It has been 19 months since I was told that I was in remission and 14 months since I came home from the hospital from my last chemotherapy treatment. It always shocks us how people that didn’t know us, see me and say that I look so good, what people don’t realize is that I still have leukemia. Please keep this in mind when you are around other people that have cancer. Just because they appear to be in good health, they are still fighting a deadly disease. My blood counts as of so far, show that I am still in remission and we hope and pray that it continues.
Please remember that we have Relay for Life May 17th. If you haven’t signed up or donated please visit our Relay for Life Team Sal website. Relay for Life is an event that we have been apart of and we hope to make more people apart of it. The American Cancer Society has made it possible for me to be alive fighting this disease today. If it wasn’t for the research that they do, I wouldn’t be alive today.
18 months of remission!!!!!
It has been a long and bumpy road. I am very thankful for my friends and family that have been there for me. Without everyone’s love and support I think I would have lost the will to fight a long time ago. Let’s continue to hope and pray that I stay in remission for the rest of my life. I would like everyone to know that I still have leukemia and just because I appear to be healthy, it does not mean that I am. I still have cancer cells in my body and there is always the possibility that the leukemia could return without warning at any given time. Life does go on and we have to deal with this, we just know that it is back in the shadows and is always there. I hope that our story has drawn attention to the need for bone marrow donors, blood donors, and also educated people on leukemia and other blood cancers. My best chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. City of Hope searches each week for a match, over the past 18 months they have only found one possible match with a cord blood, however, because I am doing good and in remission they said that they didn’t want to take the chance because the risks are higher. Unfortunately, if another patient is a match for that specific cord blood and they need it right now, they will receive it.
I have stated this a thousand times and I will say this again, “I can not stress the importance of being a bone marrow donor”. Recently one of our friends was selected for the process of being a bone marrow donor for a complete stranger. She is still going through the process to see if she will be able to donate. What a great thing to be able to say that you saved someone’s life!
Recently another one of our friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer. He is only 3 years old and has Stage 4 Neuroblastoma and started chemo this week. During his journey, he will be receiving blood transfusions, so again the need for blood donors is very important.
Now Relay for Life is coming up, May 17th at Paloma Valley High School in Menifee. So, we are going to start pushing for team members to sign up!!! Please make sure you sign up as soon as possible! Our goal is to have each member raise $100. We will be having team fundraisers to help raise the $100 per member. Last year we raised $10,000 with 90 members!
For those that don’t know Relay for Life, raises cancer awareness and research funding for all types of cancers. We chose to start a team with the Relay for Life because it helps so many people and it doesn’t focus on just one cancer. If you can’t join us for the Relay, then please make a donation to help us reach our goal. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We made a huge impression on Relay last year and we would like to make even a bigger impression this year!
It is hard to believe that tomorrow will be a year ago that I left the hospital after completing my last round of chemotherapy. A lot of things have happened since the day I was diagnosed. Everyone talks about how bad our society has become, but throughout this journey we have experienced such great generosity from our friends, family, and even complete strangers.
Through out this holiday season, please enjoy the time with your family and friends and make sure you capture these moments so that you can always remember them.
During this time we have gained some new friends and we have lost a few. We had the pleasure of meeting Madeleine Bonta while receiving chemotherapy. She was a beautiful young woman that fought so hard but unfortunately she recently lost that battle, only 19 years old. http://madeleineblogger.blogspot.com
A little boy, Kane Strong, that we meet lost his leg due to cancer and is surviving at a great cost. Kane continues his treatments and is a trooper! He has even made friends while receiving treatment to help him through his journey. http://www.gofundme.com/5mcza4
I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’s! Please be safe and don’t drink and drive.
So our house is decorated and ready for Christmas, but it wouldn’t be an Aguirre holiday or event without something going wrong. Sal hit his shin with the ladder and got a huge bump and cut on it, but it is healing….so we know his platelets are good Next time he wants to check his platelets, he needs to wait for his blood work! Talking about blood work, we got the results and he is still in remission! We continue to pray for a bone marrow donor, but as of right now he is still in remission and doesn’t need one.
Message from Sal:
I want to remind everyone despite how I look and that the fact I am in remission I still have leukemia. I can’t stress to everyone how important it is for those that have not registered as a bone marrow donor to register. If you know someone that is between the ages of 18-44 encourage them to sign up as donors. They may not be a match for me, but they may be a match for someone else that is trying to survive. www.bethematch.orgRemember, we also have the Relay for Life coming up and we would love to see everyone there to support all of the cancer survivors and their loved ones.
On Monday, Sal had a follow up with his doctor. He said his numbers look good and he is still in remission. He did ask if we had heard from the transplant coordinator. We told him that they still have not found a donor match for Sal.
The doctor stated that if the cancer comes back within the next two months he would have to give Sal a different course of chemotherapy because it is within a year of his last consolidation. However, if it is after the year, he would be able to do the same regiment that he gave him to put him in remission. The doctor said that no matter what kind of chemo you get, they are all strong. There is no hard and fast answer with cancer. He said that when it comes back Sal will know and it will be within weeks that it will spread. Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a type of Leukemia that is very aggressive, so this is why Sal continues to go each month to get blood work done.
We can not stress enough how important it is to find a match. If you haven’t already, please go to the bethematch.org website and order your kit to sign up as a bone marrow donor or join us on Oct 27th at Menifee Roadhouse. The kit is simple, 4 q-tips that you swab the inside of your mouth and a few questions that you have to answer.
