A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.....oops wrong story!

It all came to play on March 13th, 1999; I was laying on the floor enjoying a TV show with my family and noticed a twinge of back pain in my lower back. I did not give this much thought other than I had not done anything strenuous in the last few days, and have never experienced back pain in the past.   The pain seemed to subside so I continued the evening without further concern.  Early Sunday morning I was awoken by the back pain once-again, I took some ibuprofen and went back to sleep.

Sunday and Monday were somewhat painful days but were controlled  by 400-600mg of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours..  I continued to work normally on Monday but decided to contact my primary physician because this type of pain was abnormal to me.  Tuesday March 16th,  I was seen by my primary physician in the afternoon to have a look, blood work, urine and a through physical examine was completed. The immediate results showed no major problems with blood counts or infections.  There was a slight elevation of blood count in the urine sample.  Going on this, an IVP (detailed kidney study) was scheduled for Thursday March 18th.

I continued to take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours to help with the pain and worked a normal day on Wednesday while using the EZ-PREP (Bowel Cleansing System).  Basically, I got to drink broth and water for the whole day and then nothing to eat or drink after midnight before the IVP.

Thursday, I had the IVP, basically a series of X-rays that are taken while they have put dye into our blood system to get a better look at your internal organs - specifically the kidneys.  The IVP did not show any abnormal results so onto the next procedure.  My physician prescribed some hydro-codone?) and a steroid pack. for the pain and this made life somewhat more comfortable. I tried to go to work on Friday morning but this only lasted just over an hour and I knew it was time to talk to the Doc once again.  The pain was getting worse, he scheduled an quick CT scan and I immediately went to his practice.  I had to drink a bunch of the barium fluid for the test and again was injected with dye for the test.  The CT scan still did not show any detailed problems.  It definitely did not show any obvious signs of cancer.  Blood work was again accomplished. The doctor ordered a MRI scan to be completed as soon as possible, it was difficult to get one scheduled with insurance providers, equipment down for maintenance etc. ( I guess it is a popular test). They found an opening at 06:30am Saturday, March 20th.  My pain medicine was changed to an oxycodone.  This is a more long duration type so I would not have to take them as often.

I was now camped out on the living room floor on a special mattress setup as to eliminate the stairs.  I went in for the MRI as scheduled and waited for the results.  Due to the weekend the results never go into the doctors hands until Monday. Sunday the pain became much worse and awoke me about 03:00am.  I paged the doctor and I was back on the hydrocodone every 4 hours.

Monday afternoon the MRI results were found and analyzed and there was only one area of all that were tested that looked out of place.  The bone marrow area showed some abnormal signals.  My physician ordered an bone marrow sample to be taken to further study. The soonest opening was Wednesday at Immanuel Hospital.  My doctor called Immanuel and got the appointment moved up to Tuesday  instead.  I was in the office in the early afternoon, explained the situation to the physicians team and we were off to have the bone marrow sample.  They basically put a hole in your pelvis area and extract some bone marrow and then drill around and take a small core of bone to look at as well; NOT a pleasant procedure  I came to find out!   It was short in duration (~10 minutes), but the bone core process  is quite uncomfortable.

Well within about 45 minutes I was looking into a physician eyes with him telling me that I had some type of acute leukemia and needed to be admitted to the hospital as soon as possible. Well by 4:30 I was in the "Bubble" (an isolation room)  getting a platelet supplement, my platelets were down to 20k.  I had been poked so many times in the arms that it was difficult for them to establish an IV and continue to draw blood for tests.  Seems like every lab test needs their own sample (:-(...

