It’s warm and beautiful out. We Washitonians appreciate sunny days. It almost always rains up here. (Shhhh… I know fellow Washitonians, that’s not true, but I’m trying to discourage outsiders from moving in.)

I feel really well today. It’s not just the weather. I feel healthy. Ain’t that the darndest thing? I’m not complaining… far from it. It’s just so strange I can be in my third year with Leuk, white bloods cells way above normal, and I can’t feel him.

I know some difficult times are coming, but I also know I am very fortunate to have CLL as it is a slower growing cancer and, apparently for some, shows few signs in the early years.

I guess blessings come in all sorts of packages.

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Had my eye pressure checked today. It’s good. I’ve got glaucoma but it is well controlled with drops.

I’m considering a “cold laser” treatment so I won’t have to use the expensive drops anymore. Not sure yet if I want to do it, or if my insurance will cover any of it.

Geez, first Leuk and now Glauc. Who’s next?

Not to worry though, I’m feeling good and am handsome as ever!

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Hi all… Happy 4th of July!

It’s our country’s Independence Day. A good day to also celebrate our independence from worry and fear.

I believe worry and especially fear are tools Leuk can use to lower our resistance. I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence to that – there may be. But I do think it’s possible that stress can lower our body’s defenses.

Two years ago I landed in the hospital with a herniated intestine. The doctor said the problem usually occurred in patients who had previously had an operation. He was surprised it happened to me. I had a very stressful life for 6 years prior and I believe it contributed to the condition.

Some doctor’s will tell you there is no evidence tying stress to disease. I think the reason for the lack of evidence is that there are few studies on the matter.

Anyway, whether or not stress causes weakness in our body’s systems, the stress caused by over worrying and fearing the future can’t be good for us. And, at least psychologically, it reduces our strength and gives it to Leuk.

Let’s fight him by focusing on confidence and love. Make him fear us instead of the other way around.

Have a great Independence Day.

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I now have my June blood test results. I’ve added them to my “score card” page if you want to see them compared to preious results.

It looks like Leuk is taking the slow but steady route. My White Blood Cell count continues to rise: 29.6, up from 23.6 last January. Otherwise the Red Blood Cells and platelates are normal.

So, good news, sort of. I won’t be seeing my doctor until February next year and will have had another blood test by then. I’m hoping I will still be in the “Watch-and-Wait” mode and not yet need chemo.

Take it easy, Leuk. Slow and steady is good. Or, better yet, you can take a hike and let the door hit you on the way out.

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Hi gang.

I’ve been away from this blog for some time.

For the last few weeks I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a writer. It’s more hideous than that actually. I have stopped thinking of myself. I’ve gone without sleep for no logical reason. I’ve stopped eating much. I’ve only exercised once. And I’ve stopped writing.

Every day we have a choice to drift or swim. I’ve been drifting, letting life take me along. Letting the current take me places I never planned to go.

Have you ever found yourself in a rip tide? I did. Nearly drowned. I fought it, swimming as hard as I could for as long as I could. But I was only managing to not lose ground – I was not gaining any ground.

The beach was only a few yards away. I could see children playing in the shallows and people tanning on the beach. But I couldn’t get to them. I was exhausted. My muscles ached. I could hardly breath.

Then I felt myself being pulled backwards into a troff and turned to see a big wave crashing down on me. This was a good thing. It caught me just right and shot me to shore.

I could have stopped fighting that day and given up. I could have drifted.

Of course I would have wound up on some beach in Japan; not as a tourist, but as a log.

By the way, if you want to carry this metaphor further, I was swimming hard but not smart. You don’t fight a rip tide head on. You swim across it and then angle towards the shore. In life, even if you’re putting your heart into it, you have to swim smart.

Starting now, today, I plan to swim smart and I plan to not drift.

I’ve had no excuse. Leuk has been a silent partner lately. Other than my capricious visitor, I’ve been feeling fine. I haven’t even been fighting a rip tide. I’ve just been blankly drifting.

To my CLL readers, it’s okay to take a day off and just float. But don’t let yoursef give up and drift through life. You, more than others, know your time on this planet is precious.

Don’t waste it away. Keep swimming.

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