I wanted to take a minute to say that I am deeply grateful for all the support that I (and Denise) have received over the past few months. I have read every comment here, every e-mail, every post card that came via US post. I am so far behind in the showing of gratitude, that I know when I finally do feel well enough to write, that I will never catch up. So, please take this as a heart-felt thank you. I know Denise feels the same. This is a tough road to walk and I know that neither of us could have made it this far without this overwhelming support of our friends and family.

I will throw in a bit of news from today. My progress, speaking of symptoms, still seems too slow for me. I was able to walk about three miles today, in between episodes of cramping and diarrhea. I met with my team at the cancer center too. If things continue uneventful, I will be discharged back to Anacortes on July 12th. If a minor hiccup (such if the diarrhea has not slowed down by then) I may need to stay until the following week. If I were to get an infection, all bets are off. Please pray that I can avoid infections (the majority of stem cell transplant patients require a re-hospitalization due to infection). If things continue without a hiccup, this tunneling catheter in my chest will also be removed on my birthday, July 11th. That would be the greatest birthday present I’ve ever received.

The tunnel catheter was place in my chest as an emergency on January 17th at Peace Health Hospital in Bellingham. At that time, we did not know why my kidneys had failed, but I was in desperate need for dialysis to save my life. The thought at the time was that I would have the catheters for about 4 weeks. It turned into six months, six long months.

On that day in Jan (the 17th) the two main toxins (creatinine and BUN) were 12.5 and 156 respectfully. A normal creatinine should be below 1.2  and a BUN below 21. While I was doing dialysis, the best that we could get the toxins down to was a creatinine around 3.5-4.5 and a BUN of around 50-60.

Ten weeks ago we stopped dialysis. As of today, my creatinine is 2.4 and my BUN has been bouncing around 21-23 (yes, normal at times). This has been an unspeakable blessing, meaning that I’m done with dialysis for good. This not only gives me a much better chance for a quality of life, the ability to travel outside our immediate area, and a much better prognosis for surviving my cancer. Thanks so much for your prayers.



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10 responses to “Gratitude”

  1. Mike, we think about you & Denise everyday at the clinic & we can’t wait to see you again. Praying for no hiccups on your road to recovery!


  2. Thank you Mike for sharing your good news. Continued prayers for no hiccups and a healthy recovery. You have a loving and caring team of people rooting for you and praying for you.


  3. Wow. Wow, wow, and just wow.
    So great to hear positive news – 3 miles! Home soon!! Tubes out of your chest, no dialysis, possibility of travel on the horizon!!!
    I’m grateful for this update.


  4. Thank you so much Mike for your thoughts and feelings shared. You are quite welcome, though At least for me, no expectation of a response, from one who has suffered much myself. I know what’s in your heart… I accept whole heartedly your thanks, from both you and Denise. Please tell her from me ” you rock girl! Thank you for being such steadfast support to your beloved!”
    A three mile walk sounds like quite an effort, the kind that makes yet more positive causes. The universe will stand behind you in this because even in your suffering, you are helping yourself, taking care of yourself…
    Blessed be peace!
    By the way Riley is almost healed up from his Teca surgery. Even though they removed both ear canals my little fighter can hear to some degree! Yes! We’re almost there. It’s been a trip. Riley sends his love.


  5. I agree there is no need to thank us! Our family’s prayers and support are behind you and Denise in this difficult journey.


  6. Sitting on the outside, I feel you are doing amazingly a short period of time all considering. This is not to ignore all your suffering and absolutely for you, Denise and your family the stretch has been LONG! The fact that you can walk 3 miles in between terrible symptoms is a tribute to your determination to remain ‘strong’ and to do your part in helping your body to heal. It is such great news about the dialysis. Although a risk of infection remains I believe that before too long you’ll be able to make those trips outside of the bubble. You are too much of a fighter for this not to happen. Prayers for your upcoming best birthday ever!! Prayers you’ll be home soon..I know there is a big furry dog waiting for her daddy. (I don’t remember her name but I never forget a dog) Mike, you are going to kick Cancer’s ass!!!


  7. Yeah Mike!!! Cheering you two on!! So thankful for what God has done in your body!!! Onward and forward!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Hi Mike- Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. Your honesty and transparency have been remarkable. To share your doubts and fears along with the source of your strength binds us all together. I look forward to hear you’re home and enjoying the view from the deck. bj


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