Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I just returned from a visit with my oncologist at Dana-Farber. After being on the 800 mg of Gleevec for about 8 weeks now, my PCR level dropped to 0.02%. This is the lowest it has ever been and suggests that, indeed, the higher dose is working. This reading is more than a 3-log reduction from my initial value of 34.5%. Amongst the discussion boards and scientific literature on CML, the 3-log reduction is considered a positive response and one of the last stages of remission. In other words, I have almost reached the last stage of remission or Molecular Remission. This means that my DNA has changed to stop producing leukemic cells. I joke that it is kind of like the changes that happen to superheros. To be considered in full remission, this level should be less than 0.01. That would be considered PCR undetectable. As you can see, I am not that far away.

Needless to say, this was a huge relief to know that the medication is working and my treatment is not only back on track, but moving at full speed ahead. Due to the positive results, I do not have to return for another visit for 3 months.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Light the Night Wrapup 2007

Last Saturday, October 29, 2007, was the Providence Light the Night Walk. It was a beautiful fall night and Team Gershon was well represented. Our team proudly walked down Blackstone Boulevard holding red balloons and a white one for me. Here are some pictures of this great event.

Although our fundraising totals are not all tallied, we were at about $17000 going into the event. I am not sure how much we brought in on the day of the walk. I should know within the next couple of weeks.

I sincerely thank those of you who participated in this event with me and/or made a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in my honor. I really love the support from family and friends.

I realize that I never reported about my most recent visit with my oncologist. About a month ago, I returned to Dana-Farber to check the lab results after increasing my Gleevec to 800mg. My last PCR test prior to starting the increased dose was 0.2%, my lowest reading. This reading at 800mg was also 0.2%. A little confusing indeed. Although this is good news because my levels did not go up, they did not go down either. I was anticipating some movement downward with the increased dose, but perhaps 4 weeks is not enough to see this change in my peripheral blood.

On Saturday, I am going for another blood test and will receive the results in about 2 weeks. I am feeling great and the initial side effects I had on the increased dose have dissipated.

In a little over a month, I will be heading out to Oregon for my appointment with Dr. Druker at Oregon Health Sciences University. I am very excited to meet with him and ask him some questions. If anyone has questions they would like me to ask him, please forward them to me.

Anyway, thanks again for the great fundraising effort and support.