My name is Nick, and in early October, 2012 I went to the doctor with concerns about swollen glands in my neck. In less than a week, I was given a preliminary diagnosis of CLL – Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
After a barrage of blood tests, cat-scans, and a bone marrow biopsy, I had a confirmed diagnosis. This was all within 5 weeks time. At week 6, I had begun a chemotherapy regiment consisting of once a month treatments, over a 6 month period.
At this point, it should be noted that my particular scenario isn’t the most common. Most people discover they have CLL through routine check-ups, and at an early stage of discovery, may not even require treatment. In my case, the disease was in a more advanced state, requiring quick action.
When I was given the preliminary diagnosis, I’d never heard of CLL before, so I did a Google search. I found mostly generic descriptions with a wide range of outcomes and treatment methods. I also found a few outdated personal blogs that were “doom and gloom”, with treatment methods that were certainly not up to the standards of recent cancer research. Since I have a bit of experience building websites, I decided to start this one. It will not be doom and gloom.
I feel fortunate to have a team of very bright, well respected specialists in my area. They have a positive outlook, and a high level of confidence that they will put my disease in remission. I’m a firm believer in the saying “words have meaning”. I trust my team and take them at their word. Until someone tells me differently, my attitude is positive as well. In my mind, I’ve already won the battle, I just have to deal with the inconvenience of getting through the treatments.
Probably the most important member of my health care team, is my awesome wife Jill. She has put a great deal of effort into researching targeted nutritional strategies, and overall lifestyle changes that will be instrumental in my success at defeating cancer. I can’t over-emphasize how important support from family and friends is in maintaining a good mental outlook. This is another area where you must be rock solid if you are to expect a successful outcome.
My day job involves designing components using 3D computer software. I’m very fortunate, in the fact that I can work from home during my monthly treatments with the full support of the owner, and the rest of the management folks. It makes it so much easier to focus on getting healthy when you don’t have to stress about time away from work.
You can follow my story in great detail by reading my articles in the blog section of this website. They are frequent journal entries targeted at sharing all my experiences with CLL, so that anyone that may have to deal with this disease can learn what they might expect to go through.
I would also like to invite you to contact me with any questions you have, to share your personal experience, or suggest a topic for a future article. It would be my pleasure to hear from you.