Update on Sal

Sorry we haven’t updated the blog lately, we have been busy with Relay for Life and Blood and Bone marrow drives the past couple of months. I know everyone wants to know what is going on. As of right now I am currently still in remission. Of course I have to go and get my blood work done the first of July and I always hold my breath on those days. But as of right now I feel fine and continue to live my life. I can’t let leukemia (cancer) dictate what I am going to do. Recently we met a few more people that have the same subtype of Leukemia that I have and we have shared our stories of what we have gone through and what we continue to go through. It is always encouraging when you meet other people that have gone through similar events. We wish them all the best. We had a good turnout for Relay for Life. Team Sal raised over $5,200 for the American Cancer Society. There is a smaller event that you can bring your dogs to called Bark for Life. Team Sal has a team already so if you would like to join us let us know. It is a small relay that you can register your pets and the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society is an organization that helps patients and caregivers with all types of cancers.
We would like to say THANK YOU to everyone that came out to support Team Sal and Relay for Life. I would like to thank everyone with their continued support. As always remember we are still in the fight!

Blood Drive and Marrow Screening

This Saturday, April 12, 2014 Lifestream will be holding a blood drive and marrow screening at the Perris Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church, 22905 Alviso Road, Perris, CA. 2-7 pm in the bloodmobile.

Please contact Pam Johnson at cheerful273@yahoo.com to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

For every lifesaving donation, participants receive:

  • A Jack in the Box coupon (while supplies last)
  • Free cholesterol screening
  • Points that may be redeemed for items through LifeStream’s online donor store at LStream.org

To register as a bone marrow donor, you must be between 18-44 years old.  If you have any questions, please let us know.

 

December 11, 2013

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.

Monday October 14, 2013

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

September 2, 2013

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.

 

August 12, 2013

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.

Happy Father’s Day!

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.

Transplant Doctor Appt May 14, 2013

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”

Update on Sal

On May 9th, 2012, Sal was diagnosed with Acute Monocytic Leukemia and about a month later we were told that he was not in remission and he would have less than a 30% chance of going into remission after his second round of induction chemo.  Luckily Sal is a fighter and he has been in remission since July 2012.  He will be returning to work on Monday, May 13th.  He is working out everyday and trying to loose weight.  He feels like his old self besides being fat…..which is driving him crazy and me, because that is all he talks about!

The past year has been a roller coaster and we have been blessed with some amazing friends.  We have enjoyed weekends in Big Bear and a few days in Yosemite and will cherish every memory that we have made.  Recently, a friend gave us a vacation to anywhere we wanted.  Since time was limited since Sal was going back to work and the kids were in school, we decided on Hawaii.

We enjoyed a beautiful family vacation in Kauai last weekend.  We stayed four nights at the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort.  The resort was absolutely beautiful.  The kids had so much fun playing in the pool and just relaxing.  The staff was absolutely incredible.  The first day we arrived they gave us a bag full of goodies and the last night we were there they dropped off another bag of goodies.  We enjoyed a tour of the Waimea Canyon Tour, which included a stop at the Kauai Coffee Plantation. The scenery was absolutely beautiful.  We spent a day in North Shore, Kauai, with our friends Shawn and Tammy Owens, exploring caves, Queen’s bath, and numerous beautiful beaches.  We ended the day going on a zodiac down the Hanalei River and then out to the ocean to watch sea turtles swimming in the Hanalei Bay.  Our friends Shawn and Tammy Owens were wonderful tour guides!  The next day we took a drive up the coast again to explore more beaches and visit the Kilauea Light house.  The views were breath taking.  We ended the trip with a Smith’s Family Garden Luau.  The food was so good and it was so neat to see a family owned business.  The owners were so nice.  Jacob fell asleep during the show, but it was a long day and the three hour time difference was hard to get use to.  It was a wonderful experience and a nice way to get away from reality right now.  We have already decided that we will definitely go back next year, hopefully we can stay even longer!

Back to reality, we are still looking for a bone marrow donor!  We were told a few weeks ago that the doctor has checked out three units of cord blood for Sal.  We will be meeting with the doctor on Tuesday to see what options Sal has.  The cord blood transplant was an option that the doctor really didn’t want to do unless they had to.  This is a very difficult decision to make.  Sal feels so much better and our lives are going back to normal, but the doctors want him to do the transplant before the leukemia returns.  Granted they don’t know when it will return but they know from other patients that it usually returns 3-6 months after the last treatment which would be around June.  Does this mean that it will return this soon? No, no one knows they just know that cases like Sal, the leukemia does return and once it returns they know that the chemo will only prolong his life for a short time. This is why the doctors want to do the transplant before it returns because once it returns he will not qualify for a transplant.

With any transplant there are risks.  A patient has to worry about host vs graft disease which can be fatal in up to 40% of patients, pain, organ failure, and with cord blood there is a higher chance of the body destroying the newly transplanted marrow, which is called graft rejection.  Even after the transplant there is still only 42.5% survival rate 3 years after the transplant according to the HRSA Blood Cell Transplant website.  If we wait and do the transplant when he isn’t in remission, which the doctors would probably not do, the survival rate for 3 years after the transplant is 19.3%.  Sal is a fighter but the odds need to be more in his favor.  This is why the transplant needs to be done while he is in remission.

Thank you for everyone’s continued support and we will keep you updated on what the doctor says on Tuesday.

Relay for Life

On April 27th, 2013, the Menifee Relay for Life was introduced to Team Sal with almost 90 team members out of the 538 participants at the entire event.  We were the largest team at the Relay and in second place out of 23 teams for the most money raised….next year we will raise more!  We raised $9,907.50!  Almost $10,000!!! What a great beginning for Team Sal!

The money was raised for the American Cancer Society to help fund research, programs such as the Hope Lodge and Road to Recovery that helps cancer patients that need transportation to and from treatments.  Every dollar raised helps us come closer to finding a cure!

Cancer has affected millions and will continue if we don’t do something!  Participating in a Relay for Life is just one way you can help.  If you haven’t been to a Relay for Life, it is an experience that will change your perspective on cancer patients and their families.  Cancer is not cured over night.  There are cancer patients that fight for years, some win and unfortunately some do not.  This is why we need to do everything we can to help win this battle.  Cancer does not care about your age, ethnicity, sex, education, or financial status.  Anyone can get it!

Our daughter’s classmate asked, “Is there a cancer that is worse than other cancers or what kills you faster?” All cancers can be deadly, granted there are cancers that can be “cured” with a chemo pill or radiation treatment, but did you know that years later that the cancer can come back in your body somewhere else.  A cancer patient has to live their lives every day, every week, every year wondering if it has returned.  This is why a cancer patient has to stay positive and enjoy life! This is also why we need to find what causes cancer and create a cure that will prevent all cancers!

If you would like to donate to the American Cancer Society, please go to Team Sal Menifee Relay for Life.  All funds are tax deductible and go directly to the American Cancer Society.