March 23rd was an eventful day. It started with an EKG to make sure that my heart was in good shape to further the CHEMO treatments without complications.  During the day, I was removed from the "bubble" and sent down to have a Heart analysis done.  This involved taking some blood and mixing it with some chemicals to attach to the blood cells (radioactive?).  I was then placed on an imaging machine and re-injected with the "fixed" blood.  By the late afternoon, my platelet count was up to a level that they could put in a "main-line" into a vein under the collar bone.  This gives the team three tubes to use for IVs, blood removal, etc...   It is a fairly simple procedure performed by the surgeon in my room.  They numb up the area, insert this long tube needle into your vein and then work the three separate tubes in. Once complete, it is stitched in place and taped down so it does not get infected or pulled out.  For a picture of the main line you can have a look here.  I was then hooked up to the IV pumps , this was a 4 pump setup so they could pump 4 separate types of IVs at the same time, blood products, CHEMO, pain medicine etc. (so much for the old drip counting days for the nurses, they can concentrate on more important things now).  They put me on a Morphine drip into the IV to control the pain starting at about 5ml per/hr.

March 24th, The first CHEMO day, I was given starter doses of Cytoxan and  Vincristine.  They also started Prednisone steroid treatment  that will run through the 9th of April.  They normally start a Zofran anti nausea drug before the CHEMO to minimize the discomfort.

March 25th - 30th This is a basic recovery time to see how the initial CHEMO will react with my body chemistry and let the doctors plan the next phase of CHEMO treatment.

March 31st Was given another round of Vincristine and additionally my first exposure to Methotrexate ,of course,  this was all precluded by the anti nausea medicine.

April 1st  The CHEMO of the day is Adriamycin, and  Cytoxan plus Mensa (an medication to protect the bladder.).  I got a triple today!!  Was given Leucovorin which is actually an antidote to the Methotrexate given on March 31st.  This will be given over the next few days. The morphine level continues to drop and we are now in the 3.0ml/hr range.

April 2nd - 4th  These days are basically the same each with a dose of  Cytoxan with the Leucovorin continuing as an antidote to the Methotrexate.

April 5th  I got another round of Vincristine and Cytoxan for today.  The nausea still finds its way into the daily routine somehow but I am still able to eat on a fairly regular basis.

April 6th: I had another round of  Vincristine CHEMO treatment today, pretty simple just on injection into the IV and watch and wait.  This went well without to much nausea or fatigue. We have now dropped the Morphine down to 1.0ml/hr for the pain so that is still improving.

April 7th: Today started out OK but as soon as breakfast hit it was nausea city, ended up taking some compozine  to help with the nausea.  The counts have finally dropped below where I can take a shower, ((:-((...   Now it's sponge bath time with the funny pink soap, smells funny anyway.. It may be some of the last meals for awhile and they will most likely start feeding me using the IV. depending on how the CHEMO and the stomach continue to react.  Today is the day for one of the spinal CHEMO treatments...  The spinal CHEMO was a dose of Methotrexate injected directly into the spinal column.  They basically numb up an area of your spine, insert a special setup to remove a small amount of spinal fluid (equivalent to volume of medicine that they will inject) for testing.  The Methotrexate was then injected to replace the spinal fluid; just a few minute procedure.  You then have to lay with your body in a head down position with your feet elevated above you head to allow the CHEMO to distribute evenly throughout your spinal fluid.

April 8th: No CHEMO today!, just recovery, the spinal treatment did leave me with a slight headache and some fatigue but we are hanging in there. The spinal fluid  (taken and tested from yesterday's treatment.) showed no sign of Leukemia in it!!!  I was able to eat a little for breakfast this morning but will most likely start getting IV food supplements starting today ... I will start going down hill from here.....

April 11th  I had to have two pints of blood products, normal blood cells.

April 14th Another Spinal Tap CHEMO treatment, went OK, some headache and neck ache afterwards.

From April 12th - April 19th I was on IV food products, had various fevers (up to 105) and was treated with various antibiotic treatments and fever reducers.  They have this fever reducer table that they put under your bed sheet and it makes your body cold.

