Some Basic Info

I was first diagnosed with malignant brain tumors on 11-20-08 and I finished treatment for those on 4-13-09. I was recently diagnosed with a recurrence on 12-08-09. I set up this blog so people could follow along with my progress and keep up with what is going on in my treatment. I also wanted to put up information from my first go round so people could learn a little bit about what happened to me before.
The blog is set up with the newest posts first. Sometimes I will post stories from my first experience, in which casse it will be slightly out of order, but the titles will let you know. If you want to look at older posts, which may provide a better idea of the whole picture, use the "Blog Archive" tool on the right side of the page to browse them. The titles of the posts should be pretty self-explanatory. If you don't really know that much about me, or what happened, you should check out these two posts first: this one about what's happening now, and this one about my first experience.
Feel free to leave comments, it should be open to everyone now. Thanks for visiting, I hope this little blurb clears up some confusion, and I hope you like the blog.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Checking In

I've been here in Los Angeles for a few days now. It's kinda boring. You could send me some messages, please. Luckily I'm doing pretty well with this treatment though. Nothing too crazy going on, but that's kind of nice.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Los Angeles

I'm in the hospital in Los Angeles going through a new kind of treatment. I'm going to be doing two autologous stem cell transplants in a row. This is a little bit different that my previous transplant, in that there are two in a row, and I will be getting different chemotherapy drugs.

(for reference, this is my post from the last time

So far I haven't been doing much, just relaxing in my isolation room. I do have a big window in here, so I get plenty of sunlight. Other than that, it's just kind of boring. There isn't much to do here.

Anyways, I'll keep doing some occasional updates, although I don't foresee anything that interesting happening.

Thanks for tuning in! Talk to you next time!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Planning on coming back

After a fairly long time of not writing anything on here, I think it's time for me to start blogging again.

New things are happening in my life, some related to treatment, some not, and I think I need to have a place to share that with the world again.

Plus, now blogger has an iPhone app, so I really have no excuse not to.

Look forward to some posts in the next few days.

- Miles

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tumor Markers

I know I haven't posted in a while, but that's a good thing in a lot of ways. I haven't posted recently because medically there hasn't really been that many new developments, which I see a a really good thing. I'm tired of all the "excitement" that comes along with cancer.
Today I did receive some news that does require sharing. It requires a little set-up first though.
One of the characteristics of the type of cancer that I had is that the tumor cells create chemical compounds called tumor markers when they are active. The two compounds that they create are Beta-HCG and Alpha-fetoprotein which can show up in the bloodstream and the cerebrospinal fluid (if the tumor is on the brain or spine) for a total of 4 measurable tumor markers. Just before and during my treatment, the levels of these compounds were well above the normal levels for humans, but they slowly decreased with each stage of treatment. After the stem cell rescue procedure, all but one of the tumor markers, Beta-HCG in the spinal fluid, were down to normal levels. The tumor marker was only slightly elevated, but it was enough to cause suspicion that there might still be active tumor cells. Because of this my radiation dose was increased to the maximum limit, in the hopes of reducing the tumor marker to a normal level. Also, as part of the stem cell rescue clinical trial I was involved in, I needed to start taking Isotretinoin in the hopes that it could halt any remaining tumor cells from growing. The past few times I had had my tumor marker levels measured, the Beta-HCG in the spinal fluid had still been just slightly elevated. The level had stayed at pretty much the same place since the end of my stem cell transplant.
The news that I received today was that my latest blood and spinal fluid draws showed all the tumor markers to be in the normal range! I'm incredibly happy with this news. Before, even though the tumor markers were constant and did not rise, there was always the ambiguity of the fact that one was slightly elevated. There was always the chance that at some point in the future it could rise, the horrible thought of the possibility of a second recurrence. Now, the fact that all the tumor markers are normal is a huge relief. I'm still going to continue taking the isotretinoin just because in this situation I would much rather be safe then sorry, but hopefully when that's over I'll be done with this whole extravaganza and it'll just become a memory and I'll be able to continue with my life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Very Special Visit

This past Tuesday I had a very special surprise visit at my house, and what a surprise! My dad's friends Michael, Marcus and Allison were able to get my favorite hip-hop artist and probably favorite celebrity, Kanye West, to come to my house so I could meet him. As if that wasn't enough, Lupe Fiasco, another one of my favorite hip-hop artists, was with him. My dad had been trying to get me VIP tickets to a Kanye West show, but because of the stem-cell transplant treatment and my compromised immune system, travelling and large crowds are both things I have to avoid. When my dad's friends Michael, Marcus and Allison found out about that, they were able to arrange it so that Kanye West would come to me! I want to say thank you to all of them and my dad for putting this thing together. If you guys are reading this: Thank You!!!

Kanye and Lupe were both incredibly nice, and despite the fact that it was Kanye's birthday and they were probably very busy, they stayed for well over two hours. Also, Kanye's friend(/manager?) Don was really nice too. My two friends Aidan and Jesse happened to be visiting, so they were able to meet Kanye too. We all had a great time and afterwards we were still kind of in shock.
During his visit, my mom and Lupe Fiasco talked for a while. One of the things they talked about was the restaurant Pappadeaux's that he liked in Texas. My mom told him there was one in the suburbs of Chicago to which he replied, "Well you have to go there!" So Lupe Fiasco gave my mom some money to take us all (Me, my dad, my brother, and my friends Aidan and Jesse) out to Pappadeaux's.
Overall it was a pretty awesome experience and I'm so thankful to everyone who was involved. It is definitely something I will never forget.

Below are some pictures from their visit, but I have to ask that you only view to photos on my blog, please don't download them or send them around. It was totally cool for Kanye to do something like this, and I don't want random pictures of him getting spread around on the web. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Award Video

Through school I was nominated for this thing called a Junior Book Award. Because I wasn't going to be able to be at the awards ceremony, the teachers who nominated me came to my house and we made a video that they could show during the ceremony. Here is that video:

Miles Book Award from Lindsey Caplice on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 27, 2010