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Journal

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September
2
2019

September 2, 2019

It is with a heavy heart I write this. I wanted to let you all know that Dad passed away yesterday morning. 
 
He fought a long and hard battle and I couldn’t be more proud of him. But he was tired and ready. He went peacefully in his sleep as he wanted, knowing he is in a better place and there is no more pain is a comfort to us all. 

He was the most amazing man... husband, dad, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, son, uncle, friend. 
 
We will all miss him so very much. ❤️

Below is a link to his obituary on the funeral homes website, it will be printed in the star tribune tomorrow. 

Thank you you all for always sending him positive thoughts and prayers, I know he appreciated it very much. 

https://www.gearty-delmore.com/obituary/james-becker

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July
11
2019

July 11, 2019

Barb came home a few days ago and is doing amazing. Back to her old self. I am also maintaining for now. Thanks for you prayers and thoughts

July
4
2019

July 4, 2019

I am maintaining a stable condition by getting blood and platelets 3 times per week. This is more aggressive than usual but I requested it to help me buildup some energy to help out with another family issue.
Last weekend my wife Barb was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. She had surgery on Tuesday, seems to have come through it ok. It is cancer so treatments to come.

I ask everyone to add her to your prayer list. 

June
15
2019

June 15, 2019

Ended back in hospital on Thursday. due to lack of progress over last 3 months they did another bone marrow biopsy Friday. Results next week. May be running out of options. Hope for the best.

May
6
2019

May 6, 2019

Saw my oncologist this morning and started another week of chemo infusion. As I understand it, each month I will get a week of infusion chemo which kills the leukemia cells, followed by 3 weeks of oral chemo which is to rid my body of the dead protein cells left from the infused chemo. So far my body is handling both well. I have been getting platelets for clotting and blood to raise my hemoglobin about once a week to keep me going. Low on energy but feeling ok.

This last week or so, my white blood count and ANC (absolute something - indication that my bone marrow is producing immunity cells) started rising, which is a good sign. Each month we hope to see increased recovery rate meaning the process is working.

Last Saturday I actually got my first haircut in a year (should mark it in my baby book), and then Barb and I got to go play 9 holes of golf. Seems like I have been waiting a year for this - oh, thats right it has been a year. It wore me out but was so enjoyable, fresh air and sunshine are underrated.

I really want to thank everyone for their prayers, thoughts and cards - so uplifting.

April
5
2019

April 5, 2019 - 6months

Been doing well - had my 6 month bone marrow biopsy this week and unfortunately discovered my platelets were down to 12 (explained the abnormal bleeding during the biopsy). Tests confirmed blast cells back up to 30% which mean I am in relapse.

I start another week of chemo - outpatient at North Memorial Clinic - on Monday and another medication later in the week. They are trying to kill off the Leukemia cells and let my donors (Tasha) immune system get control. Right now my immune system is 60% Tasha's - want to get to 100%.

Not the best news but I still feel like I can beat this thing. Just a feeling.

March
3
2019

March 3, 2019

Well its been way too long since the last update. I guess when life starts returning to normal, time gets away from you. 

I am feeling really good, as in, I don't think about my condition other than when taking the various medications several times a day. I am just past half way through reducing the anti-rejections meds without any side affects to date. 

Enjoying seeing our great grand daughter most days (Barb does day care for her), keeping busy with lots of things I didn't have time for before. Only visit work occasionally so really getting into the retirement mode. 

I have another bone marrow biopsy scheduled at the beginning of April (6 month anniversary of transplant) to confirm no changes. Expecting a clean report.

January
13
2019

Day +100 test results

Had my 100 day checkup and bone marrow biopsy last Tuesday and then a followup meeting with doctor on Friday. Test results indicate no disease or abnormality 😁 . Additional results yet to come.

I will get my central line removed on Monday (have had it since the end of May) and will only need to have clinic visits every two weeks now. I start reducing the immunosuppressive drugs this week and if all goes well will be off them in a couple of months. This will allow my donors immune system to take over.

I fought the RSV virus for about 3 weeks but am now finally over it and can start, once again, building up my strength and stamina. The RSV really set me back.

Life is starting to return to normal, funny how we never realize how good we have it, until we don't. Plan on starting to work on my golf game again, want to be ready to hit the course in the spring.