During April 19th through April 27th  I had a side affect from  Reglan?), a nausea relief drug, which caused me to have a Parkinsons like reaction.  My speech went to almost  a non understandable state, I had rickets (server shakes) and my muscles were very stiff muscles.  After the medicine was removed, I gradually got rid of the shakes and stiffness and I am almost back to  normal with my speech.

April 25th: Another Spinal Tap CHEMO treatment, this one went well, no headache or other problems afterwards.

April 27th:  Out of the hospital today, Ya Hoo some recovery time !!!!!.  They took out my temporary catheter; as I won't be needing it while at home.  I will have to get a new one when I come back.  Total weight loss around 10 to 15 pounds.   All blood counts look good so-- I'm out of here for now-----One down three more rounds to go!!

April 28th: Two really good friends of mine showed up for a visit at the house.  When Brad came in I thought it strange that he was wearing a hat, Paz was wearing a hat as well but that is normal for him.  Then a few minutes later off came the hats and I found that my two friends had shaved their heads to match mine!!  See the three amigos here.  What great friends I am so fortunate to have!!

April 30th First doctor's visit after release, all is well except for the tingles and bad pain in both of my feet.  I find it very hard to walk or sleep.

May 7th  Second checkup after being out, all things are favorable except for sore feet ( a nasty side effect from Vincristine CHEMO).  Put on oxycodone for some pain relief in my feet.  It looks like this side effect will be with me for some time (1 - 2 years, time to learn to live with it.)  My doctor also gave me a "prescription" to eat anything I want--fatty food --anything to bulk up before the next round,       ( You don't get told to that to often from a doctor :-) )

May 17th: It was planned to return to the hospital on the 17th, but was changed to May 24th.  COOL!! another week home.

May 24th:  Back into the hospital, into the same room as before, got settled, main line inserted.  They have stopped the blood thinner to adjust my blood PT level to one that will allow the administration of the  spinal CHEMO treatment; it was scheduled today. My IV was adjusted to  raise my PH to above 7.0 (an acceptable level for CHEMO treatment); so looks like we will start CHEMO on the 25th. The bone marrow sample was taken, results should be back this week.

May 25th:  Blood PH now corrected and safe to start CHEMO.  Methotrexate was administered along with the anti nausea medicine; no problems so far.

May 26& May 27: More CHEMO.  My counts are remaining strong.

May 28: Today  I am feeling a little tired, my feet seem to hurt a little bit less.  Nausea/vomiting started.  Along with the CHEMO treatment , I got  my first Intrathecal (spinal tap CHEMO).

May 29:  BONE MARROW SAMPLE CAME BACK NEGATIVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is great news as the Leukemia appears to be in full remission.

MAY 30-JUNE 15:   Much of the past two weeks have been devoted to my counts going low and then rebuilding again.  This time was not as hard on me as the last session.  I did get a fever but not for long.   My recovery time was a little quicker--I get to go home today!!

June 26:  I spent most of the day out doors!  I enjoyed watching the kids baseball games and then it was on to the World of Outlaws for sprint car racing!!  I could of stayed out longer but my feet are not cooperating -swelling, pain.  But this to shall past!

July 1-11:  The doctors gave me the 'go' as far as traveling goes--so traveling the Rions went!  Went to Montana for a family reunion from July 1 to July 6.  On our way back we did stop at Custer's last stand (Craig's choice) and Devil's Tower (Kristin's Choice). Upon our arrival home we had company waiting for us  - Bill  Paulson from Germany and Sean McNulty and his family from South Dakota.  It was so nice to see everyone!

July 12:  Asked the doctor for two extra days out to take care of some things; had to come in today to get another catheter inserted.  What takes only an hour in the hospital took four hours in outpatient surgery, RED TAPE !!!   Well at least  I have one more day!

July14:  Back in the hospital for round three.  Started Methotrexate right away -they like to start you off with the big guns !

