hear this news, but feel confident in the fact that you’ll take this new obstacle head on, defeating it while finding a way to help others.

    Steve, always remember ” THE LORD HAS GONE BEFORE US AND PREPARED OUR WAY”
    All we need to do is believe and continue our journey brother.

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers

    Chris

  11. Tim Krueger
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Keep Rocking Dude… Kick its ass…

    Tim

  12. Courtney Kelly
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear this Steve but I have no doubt you will tackle this with flying colors and send it back where it came from. Hope your summer is going well otherwise.
    Can we do lunch soon?

  13. Donna Grogan
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the update…I am sending healing thoughts and energy your way!

  14. Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear that Steve. Hang in there and fight the good fight. You will get it again.

    Nick

    Nick Sakiewicz
    CEO & Operating Partner
    Philadelphia Union

  15. Rose Bevilacqua
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    You’re my hero! Go kick some cancer butt! You’ll be in my thoughts during your “minor interruption” (as you put it) with your Rituxan treatments! I’m sure you’ll work out more during those 6 weeks then I do now!!

  16. Posted August 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Stevo,

    Your mind is right. You’re body is going follow. We have NO DOUBT!

    For informational purposes, post some video of you driving the nurses nuts!

    Lots of Love from the Wildwoods’!!!!!!!

  17. Glenn Brynan
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Steve,

    Good luck with this new treatment. I know you’ll kick butt like you have in the past.

  18. Kirsten
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks again for sharing. I’m praying for you and for the record, this was my favorite part, “I shouldn’t have any problem working and training through and around it.” Nothing stops the Remission Man! :) I know you’ll make it a great day!

  19. Karyn Cousart
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Keep riding the bike!

  20. John Anderson
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Hey Buddy,

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this.. we’re sending prayers and thoughts your way and thank you for continuing to teach us the valuable lessons in life. I know cancer once again doesn’t have a chance against you! I look up to you because of your strength, your inspiration and your friendship. Let me know when we can get together for lunch. Thinking of you!

    Take care,
    John

  21. Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Stephen,

    Best of luck on the new treatment – just another hurdle in your race. I did want to pass on some good news – the feature Gregg Murphy and I did on your story was nominated for an Emmy tonight. Winners are announced on Sept 22nd and I will be sure to let you know how it turns out (even though I will be on the road with the Eagles this year and will miss the gala.)

    Take care..Neal Slotkin

  22. Posted August 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    I will be praying for your recovery. Please keep me posted. Cabrini sisters have a national prayer newsletter that is published monthly. Do you want me to add your name to the prayer list? Best wishes, MLSicoli

  23. MaryAnne Fisher
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Steve,

    Picked this news up from Barb Littleton’s post. MY thoughts and prayers are with you. If anyone can beat this you’re the man I’d vote for!!!!!!

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