Bone pokin’, Number Updatin’, and yep…Bike Ridin’

First, I hit 10,000 views over the weekend. Real quick – thank you to all the people that I know, don’t know, met or haven’t met, that read the words here. One of my parents saw an article about how positive thoughts and prayers help people, even when they are unaware of them (dubious science, but hey, it’s not like it can hurt, right?). And with everybody out there reading and wishing me well, I can only say thanks. I have a long list of people to find ways to thank, once this whole debacle is over with one way or another. Even if I haven’t been able to express it directly, everyone wishing me well has my eternal gratitude.

Second, I went into Presby today for a few things. First, they wanted to check in on my numbers. Last week when I went in because my numbers were lower than they “should” have been, it was completely normal and plausible that because of the infection I had, the numbers would take longer to recover. By now, though, they should be on their way to recovering, and if not, we’d worry. Dr. Roboz also wanted me to get my post-consolidation bone marrow biopsy done, just to check in on my marrow and make sure it is leukemia-free (this is a normal check in, not like “SOMETHING IS WRONG” biopsy).

So I got the numbers back, and my hemoglobin and white counts improved slightly (10.8->11.1, and 2.something->3.something), but my platelets literally stayed exactly the same (113,000). The doctor told me this was fine and not to worry, but I’m a little nervous here. This is drastically longer than it took me to recover from the first bout of chemo…though this one was high dose and is much more difficult on the body.

Biopsy #6 was not particularly fun. Unfortunately, I did not get to have the same PA as the last biopsy (she was the best, by far, of all the ones I’ve had). This one was sweet and nice, and skilled, but unfortunately, I think she went a little fast. The lidocaine hit a few nerves, and the aspirate pull was actively painful, as opposed to what it’s been before (just a vague weird tugging down my leg). I’m starting to think my left side is just not the side they should use. So far the 3 most unpleasant biopsies have been from that side, whereas the ones from the right seem to be fine. It could also be the people doing the biopsies. It is also being pretty stubborn and painful since leaving, and until I hear from Dr. Roboz, I’m still not supposed to take regular OTC pain meds (they are generally either blood thinners [bad] or fever blockers [potentially really bad]). Luckily I have some oxycodone from the bike accident. Unfortunately…oxy tends not to work very well for me in terms of getting rid of pain.

And now, for some good news! Well…kinda. Again. Man, I really wish I could just get some straight up good news…haha.

The last genetic markers all came back negative. So, I am 100% genetically normal (with regards to leukemia), with zero mutations to help me make my decision between chemo and a transplant. The good thing is, this makes both procedures viable options. I am not forced one way or the other, and I get to make the decision myself. The “kinda” part is that this decision REALLY KINDA BLOWS (excuse my french) and it would be swell to have some information that tilted me one way or the other. A feather on the balance scale of justice, perhaps?

But nope, nada.

I can be happy, though, because it means that I don’t have anything that makes my prognosis worse, and at the end of the day, that’s the best news I could realistically hope for.


Oh wait, did I just ask for some straight up good news with no down side or “eh” or “kinda” attached?

Good news everybody! I have that!

This past Saturday, I hit the road on my bike again. I know, I know. But! I went with a friend’s dad who is not only a great guy, but a great biker. We stayed on main roads, he stayed in the lead, and there were zero crashes or incidents. We did a nice calm 11 mile ride, averaging 12.5 mph.

See? Nice and easy 🙂

That little speed dip in the middle around the 25:00 mark isn’t a crash, we just saw someone he knew, so we stopped to say hello. So for those of you out there trying to get in shape, trying to lose weight, or trying to otherwise improve your conditioning. When you’re struggling to find motivation, know that some dude, some where, with leukemia, 5 days after crashing and getting a concussion, still managed to get outside and burn a thousand calories on a road bike.

Still have excuses? 😉

Shockingly enough, the heart rate and speed numbers really aren’t as far below what I was doing while training with anemia, so I’m pretty happy today. Left me a little sore Sunday, but the good kind of sore. The kind where you know it’s because you did something good for yourself.

And I will take that ANY DAY over the kind of sore you get from being stuck in a garbage hospital bed for a month.


And finally, the last bit of good news: No treatment until after Labor Day weekend. So I get to actually have a holiday weekend. Not that it’s particularly different from my normal day to day schedule, but it means I get to enjoy friends that are normally too busy to hang out. More good news!


  1. Love your good news! I get to have a poison-free holiday too! Start three days of outpatient IV chemo on the 5th. Then off for a few weeks before another round. Congrats on your numbers and followers!

    1. Not bad, not bad. What type of chemo is it this time? I am not familar with APL in particular, although my Aunt’s friend had it and survived, despite being diagnosed ~12-13 years ago, when the survival rates were in the teens. It’s crazy how much variation there is within even leukemia, let alone cancers in general.

  2. Christine · · Reply

    YAY Mr. Farrell Rides!!!! You know he is happy to ride with you anytime just ask (which I know you’re bad at) BUT get all your rides in now, he leaves for across the world on the 9th for like a week and a 20+ hr plane ride doesn’t make him want to follow your butt around town on a bicycle ; )

    1. Well to be fair, I was following his butt around town.

  3. Elizabeth Breslin · · Reply

    Here’s to a great holiday weekend for you!

    1. Thanks! You too!

  4. Mr. Farrell is retired in North Carolina, Dennis is the guy you rode with. And no more solo bike riding!

    1. Haha, fair point.

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