As of right now, Sal is doing fine. He is a little on the heavy side, but he is hoping to fix that….I guess that means we can’t eat out all of the time
We have some events with Relay for Life coming up and we would love everyone to join our team and help us fight cancer! If you can’t join our team, please consider donating to help us reach our team’s goal of $15,000! If you have any questions, please let us know!!! All of the money raised for the Relay for Life goes to the American Cancer Society which helps support cancer patients, caregivers, and trying to find a cure for all types of cancer.http://main.acsevents.org/goto/TeamSalMenifee
Today is the last day to take advantage of the early bird special….only $5.00 to join this year’s Team Sal Relay for Life which will be held May 17th, 2014. Use “relay” for the discount code.
We already have 27 new members!! Let’s keep them coming!!! Go to Team Sal Relay for Life and sign up today!
If you have never been to a Relay for Life, you will be so surprised at how inspirational they are! Last year we had people from all over the USA to join us and they are planning on coming again this year!
So make sure you sign up today…..if you want to start your own team, this is the perfect time! You have plenty of time to fundraise and build your own team!
Wow! Another month has gone by….this week Sal will be going in to get his monthly blood work done. Each month he goes to make sure the leukemia hasn’t come back and each month we pray that it isn’t there!
September is blood cancer and childhood cancer awareness month. Please help us share this by posting on your facebook, twitter, or instagram.
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:
Leukemia is the tenth most frequently occuring type of cancer in all races and ethnicities.
From 2003 to 2009 the five year relative survival rates overall were:
- ALL (Acute Lymphoma Leukemia) 68.8%
- CLL (Chronic Lymphoma Leukemia) 83.%
- AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) 24.9%
- CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia) 58.6%
Survival for Children from 2003 to 2009, the five year relative survival rates for children were:
ALL (Acute Lymphoma Leukemia) 91.7% for children and adolescents younger than 15 years, and 92.6% for children younger than 5 years.
AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) 64.8% for children and adolescents younger than 15 years.
We need to find a cure!!! If people are not aware of how deadly blood cancers and childhood cancers are they will not know that we need their help and they will not know how they can help! Make people aware of the risks and help spread the word.
Please donate to the American Cancer Society, you can still donate to our Team Sal Relay for Life Team. I am not sure how much longer, but here is the website link : http://main.acsevents.org/goto/TeamSalAguirre
The American Cancer Society helps all types of cancers. This is why we fundraise for this group. We want to help find a cure for all cancers! Not just leukemia. We have lost so many loved ones to this horrible disease and we want to help! You can help by joining next year’s Relay for Life team. We will post as soon as we are able to add members.
Wow, it has been a long time since we updated this page. Sal had a great day at the doctors today. The doctor said his numbers look great! He even mentioned how last year at this time we didn’t even know if Sal would survive six months. Almost a year ago, August 14th, 2012, Sal became ill with Stage 3 Sepsis and the family was called in, a year later he is still kicking and driving us crazy Just ask the girls The doctor is very surprised at how good his progress has been…..he did however point out that Sal is a little over weight, so Sal has to loose some weight! He also told Sal that he needs to keep contacting the City of Hope to see if they have found a bone marrow donor match. He will continue to do monthly blood work and do follow up doctor appointment in two months. He says he still lives his life one month at a time, but we are just grateful that he is doing good. Sal says: “Remember there are other people out there that don’t ask for help that need support. If you know someone with cancer, stop by and see how they are doing, let them know that you care. Even on your worse days it is nice to have someone tell you that they care about you.” I truly believe this is what has helped Sal make it this far and he continues to be thankful for every day. ~ Kristi
On a side note, Sal stopped by 4West at Kaiser Riverside and visited with several of the nurses and staff. He can not thank these people enough for taking care of him during his worst times and even a few happy times As law enforcement is a calling for some, nursing is truly a call for others like the women and men that Sal met while at Kaiser.
It is hard to believe a year ago today, that we didn’t know if I would have another Father’s Day. Every holiday that comes up is very special to us and we treat it as though it may be our last. We are grateful to our friends, family and supporters that have been with us through this bumpy ride. There are so many fathers that are not here today, but there are so many fathers that are and I can say that I am one of those. Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there and may we have many more days together like today.
Today Sal and I went to see the transplant doctor in Los Angeles. We were told that Sal is still in remission and to do a cord blood transplant right now is dangerous and the possibility of the cord blood not working is extremely high.
When a person goes in for a transplant, the patient has to go through extremely high doses of chemotherapy and possible radiation. Once all of the bone marrow is destroyed by the chemo, the transplant of the new cord blood would be infused. This is done just like a blood transfusion. When Sal went through each phase of chemotherapy his white blood count and platelets would decrease and he would have to worry about getting sick because he didn’t have an immune system to fight even a cold, this would last about two weeks after the last day of chemo. With the cord blood transplant, his white blood count and platelets would decrease for a longer time period because of the immature cells, which would increase the chances of infection. In a cord blood transplant, the cells are extremely new and take longer to create bone marrow. Because of this the patient is more likely to get an infection and can die from the infection. This is just one of the risks with any transplant, but with the cord blood the risk of infection can last longer.
For this reason, the doctor said that it would not be a good choice to do the cord blood transplant at this time since Sal is currently in remission and is doing good. As of right now, Sal will continue to go to the doctor each month to monitor his counts. He has returned to work and we will continue with our daily routine.
In the event that the leukemia does come back, Sal will have to go through another round of chemotherapy that will hopefully put him back into remission and only then will the use of the cord blood be considered if it is still available.
Thank you for the continued support and we appreciate everyone’s prayers! We will continue to hope and pray that the leukemia will stay in remission for as long as possible. Thank you again!
Sal says, “We are still in the fight and life goes on”