Happy New Year all!

Maybe it’s just me, but I finally got used to writing 2013 on everything. Now it’s going to be 2014 and I have to start all over trying to remember. Maybe this time I’ll get it right by June.

Anywho…. I hope 2014 will be a great year for you. And maybe, just maybe, Leuk will back off a bit this year for all of us.

Godspeed,

Jim

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By my many references in this blog to sailing, you have probably figured out that I like being near the water. It can’t be fresh lake water, it has to be briny seawater. I grew up by the sea. Saltwater has been a part of me since I could walk.

When I’m out there everything changes. I’m free from land and somehow that makes me feel free from any worries I left on shore.

Herman Melville put it this way:

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off— then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Is there a special place for you? The mountains, a certain stream in the woods, a beach? Or something you enjoy doing like sailing, fishing, bike riding, hiking, or playing chess with a friend? If you don’t have a place that settles you, find one. Find a place or activity that takes your mind off Leuk. Find your refuge and go there often.

My refuge lies in the smell of the marina as we leave the harbor, the salt air on the wind, the dolphin and seal, the islands, the sound of waves pounding the hull – it’s all out there for me. I’m whole out there.

I’m free.

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Hi all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was great. The best moment was when we were all seated around the dinner table. All three of my grandchildren, my daughter and her husband, my son and his wife, my wife and I all together.

It hit me… with my folks gone now, my wife and I are the elders of the family, matriarch and patriarch if you will. Looking around the table I was reminded of how blessed I am. I know Christmas can be difficult for some, but for us the Christmas spirit was warm and real.

Godspeed to you all,

Jim

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[Important: Before reading the following post, please see my ‘disclaimer‘ page.]

A friend who is retired from the pharmaceutical industry recently gave me a lead on a new drug for treating some forms of blood diseases.

Pharmacyclics has had positive data on the treatment of CLL . Their new drug is call Ibrutinib. It is now going through the FDA process and may be approved soon.

According to the company, Ibrutinib basically blocks signals from the B-cell receptor by inhibiting the function of the BTK enzyme and kills the B-cell cancer. To date, seven phase 3 studies have been initiated with ibrutinib. The product is still going through additional studies to evaluate its efficacy against other B-cell cancers, including myeloma and lymphoma.

Apparently Pharmacyclics has signed a deal with Janssen Biotech, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson for the development and commercialization of ibrutinib to treat CLL.

For more info on this go to these links:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/08/21/this-small-company-is-winning-the-war-against-bloo.aspx

http://www.investor.jnj.com/releaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=739865

http://www.pharmacyclics.com/productpipeline1.html

http://www.cll-nhl.com/2013/12/ibrutinib-in-front-line-elderly.html#.UrN4Z429s5A

 

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Beside our driveway, near the trees, she sits high on her perch waiting.

The north wind blows hard under her belly. Her keel is dry and the tiller useless. Wind and waves mean nothing to her now. Like a  lungfish, she lies dormant waiting for the water to return.

I’m not sure why it saddens me. Perhaps it’s the waiting. She’ll sail again, but for me waiting isn’t the quiet game it use to be.

Still, it won’t be long and her keel will touch water again. Her helm will answer and we’ll beat to windward, racing against the waves; then fall off to grab a beam wind and fly across sun soaked water. At days end, with the wind at our backs, we’ll quietly push to an island and sleep for the night.

That day is coming. In just a few months the snow will melt from her bow and the westerlies will call us.

We’ll fly again, her and I, but for now we both wait for Spring.

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