Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yesterday marked the three year anniversary of my Multiple Myeloma diagnosis. After one round of radiation therapy, five rounds of chemo and two bone marrow transplants I am in remission. Sounds like a lot to squeeze into three short years, but those three years also feel like a lifetime. I honestly don't remember what it feels like to not have cancer. This disease and the fight to overcome it has, in many ways, come to define my life. Perhaps it shouldn't, but the disease become so all-encompassing that having take over your life seems almost inevitable. Yes, this disease can define many things, but it only matters if you let it stop you from living, and that I will never do. I will never stop living because of this disease. If I were to sit back, and let cancer put me in a box, keep me from doing things, keep me from living, then the disease wins. That will not happen. I plan on beating this disease, and beating it completely. As long as I keep living, as long as I don't let cancer stop me having a life, I win. If I keep going I win, I beat this disease, no matter what happens.
Deacon John
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Dec. 8, 2010
St. Peregrine, Pray for Us
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for Us

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another trip around the Sun

I never celebrated birthdays much until the last few years. Now they have become very important to me, because I get to keep having them. I have to say I'm glad to still be on this side of the dirt. Thanks to all of you for your prayers, I can't tell you how much they mean to me. And a special thanks to my sister Margaret, whose generous gift makles this birthday, and hopefully many more birthdays, possible. Thanks, I love you.
Deacon John
Feast of St. Leo the Great
Nov. 10, 2010
St. Peregrine, Pray for Us
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for Us

Friday, October 15, 2010


for results from the 6 month tests done two weeks ago. I did get a call from Chicago warning me that while in the waiting room on my last visit I may have been exposed to chicken pox. But, I've shown no symptoms and we are well past the incubation period, so I suppose I will manage to avoid chicken pox. They did tell me the bone marrow biopsy results looked good, so hopefully everything else will turn out as well. Oct. the 29 will be 7 months from the transplant, and I am waiting eagerly for that date, since last time I relapsed at 7 months. I feel better about this time, I don't anticipate any problems, but getting past that date without complications will be good. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.
Deacon John
Feast of St. Therese of Avila
Oct. 15, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

6 Months..

have passed since my allogeneic bone marrow transplant. Wednesday we were in Chicago for follow up tests, blood work, pulmonary function and bone marrow biopsy. Everything is going well, very well. The doctor has stopped all of my anti-rejection medications, and will end all but one antibiotic by the beginning of next month. I am feeling well, having survived pneumonia and food poisoning, and am poised to return to the work force. I have been cleared to return to work as of Nov. 1. I admit I was a bit apprehensive, since I relapsed after my autologous transplant at seven months, and Nov. will be seven months since this transplant. I know, one has nothing to do with the other, but still, it's a concern. But it's time to get back to my life, back to normal, or as normal as I can get. Thanks for all of your prayers, they have worked!
Deacon John
Feast of St. Therese, Child of Jesus
Oct. 1, 2010
St. Peregrine, Pray for us
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for us

Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting Better....

I am just now recovering from our last trip to Chicago to see the docs there. Our appointment was on Wed. morning, so as we do customarily, we drove up on Tues., arriving at about dinner time. We have been looking for different places to eat, not wanting to necessarily stay with the same chain restaurants we could eat at in Louisville. We found a place that from its web description sounded like a good steakhouse, for those in Louisville think Fifth Quarter. When we got there it was more Ponderosa. We should have left, we didn't, and I relearned a lesson that anyone with a compromised immune system should know. STAY THE BLEEP AWAY FROM SALAD BARS!!! Through all the chemo, radiation, anti-rejection drugs, I don't think I have ever been that sick. When we went to the doctors the next morning, not having slept at all, he walked in and said you don't look so good. My first thought was , wow, you had to go to med school for that? We explained what happened, got scolded for eating "that food that just sits there and rots". He did finally check me out, a task made more difficult by my illness, and found some early signs of Graft vs. Host disease, or GVHD. He said it looked mild, and even continued to lower the dosage of my one remaining ant-rejection drug. He didn't want me back until the end of Sept. so I suppose he's not too worried. So, I guess I won't worry too much either. I'm just glad to be back on solid food!
Deacon John
Feast of St. Rose of Lima
Aug. 23, 2010
St. Peregrine, Pray for Us
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for Us

Sunday, August 1, 2010


...stinks. But, I saw the doctor Friday, and she said I was doing very well considering it had only been a week. I don't need Oxygen full time any more, and I am feeling stronger. This was a bit of a setback, and it did upset me because I really was starting to feel much better. I am taking it easy, not allowing this to slow progress on recovery anymore than necessary. Hopefully within a week, maybe two, I'll be back to where I was before this episode of pneumonia. I'll admit I was a bit discouraged, but I will not stop fighting. Before I said my brother and his wife gave this whole fight a theme song, Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Ive decided to add another song, "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen. Even the lyrics seem appropriate. Never back down, never quit, this battle can be won.
Deacon John
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Aug. 1, 2010
St. Peregrine Pray for Us.
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for Us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

100 Day Tests

Some good news and some,not bad, but a bit odd news. I did hear from the docs in Chicago, and most of the 100 day tests results are in. Everything is looking good, going well, and right on schedule. But, somehow, in the middle of July, I managed to come down with pneumonia. I struggled into my primary care doctor's office yesterday and she immediately put me on oxygen. She almost sent me to the hospital, but instead I went home and am now tethered to an oxygen machine, taking breathing treatments and steroids. But, I do feel better, I guess I didn't realize how bad I felt until I couldn't breathe without struggling. I had a cold in late June but I thought I weas over it. Guess not! So I suppose it's time to slow down a little more, and give myself plenty of time to heal. I am considering a lottery on which body system fails next. Any takers?
Deacon John
Feast of St. Charbel Makhlouf
July 24, 2010
St. Peregrine, Pray for Us.
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for Us.