Pretty Bad News On The Cancer Front

Lots to report on today. Some of it is pretty bad.

Back on January 24th, I got a bone marrow biopsy in order to more accurately determine the amount of leukemia present in me. The blood test I normally get is a genetic one and trends behind the actual bone marrow. The blood test had been showing a fraction of a percent and then later 3%. That was obviously trending in the wrong direction but the hope was increasing my special medication would keep things in check. It didn’t.

The bone marrow biopsy came back at a spotty 20% (amounts varied by area). This is not good at all as it means the leukemia has morphed into yet some other form that my donor immune system is having trouble keeping in check, either due to a change or being overwhelmed.

Complicating matters is that my liver is quite inflamed, presumably due to GvHD. However my oncologist wants to be actually sure that this is the cause so I’ll be getting a liver biopsy on Wednesday to confirm. The problem with my liver being inflamed is that it excludes me from many of the potential cancer treatments that I could be getting so we need to get that under control.

If all of that wasn’t enough, I also got a Group B Strep infection in my leg from the knee down. It was and is still swollen which wasn’t entirely unusual due to all of the crap I’m going through, but it got so swollen that it was extremely painful and I couldn’t walk. I ended up having to get admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics from January 24th to the 26th. I’m still swollen, especially my ankles and feet, but I can walk without pain again thankfully. I do get incredibly winded when I exert myself, but that’s yet a whole other issue.

But back to the cancer. They aren’t quite sure what the plan is from here, be it chemotherapy or something else. Whatever it will be though, I’m along for the ride. There’s nothing I can personally do about it, so why worry about it much?

My oncologist did mention that if at any point I want to just stop treatment and make myself comfortable, that I should let them know as they won’t keep asking. I have zero intention of going that route, but it’s a scary situation to think about. It kind of makes it very real.

Day by day though. Day by day.

41 thoughts on “Pretty Bad News On The Cancer Front

  1. Alex, so very sad to hear this news, especially with the liver complications. Seriously might consider what Marcus said about CBD. Do some research for specific kinds that target leukemia. Continuing chemo is so very hard on your entire system. Oncologists know the limits. Continuously praying for more treatment options Alex. Love and hugs from the Wagner family <3 <3

  2. Thanks for keeping us all updated – it sucks that you got such bad news but I’m glad you’re trying to stay positive through all these setbacks. Wish there was something more we could do for you – but know that Tim and I are pulling for you as much as we can. <3

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  4. This cancer thing is tough, and I’m glad to hear of your toughness to match. Life on this earth is so short, but trusting God’s got your forever handled is comforting. I really enjoy the video messages at https://www.life.church if they might help up your confidence. I want you to know you’ve been a positive influence and example to me in the WordPress space, and I pray you get the treatment that’s best for you and that you have peace even when there’s not understanding. Best to you!

  5. Hey Alex,
    You say that “There’s nothing I can personally do about it, so why worry about it much”, but actually you can. And you are already doing it! I’m talking about keeping a positive and open attitude towards that tough disease.
    I wish you all the best during this process and may God be with you!

  6. Alex, I wish you to win this battle! Hang on friend, you’re stronger than it seems. Believe in your strength! The world needs you, we need you, your family needs you!

  7. Alex, just never give up. Keep up your positive attitude and you will do and fight this I send you all the best healthy wishes.

  8. I’ve followed your posts about this from the start and continue to pray for you often, Alex. You have more strength and resolve in your pinky finger than I have in my entire body at this point; I hope that your friends, family, and colleagues continue to stick around and give you all the love in the world. You deserve it. Keep kicking ass and updating us all. I admire you so much. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Yikes! The last post I saw of yours was the one saying you were cancer free. I was hoping that would be the end of it 🙁

    Good luck with your progress!

    I was just mentioning you the other day actually, as someone was asking me about the media shortcodes in WordPress and I was explaining where they came from and that your plugin was commonly used before the functionality was rolled into core.

  10. Thinking about you Alex! Keep fighting!

    Before my last round of chemo, the doctor sat me down and gave me the “We can stop this at any time…” talk. I gave him a mean look and told him we’re gonna keep going, despite being told that I could have some time of “feeling good” instead of wasting the time I have left feeling like crap. Don’t give up, and never be afraid to ask for a second or third opinion.

  11. I just stumbled on this as I was about to upgrade one of your WordPress plugins. After reading, I suddenly didn’t feel the urgency to deal with the upgrade as much as I want to send you some healing vibes and pray to whomever or whatever is greater than us that your health improves. Take care and hang in there. There is probably some unfinished life you need to keep living so hang in there. It will get better.

  12. Hey hey Alex,

    You’re a hero man! Fight it out, and I guess you’re already doing a pretty good job at it.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery 🙂 Prayers with you

    Also, I love your work.

    Cheers, Umesh

  13. Hey bud. you’re going to be around for decades to come. First things first. When you get better, I hope to see this blog turn into updates of your epic road trip in a viper across the USA. Here if you need to chat.

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