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Posted 2018-11-08T03:10:17Z

Tides have turned

It's been a long and often rough road to get here, but I am finally starting to feel like my old self again (now with more super stem cells!). These last few weeks have seen visits from much loved friends and family, a few wonderful weekends at home (YES!) and small trips out to explore San Francisco. I appreciate that this time was for much needed healing, but it was starting to feel like Dr. Seuss's 'waiting place' without all the fancy hats. I stepped out of my Friday appointment feeling, for the first time, that the end of this phase is just around the corner!

Last week we got some outstanding news: my bone marrow biopsy came back with NO cancer detectable - AND - my chimerism count is 100%, meaning the transplant has completely taken hold and is a success! To top it off, I get to go home a week early! So winning!! I'm taking part in a clinical trial, and there are still many months of monitoring and healing to go, but this is a huge step and I am ready.

For some reason, the thought of losing this battle with leukemia has never been an option. It's never been a question for me that I have a long life ahead. Sure, I had some good cry's and felt sorry for myself along the way, but the outcome has always felt certain. That's most likely just wilful ignorance on my part, but it sure did help. 

Throughout this whole weird journey, I keep coming back to a place of gratitude. The stars have aligned again and again. It's strange to say, but even the timing of all this was as good as possible. So many exceptional humans have shown their brilliance and lifted me up. Even the insurance company has been great (crazy, right?!). I've been bracing myself to have to file for bankruptcy at the end of this, but it seems like everything's going to work out (thanks in no small part to your help). I'm also so grateful that attitudes and laws have changed, spurring big advances in edible THC / CBD products. They have done wonders for me. 

My Mom, Steve and Christine have had to make so many sacrifices to make this possible. They are the real hero's of this misadventure, and it will be a relief for all of us to return to dearly missed friends, family and home.

Each and every one of you that have reached out with messages, music, funny clippings, calls, help around the house, visits and artwork have buoyed me through some of the hardest times I've known. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for being in my life. (especially this less glamorous cancery part of it) You complete me.

It was really uncomfortable for me to ask for your help financially. ...and yet, you did. There is NO price I can put on the relief of not having to stress about bills during this time. It has, quite literally, been a lifesaver. Thank you for responding with such force when I asked for help. I am humbled with gratitude.

It's hard to know how an experience will impact your life, and I do wonder what the take away will be. That I could not have done this alone. That science is amazing. That hardship brings out the best in us all. That good begets good. That I am blessed with an amazing community. That learning to receive is a life lesson worth learning. ...or that having a german woman's immune system rocks.

I am so thankful to have a long life ahead to ponder it.

Much love to you all!




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Comments (6)

  • Jason Hasenbank
    Jason Hasenbank

    That's my Pauly! Thanks for sharing your journey with me and all the rest of us. I think of you all the time and am inspired by the grace in which you and Chrissy and Beth and just about everyone else in our circle of friends and family (Framily? Oh wait, that's been said before : ) have exhibited. This Thanksgiving, I am so very grateful for you and your new lease on life, Paul. Long may you run my friend! xoxo, Cookie

    one year ago · Reply
  • Len Murphy
    Len Murphy

    It is great to hear that your health continues to improve! I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit with you and your mom for a few days!!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Maija West
    Maija West

    Whoooo hoooooooo! Best news I have heard all week! I am so thrilled to hear the results of the test. Looking forward to celebrating in person soon!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Susan Christian
    Susan Christian

    Well that gave me the best Election Day ever. I voted primarily (!) for you along with the rest of the Blue Wave. I'm sending you a sunny yellow wave right now. You and all you guys. Go team, including the lovely donor. Big, big very snowflake-sensitive gentle nonsquashy hug darling P. Looking forward to the resumption of your fabulous normal life now. xoxoxoxoxoxooxooxoxoxoxoxoxo

    one year ago · Reply
  • Hoyt and Heidi
    Hoyt and Heidi

    Awesome news, it's just so good to read this!! Thank you for sharing. Love from Amsterdam, Heidi

    one year ago · Reply
  • Justin Pauly
    Justin Pauly

    This is an awesome update Paul! So good to hear your up and bouncing round' the room. Look forward to seeing you and catching up when your back home. Best, jtp

    one year ago · Reply