July 15-19:  This time is a different protocol.  I only have two spinal CHEMO and the type of CHEMO  New to the mix are ARA-C and L-Asparaginase. This set of drugs seem to interfere with a persons blood compisistion, possible temporary diabetic affects, the kidney and the liver are also strained during this application.

July 20-30: The past ten days my blood counts and immune system have dropped and come back up!  I did get a blood clot in my upper right arm and my main line caused a blood infection which caused me to get a fever for a few days.   This was quickly detected -so my line was pulled out and I was started on Vancomycin antibiotics via intravenous drip (IV) !  My veins didn't like the IVs therefore a new IV had to be started every other day! That combined with all of the blood cultures, antibiotic studies and normal daily blood studies made for some seriously sore arms. Now  I  know what a pin cushion feels like!!!!!!

August 1:  I am going home today--with the IV. A Home Health Care nurse will come out for the first day (Monday)  and start the IV plus show Sharon how to do it.  Sharon already knows what to do but this will be a good refresher. The only time the nurse will have to return is when a new Iv needs to be started..  Fun Fun...

August 3:  The Nurse had to restart an IV-- only took her two tries.  The first try was in my hand- but the vein blew out! ouch!!!! found another vein in the arm, cool; moving forward again....

August 6:  The doctor decided that I could take the IV out and take Cipro oral antibiotics instead.  My blood counts are still gaining ground.  This is good because my arms look like a battle field  and my veins were getting harder to find.  I just  started  to use light  weights to build up my muscle mass again. This should push my veins up to the surface again plus make me stronger.

August 16-21:  Got the OK to travel again!  This time we are headed out to the Black Hills of SD (my old stomping grounds) to take care of some personal business that I have neglected for a few years.  This trip we are not going to schedule anything except for a dinner with some close friends.  You can however still send  e-mail to us as we will be checking periodically along the way.  I will be headed back to the hospital for round #4 during the last week of the month with some out patient surgery the prior week; probably around the 25th or so.

August 25: Back from our trip to the Black Hills and recovered...got to have a few days of rest after your vacation to recover you know!  It was a very rewarding time for the whole family and all of our agenda items were accomplished.  I got sick with some type of stomach-flu/poisoning on the night of the 18th/19th...no fun; but a quick recovery did not bother our plans much.  The rest of the family toured the Homestake Gold Mine and other Deadwood attractions while I was laid up in the hotel.   The extended family dinner on the last night of the trip was definitely the highlight of the vacation.  We rented out the banquet room of the local Bonaza restaurant for the evening which made it easy for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves during dinner and social time afterwards.

August 27:  Today, I had outpatient surgery to implant a  more permanent catheter in my chest; its formally called a dual-lumen Groshong.  If all goes well , this one should last for the duration of my treatments! Hurray, cause I just love having them stick large needles and tubes in my chest...NOT!!

August 30-Sept. 4:  The doctors have decided to have me take my fourth round (final of the induction/reduction) of Chemo on an outpatient basis! The Chemo drugs I had to take this time were--CCNU (Lomustine - It was hard to find a pharmacy that had CCNU pills- not that much call for them evidently), Cytoxan, 6-Thioguanine and ARA-C.   So, this means  that I had to come into the CHEMO lab for application of most of the drugs daily (5 to 6 hours a day) and got to come home afterwards.  The CCNU as mentioned earlier is only one pill taken on the first day (some strong stuff....no margin for error here).  ARA-C was given 24 hours a day for 4 days constant infusion, therefore, I had to wear a pouch around my waist 24 hours a day that housed a miniature battery-operated IV pump that delivered the drug at 0.5ml/hour to my blood stream via the catheter (modern technology for yah....it even hung on the outside of the shower door while I took a shower)!  It even got to get tucked into bed with me at night....

