I’ve been doing some leukemia research on my specific type. (This particular research was from Wikipedia so needs to be cross-checked.) As I recall from a previous doctor visit, I have B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (B-CLL) which is the most common type of leukemia. It is a cancer of the white blood cells. CLL is definitely NOT B-cell lymphocyte friendly.

As I understand it, normal B-cells (I’ve always been an abnormal person and used to like it that way; now I’m not so sure!) are born in the bone marrow and develop in the lymph nodes producing antibodies that fight infection. (This is based on what I’m learning from my web research; do your own research too… remember my Disclaimer Page?)

But with CLL, the B-cell DNA is damaged and cannot produce the antibodies. The damaged B-cells decide they need a lot more friends and grow out of control. Those damn, dumb, derelict, damaged cells (good alliteration, hugh?) crowd out the healthy cells.

My type of CLL is negative for the DNA marker ZAP-70 (that means I don’t have it). That’s a good thing because, according to Wikipedia, CLL that is positive for ZAP-70 has an average survival of 8 years. Without ZAP-70, my average survival is 25 years. Of course, there can be complications with liver or spleen issues and anemia and infections which could lower that survival time but I’m choosing to ignore all that for now.

Since I’m 60, with treatment, if I wind up needing it, I could live out a normal life span. No guarantees though. Remember, in order for 25 years to be an average there has to be people on both sides of that bell curve. I’m hoping I will at least be in the double digits!

So, except for possible swollen lymph nodes, spleen, and liver; and of course anemia; oh, and vulnerability to infections of all kinds (one hell of a common, ah, not-so-common, cold or flu for example), I’m just fine!

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4 thoughts on “Ain’t Leuk a fun guy?… ah, nope

  1. Well, with all the immuno-suppressants I am taking, I am also vulnerable to all those infections. I’m glad you and I have been diagnosed with these diseases at late points in our lives so that they may not limit our lifespans. Neither of my parents lived to be 80, so I am not sure what my life expectancy is anyway.

    I’m glad you have better than expected hopes for the future.

  2. Well, hopes are great but I’ll take whatever He gives me…Not like I have much of a choice. Anyway, how about you and I plan on celebrating or 80th together? I can see it now… opening our presents while handing out wise advise to our grandchildren. On the other hand, they say that gray hair is a sign of wisdom… until you open your mouth!

    • Yes, for sure. I’d love to see you. We’re not at the bay anymore, so call when your trip is getting close and I’ll give you directions.

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