I worked out in the gym last Friday. I’m lucky that my leukemia still lets me do that. Admittedly I didn’t put in as much time as I might otherwise have. I’m probably not going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger anytime soon, but it was a good workout.

I did some time on the machines, then some free weights, and finally the treadmill. It felt good to get back to an exercise routine.

I’m trying to keep in mind that there is still a lot I can do besides sitting on my butt watching NetFlix. (Well, I still do that but only after I’ve done something healthy!)

I think it’s possible to live life with Leuk more positively if we can keep our minds and our bodies active. For me, keeping my body moving helps my attitude remain positive. The last several weeks I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I managed to drive my wife to work and keep the house clean but, with a few exceptions, the rest of the day was not very productive. I felt tired and very unmotivated.

I can’t tell you that all your days will be sunshine and rainbows. Many of you know that even better than I do. The important thing is that we find ways to pull ourselves out of dark moments that sometimes beset us. Leuk has moved in. He’s is a part of our lives now. That doesn’t mean we just give up.

Some of you cannot go to the gym. Some, I’m sorry to say, have to live a less active life because he is making you just too tired. If this is you please do not feel guilty about not being able to be more active or able to help out around the house. Do what you can. Once you start doing whatever you are able to you will be surprised at how it improves your look on life.

Leuk is an S.O.B. No doubt about that. He may have a hold on our bodies, but not our minds. We are in control of our thoughts.

So, for now, I’m thinking life is pretty good.

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My May 2017 blood test results are in. My White Blood Cell and Lymphocyte counts are down. That’s good news. I was getting concerned that the “plateau” I’ve been on since 2013 was giving way to another steep climb upwards. Not so. Whew!

My WBC count since June 2013 has averaged 64.65. Here’s my current numbers:

White blood cells: 66.2, Red blood cells: 4.04, Platelets: 454, Lymphocytes: 54.9.

To see a history of my blood tests from the beginning, click on “Score Card” in the menu.

If you want to see a chart of my overall blood count history, just click the image below:

Blood Test Results May 2017

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Columbia Tower in SeattleWe did it! Last Sunday (3-26-17) My son and I scaled the Columbia Tower in Seattle to raise money for leukemia research – 69 floors, 1,311 steps straight up. I foolishly hadn’t trained at all for it so legs felt like lead and I had to make several rest stops, but we came in at 35 minutes. Whew, I’ve really got to hit the gym this year so I can beat that time next year… wow, I didn’t realized how I’d let myself go.

Over 6,000 people participated raising millions of dollars.

The “Big Climb” takes place every year in Seattle. The Columbia Tower (actually called the Columbia Center) is the tallest building in Seattle and the second tallest west of the Mississippi.

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It’s time again for my lab work. I was worried this time because I’ve been tired. I normally do the test every three months but I’ve had a cold on and off and I knew it would throw off the white blood cell count. So I waiting until the last test just before my doctors appointment.

Fortunately my numbers are still relatively stable. The white blood cell count is a bit higher but still within that “plateau” I’ve talked about before. My numbers, though bouncing up and down, started leveling out back in November 2013. So here they are.

White blood cells: 72.6, Red blood cells: 4.15, Platelets: 438, Lymphocytes: 68.2.

To see a history of my blood test from the beginning, click on “Score Card” in the menu.

If you want to see a chart of my overall blood count history, just click the image below:

Blood Test Chart 2017

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My cousin came just moments away from dying last week. She has R.A. which requires her to take regular shots of a medicine that lowers her immune system. Her choice is to risk infection or spend the rest of her life in crippling pain.

So her body had no defense when she contracted strep throat. It quickly lead to pneumonia. Within hours her lungs filled. Her husband got her to the hospital where she required 16 bottles of oxygen just to gasp in air. It was clearly time for her to go. He called all their children in to say goodbye. But somehow, through her strength, her faith, and the amazing efforts of the hospital doctors and nurses, she recovered.

Just a few days later she was released and went home.

She lives in a different state, a long ways from me. I first heard about her plight via a Facebook post then got more details when her husband called. I don’t get to see her much but she is very dear to me. I’m so glad I didn’t lose her.

Another person I know only through his television and radio shows passed away during the same time. Alan Colmes died at only 66 years of age, one year older than me. His politics were vastly different from mine but I enjoyed listening to him. You might remember him as the other half of the Hannity & Colmes show on Fox. He was a pleasant, knowledgeable, and happy man. Of course I didn’t know him personally but his death did affect me.

So all this has gotten me to thinking about this life I have and the inevitable passing we all face. I have so many things I still need to do: books to write, a wife to care for, children and grandchildren to love… so many things. But all that could be taken away. It doesn’t matter whether we have a disease like leukemia or we are perfectly healthy. We are here for such a short time.

It’s an odd thing death. Everything that you are just stops. I don’t know about the other side, or even if there is another side. All I know is what I’ve seen. When my folks passed they went from a moment of being there and then the next they were gone. A working brain, a living soul, and then nothing. They are only memories now. Even much of their possessions have been given away or sold.

It doesn’t seem fair does it? Yet, that’s what it is. I guess I can use the knowledge of my own demise as a motivation to be a better man and a good memory for my family and friends. In the end all you have is the summation of your life. When it’s all averaged out, I hope my life will reflect more of the good I’ve done than the wrongs I’ve committed.

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