Sept 5 - 15:  For the last ten days my counts have been falling ( as normal)  I did have to get a platelet transfusions on the 9th and the 15th.  I think the doctors and nurses are amazed that I haven't had any fevers and therefore have able to stay out of the hospital this whole time !  I have to say that my family has really worked hard in insuring that very little germs get in contact with me.  Everyday , the kids come home from school and take a shower before seeing me, plus, the schools'  nurse and teachers have kept us informed of any illness in the kid's room. Ahh-- It was nice to be home with the family--especially on my BIRTHDAY!  Nausea was a problem during the first few days and weakness followed.

September 24: Ahh; feeling pretty good by now but still weak due to my red-blood factors. Tonight was the Light the Night Leukemia Walk  here in Omaha.  The weather was beautiful, the balloons were twinkling as crowds of people walked through downtown Omaha.  After the walk we enjoyed listening to speeches made by  Leukemia survivors as we munched on food donated by local companies.   Thanks to the many family and friends (especially my colleagues from CSG Systems ) who sponsored The Rion Family in the walk--we were able to contribute $395.00!!  What an inspirational night this was, to bad there was not more media coverage!!  My weakened condition prevented me from actually participating in the walk as I had hoped...there will be a next time.  Sharon and the kids actually did all of the work.  I had a very enjoyable visit with Roger and one of his colleagues from Kat103fm while the crowd was participating in the actual walk itself.  To have a peek at some photos from the event have a look here.

October 11-25:  Today (Oct 11)  starts the first round of my Maintenance Phase of the CHEMO.  Basically, I will get CHEMO one week and then have a three week break (28 day cycle). There are two different 'rounds'  that will alternated with each other every month.  Each round will also include a intrathecal CHEMO  (the drugs administered to the Spinal Fluid)...   Round one is with Cytoxan, Methotrexate (and the antidote Leucovorin Calcium),  Doxorubicin  and Prednisone. The "big blast" of Methotrexate is applied on the first day, with Cytoxan on both the first and second day. The intrathecal application of the cocktail is also applied on the second day along with the dose of Doxorubicin IV. The Prednisone covers a full five days.  The application week found nausea and hot flashes followed by delayed nausea, mouth and throat sores during the next weak.  I had to have a platelet transfusion on the 21st followed up with the usual weakness period.  Other than that, I thought the first round went fairly well.

October 29-31:  Halloween weekend!  We went to Sharon's sister Cathy's home for some serious trick or treating!  The weather was so nice the kids didn't have to wear their winter jackets!!!  I don't remember that ever happening--especially in the mid-west!  It was nice to visit family.  I was still weekend form the CHEMO so I stayed back and gaurded the homestead and handed out treats.

November 1:  My strength has come back somewhat and the Doc's advise that it is the best time for me to get a Flu shot, so; All of us got our Flu and Phenomena shots today. Wow..the kids are thrilled...

November 8- 22: Round 2 of the maintenance CHEMO!  This time the CHEMO was CCNU (oral), 6-Thioguanine, ARA-C, L-Asparaginase, plus a spinal CHEMO.   The round requires visits to the CHEMO-Lab all week.  The 6-Thioguanine and ARA-C run for 4 days and CCNU is also taken on day one in the evening. Day one also hosts the intrathecal cocktail. Days 2-5 adds the L-Asparaginase.  This round has a longer application period, longer recovery period and treats your blood system quite harshly. I seemed to be a little more tired this time and I had to start an antibiotics (Biaxin) on the 10th for a sinus infection... The normal nausea, and recovery still applied once again; darn no breaks for the waery. I did have to get platelets on the 22nd, and my White Blood Cells are a 2.0 so I should be able to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Sharon's Aunt's on Thursday.

November 25:  Thanksgiving Day!  We did go to Kearney and saw lots of relatives! Ate lots of Turkey etc..had a great time.

November 26:  Went to have my counts taken today--not good--my white cells are low again (.8) so back on daily Neupogen Shots and Cipro.

November 29: I had to start another round of antibiotic called Biaxin to get rid of a sinus infection once again...is this repetitive or what???

