Exit Ramp Ahead

I got off one drug Monday and two more yesterday. My white counts and platelets are slowly climbing (5.3 and 92), which means my old-new stem cells are engrafted and doing their amazing work. But I got put on the Prednisone for my cough and night sweats, which could indicate a lung problem that sometimes results from BCNU chemo.

Engraftment feels like getting the flu: body aches, weight loss (I’m at 152), low-grade fever, night sweats, but it’s all in a good cause. I keep telling myself feeling bad is part of getting better.

If there are no setbacks, I have my exit interview and get my Hickman Line out next Monday and can go home on Tuesday, with a follow-up appointment on the following Monday. I’ll be on one set of restrictions till the end of July and another till the middle of September. Then it’s just a matter of how quickly I get my energy back.

The transplant has been a success. It remains to be seen if and when the cancer returns, which happens in about 40% of cases. I’m not concerned about that right now; I’m just taking one grace-day at a time. Or what I’m adding to my signature now, “T+16,” i.e. days from transplant.


6 thoughts on “Exit Ramp Ahead

  1. I am trying to reach Mike Hamel. This is a voice from his past. My wife Wanda and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary yesterday, July 1st. Mike performed the ceremony at Laurel Park Bible Chapel in Portland, Oregon. We watched an edited version of the ceremony with family. It brought back fond memories. Thanks Mike for being a big part of our special day. It looks like you are battling with cancer. Is this correct? The Lord’s best to you and your family. Gary Sanseri

  2. Mike,
    Let me know if you or Susan need anything for Tuesday. Glad for your pain and healing. Keep making those platelets.
    God bless the family.

  3. Yip – agree with Kim. The mind immediately jumps to an assumption by your blog title. But I’m convinced, knowing M.H., that it was provocatively planned that way! It is indeed amazing work going on in your cells. Counting along with you, we pray for your continued healing.

  4. Mike, I am absolutely blest by the current news. T+16 reminds me of my training days. I am blest to read about your progress, your attitude and your thoughts. I honestly wish I could have a cup of coffee with you some time. I have gone through some life perspective changes that I’d love to have your input on. Well, we trust that God will provide at the right time. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Michael

  5. Not wild about your chosen title for this blog. I had seen it and it scared me.

    Wasn’t quite sure what the correct context was for “exit ramp ahead”, especially given your wit and ability to demonstrate an almost out-of-body perspective on your cancer and treatment. After reading the blog, I am relieved that the “exit ramp” refers to your current course of treatment and not the “exit ramp” we all ultimately have ahead of us. So thankful your treatments have been deemed a success.

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