I have not blogged on health related issues for a long while, and find myself in the unenviable position of doing so out of necessity, although, thank God, NOT because I am sick from lymphoma.
Every six months I receive several doses of rituxan as a maintenance drug, meaning that it is given to me in the hope of either prolonging remission or preventing recurrence. My first rituxan maintenance cycle last October went smoothly and there were no side-effects, of which there are generally none. However, there are a few side-effects that can be difficult for the patient, one of which is the dreaded neutropenia. And this is what has landed me in the hospital from my second dose of rituxan.
The letter below by my lovely wife Jacqui explains it in a little more detail. Again, thanks for all of your continued support and love over the last few years. Being healthy again I have not forgotten all that you have done for Jacqui, Sophia, Otis, and myself. I remain humbled by the decency and generosity of spirit all of our friends and family showed us during the chemo time and I look forward to celebrating my health with all of you again soon. With that in mind, we will soon be having the Second Annual Mike Yudell Lymphoma-Free Run (plus a celebration of the official completion of my Ph.D. from Columbia). Hope to see you all soon.
For those who haven’t heard, Michael is fine but back in the hospital since Wednesday. He had another reaction to a drug that he still takes called Rituxin. He feels lousy with a fever, eye infection and mouth sores so big and tender that one side of his face is swollen and he can’t comfortably eat. But thankfully he will be fine and we hope to have him home in the next few days.
In full disclosure, I have ulterior motives for sending this information around to all of you. We are lucky in that Michael remains lymphoma-free yet lymphoma is obviously still very present in our lives. I thought now might be the perfect time to make another plea for donations to help fight this disease that has literally changed our lives forever. It is not easy for me to ask you all year after year for money. I do not enjoy this part of my involvement in lymphoma organizations. But as my close friends I know that you want to do something to help. And since most of you live far away, I hope you’ll take the money that you want to spend on bringing us takeout chinese food in the hospital, and donate it here….
I have an 8 mile training run tomorrow at 6 am and I should have gone to sleep long ago. But having Michael in the hospital, even when we know that he will be okay, is sad and scary and hard to explain to Sophia. I find myself lying awake at night thinking about her the most.
So please consider making a donation. I don’t know about you but I never feel like I donate too much to charity. Thank you to those who have already given money. And as always thank you for your friendship and support. Hope to see some of you locals at my half marathon on September 21st and our lymphomathon charity walk on September 20th.