Say good-bye to your little friend!

Hope I didn't scare anyone with that subject line. Obviously, I was not referring to John. Just his PICC line! It served a purpose (avoiding many, many sticks over a five week period of close monitoring and frequent blood draws). But it will not be missed!

John was discharged today for the final time after graduating to the full 400 mg. dose of Venetoclax this week. His blood work is good. His lymph nodes continue to shrink. And he is feeling more like himself all the time.




I felt a bit strange when I asked if I could document the removal of the PICC with a few photos. But how often do you see a procedure like this?
AND it was a moment of celebration!

















John said he didn't feel a thing. If I had waited a second to snap the camera, it would have been over.

John is now 52 days into his new clinical trial with Venetoclax (ABT-199) and Gazyva (Obinutuzumab). He'll receive four more monthly infusions of Gazyva. The next infusion is Monday morning. And he'll take 400 mg. of Venetoclax daily for an undetermined (at this point) length of time.

I believe one day this leukemia will be curable. But for now, we're just thankful it is treatable.

This is John's third clinical trial. The last one gave him a five year remission. I honestly expect even better results from this drug.

We are extremely blessed to be in the care of Dr. Ian Flinn and the entire staff of Sarah Cannon Research Center and Tennessee Oncology Nashville. In spite of the challenges of CLL, we actually enjoy our visits. They are not only skilled and caring health professionals, they have become friends.

When John graduates to quarterly office visits after his last monthly infusion, I think we're going to miss seeing them.

And for anyone wondering how John's mom, Marian, is doing ... She's still in remission with no treatment since July 27, 2015 and says she feels great. She was also on Idelalisib (from October 2010 to July 2015). Unlike John, she did not experience any disease flare when she was taken off the drug eight months ago. Her remission has held and she is again enjoying another phase of Watch and Wait!

This picture was taken of John, his mom and his brothers when they surprised John with a recent visit...


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