December 13-22:  Round 3 of the Maintenance program. (Same CHEMO as in the first round).  This round was suppose to of started last week but my counts were so low that they had to push it a week  What a roller coaster of blood factors from last round.  It was decided to start this round even though I am not to full strength to hopefully having some well time while the kids are out on Christmas break from school. (WBC:20k(neupogen induced), PLT:119k and Hemo:9.4)   Starting on the 18th I started to experience some lower back pain which appears to have been the start of a case of shingles. (Shingles come from having the chicken pox (some time in your life) and then being reactivated by a weakened immune system.  The virus (chicken pox) never completely goes away only to hide with your nerve endings and can cause shingles' later in life.  I am taking a anti-viral antibiotics (Valtrex) to prevent further spreading.   On top of this,  my counts are really low right now so I am on Neupogen shots and had to have a platelet transfusion on the 22nd.  The doctors are surprised I do not have any fevers at this point (knock on wood) I am just very thankful!!!  The typical nausea, hot-flashes were also present during the first week and the

December 25:   MERRY CHRISTMAS!!    We had some snow on the ground last weekend but today the snow is almost gone and not a cloud in the sky-great night for seeing STARS!!   We are unable to spend the holiday with relatives this year due to my condition we did have great conversation with them on the telephone with allot of loved ones! (Next best thing to being there as they say ((:-)..  We are truly thankful for all of the Blessings God has given to us!

December 28:  Whew: what a past couple of days. Counts on the 27th revealed elevated WBC so my immune system is starting to recover.  Not a moment to soon as fever struck at the same time. This turned out to be  roller coaster of a Monday with fever up and down while  trying to get a Red Blood transfusion as my Hemoglobin is too low to continue natural recovery; needless to say I spent most of the day in the doctor's office and the hospital. I guess we finally wrapped things up about 9:00PM and two units of Red-Blood later.

January 1-7, 2000: Moving forward, the previous blood transfusion helped pick up the pace for recovery. The New Year was spent at home watching the world tour of the New Year on TV with the family, Nice time ((:-).  My counts were still low enough to not allow any other activities or outdoor adventures.  The case of shingles is still with me causing itching and pain as they are starting to heal.

January 14-16th:  Feeling much better, took a short jaunt to Sioux Falls to the Ramkota Inn hotel for the weekend.  The kids got to swim and play with their cousins, they had a blast.  I was confined to pool-side and the room due to the shingles etc.

January 18-21st:  Counts are now back strong enough to start the next round of Chemotherapy. Round 4 of the Maintenance program (same as the second round). The spinal fluid check found some abnormal cells that gave us quite a scare.  A second spinal tap was completed and more complete tests were performed. The results were positive and the abnormal cells are not cancer related, they believe that they are from an irritation caused by the previous round of treatment and they should return to normal. Nausea started early this time and was quite difficult during the 2nd-6th day.

January 22-31st: Routine recovery period with blood counts dropping and platelets requiring a transfusion on the 31st.  The normal post nausea persists and the shingles are getting better but still have pain and itching from the healing process. The Chemotherapy seems to slow down the shingle recovery significantly.

February 7-14th: Counts are playing the roller coaster with the Immune system, have been off and on with Neupogen Shots during the last week.  on Biaxin for an upper respiratory infection, no pneumonia that is good. Valentines day was good.

February 15-21st:  Counts are still roller-coasting to low to start the next round, another week to recover and back on Neupogen Shots. Blood work next week to try again.

February 25-27th:  Took a short trip to Genoa for some ATVing with the family, what a wonderful weekend, the weather was just great and a good time was had by all ((:-).

February 28th: Start of  Round 5 of the Maintenance program (same as round 1 with some additional protection drugs to protect my heart and reduced dose of Doxorubicin).  This will be the final round if everything goes well ((:-). It has been a long haul but looks like we are going to make it!!

March -3rd: The treatment went really well, not to much nausea this time and the spinal fluid tests came back clean again, great news, Whew! On Neupogen Shots and Cipro to start the recovery period. Hot flashes and some discolored areas of skin were also present for this round.

March 6-12: Immune system is gone on Monday with WBC 0.1 - still on Neupogen Shots. Wednesday the platelets were at 13k time for transfusion.  Bummer had another platelets transfusion on Friday at 10k finally bottomed out!. Strength is about gone the stairs at home are rough at this point. Mouth and throat sore have been bothersome for the past few days but started to subside on Tuesday.

March 13th-19th: Starting to recover on Monday: off of Neupogen Shots WBC up to 6.6, platelets 23k.  Wednesday shows WBC dropping back, they should recover on their own no more  Neupogen.  This appears to be the final round for sure if the recovery goes well and the final Bone Marrow test comes back clean. This final Bone Marrow test is now scheduled for April 25th if I do not get sick between now and then and my blood factors are strong enough.  All indications are positive at this point! ((:-)) ...(BIG GRIN)

March 20th: Recovery continuing, WBC is recovering on its own as well as platelets 56k, Hemoglobin is starting to recover as well at 8.3, strength should start to recover now as we go forward.  Caught some bug in the Sinus area, back on antibiotics (Z-Pak).  Overall this recovery is progressing very well, still have some shingle pain left over but hopefully will gradually go away as I recover.

April 1:  April fools day, no good practical jokes this year.....in all seriousness things are progressing slowly but steadily with my blood factors.  General health is also improving and strength is gradually returning. Hey, I can even get both fights of stairs in the house before really being out of breath!

April 2-30: Things have been going really well the last few weeks, strength is still returning and it is hopeful that it is going to be permanent instead of just recovering to be treated again ((:-).....  We have been busy trying to get things done around the house that have been put off for the last year etc.  We did take time out to take a small vacation to Finger Lakes, Missouri and Little Sahara, Oklahoma to put some mile on our ATVs.  It was a slow paced trip as I would get tired quite easily, it's amazing how much physical activity is associated with FUN!  I caught some type of stomach bug on the 28th that incapacitated me until the 30th.

May 1:  The BIG test day; yep, had the bone marrow test today and now it is a waiting game for the week. All of the results should be in by next Monday the 8th.  We are hoping for and expecting nothing but positive results so we can get back to a more normal lifestyle.

May 4th: Great news, all of the test results are in and they have all come back clean. I have to continue to monitor with bloodwork and checkups, but all appears very positive at this point.  Next evaluation is June 12th. I now can return to work on Monday May 8th in a part time capacity.

May 8th: Returned to work today with a half day schedule.  Feels good to be back.

June 12th: Back to work Full-Time.  The medical checkup went well, and I am feeling rather good.  My strength is returning gradually day by day.

July 25th: Another good check-up steady as we go...((:-)..

November 22:  What great Thanksging News, My Bone Marrow results just came back and they are 100% CLEAN.  This is the thrid consecutive Bone Marrow Test that has been clean.  Each new Clean test improves the overall prognosis for long term success.

Miscellaneous info:

Further info on Leukemia etc.:

Basically I'm (as Brad Allgood calls it, "The boy in the bubble") but hey, I got MILK!
I would love to have each of you visit but, during  the weeks of CHEMO I have to  keep away from other people and their germs. These are probably the  most critical times in my life for being exposed to external factors, i.e. germs. External visitors are limited to family and very few others due to the carry of bacteria, virus infections etc.

People who have recently gotten MMR and Polio shots (or any other live virus vaccines or people with colds, flu, etc.) should stay away from Chemotherapy Patients for at least 6 weeks !!!

Contact info:
Just drop me an e-mail to my home e-mail or to my work address e-mail and I will respond as long as I am able to get up and around.

If you would like to reach other members of my family you can do so by using the following links:
Bob Rion (home e-mail)
Bob Rion (work e-mail)
Sharon Rion
Craig Rion
Kristin Rion