T Nation

Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Survivor

Hello all-

In October 2011, I was diagnosed with leukemia and had bone marrow transplant this last June. In the process , I went through a LOT of complications and setbacks. Besides 4 rounds of chemo and many infections along the way, I had to have my right lower lobe of my lung removed and had to have the disc between L2 and L3 removed as well. In theory these shouldn’t hamper me too badly in my return to fitness. What I would like to do is chronicle my comeback here on T-Nation. If there is interest then I would like to post about my progress, setbacks, and insights the way. Of course any feedback, advise, encouragement, criticism would be appreciated. Here’s a little about me to get started:

Age: 41
Height: 5’10"
Current Weight: 144 (although I was down to 137 at my lowest a week ago)
Starting Weight: 193 (weight at hospital the day I was diagnosed - probably 16 -17 % bf)
Current bf: ?? I’ll see if I can get it. Although the pics I’ll post will show that it is not very low.
I don’t have girth measurements, but I’ll get some.

That should be a good start for now. Here is a picture of me on August 21 one day after returning from 60 day stay at the hospital at 137. I’ll post more angles if there seems to be interest in this post. I’ll also dig around for some “before” photos - although I’ve never really taken any physique type photos before this.

Let me know your thoughts and if you all seem interested in my journey, I can post here regularly. I think this will be good for me and good for the community. What do you think?

BTW: does anyone know how to post a pic from an iPad or iPhone? Couldn’t seem to figure that out. Otherwise I’ll post from my PC later today.


Sounds like quite a journey. I’m interested in following. Always interesting to follow a positive-minded comeback.

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Sounds like quite a journey. I’m interested in following. Always interesting to follow a positive-minded comeback.[/quote]

Same here where you at man, keep us up to date.

Welcome aboard.

Welcome :slight_smile:
Just know it’s hard to post on everyones log
And keep up with all of them.
I’ll be following, post away!

Still here?sorry. Not a whole lot to report - I am up to 147 - gain of 10 lbs. I haven’t had my bf checked yet - been having scheduling issues. Also I haven’t got the pics up yet. One of the complications I am having from the chemo is poor eyesight. Can’t see the computer screen very well. Excuses excuses. But I’ll get them up.

Seriously, if anyone knows how to upload pics from an iPhone that would help me out a lot!

More to come soon - I promise. And thanks for the support and interest!

OK - I think I got it. Here are the initial pics of my comeback. These were taken on August 21st - 1 day after returning from the hospital. Note the scars on my back: right lat area - is from a right lower lobe-ectomy and the scar on my lower back is the disc-ectomy between L2 and L3. Also - the line coming out of my left chest is called a Hickman line - 3 lumen line that allows IV infusions without having to stick me every time… and you may notice on my right chest a lump - this is another line they can get to if they need to. All these save the veins in my arms and are life-savers!

I will try to post pics every month.

More to come!

Thanks all for your support!

Fire away with any questions, comments or suggestions.

Not sure how to post more then one pic at a time…so here is the rear view.

And the right side.

Good job man keep fighting and posting.

You can end up a huge success story.

So what’s your training plan?

Thanks kpsnap! I appreciate the support.

Before I get into the plan, I thought it would be interesting to give you all a bit more information about me. As you may have noticed by my handle, I have ssome strength coaching experience in me…matter of fact, I have been reading and learning on Testosterone.net (now T-Nation) since its inception many years ago. Charles Poliquin told me about a website to repllace Muscle Mediaa he and a few others were working on…so even though my profile shows I’ve been a member since 2005, raally it has been since 1998.

You can even find a question I posted to Poliquin in an early issue of Question of Strength about deadlifiting and traps in one of the early issues of Testosterone.net. Anyway, I digresss. I have attended numerus Poliquin seminars, did 3 internships with him in Tempe AZ and in general have been a fitness, strength coach geek ever since. I was also lucky enough to work with Chad Ikei for a year with his athletes and learned a ton from him. I will always be grateful got these experiences. But now I am in a completelty different feild and love it. I’m a Network Rngineer. Strange transition I know…

So, on to my trainin plan. As you can tell from the earlier pictures I am severly deconditionedd. I just took a walk this morning around the block, maybe 1/2 mile, and was quite exhaustede from it. So I am going to take my approach in phases, mainly a lot of pre-hab, GPP stuff for the first couple of months, then some very basic strength stuff from there. I really want to take advantage of my clean slate, if you will, and attack areas that were weak links with me before.

Flexibility has always been an issue wish me. Since I don’t have a lot of muscle mass right now, I think improving flexibility will be a bit easier. That’s my theory anyway. Specifically, hip and T-spine dlexibility and mobility are my focus. So really for the next few weeks, that and going for daily walks will be my focus.

As I am severly immune compromised right now, I cannot go to a commercial gym, so everything I have to do will be at home, so I am taking the opportunity to build a little inexpensive home gym. I have a TRX knockoff thing and some bands. I am going to put together some sandbags, would like to get a tire and have an idea for building some inexpensive farmer walk implements (if my idea works, I will ket you all know and share).

I don’t have any DBs or KBs and don’t intend on buying any, as I have to do all of this on the cheap, medical bills, etc…but I think with enough imaginiation I can do this. Anyway, actual weights are a ways down the road.

From a weight gain standpoint I obviously want to gain weight, but I want to do it the right way. I need to gain another 30 pounds give or take, but want to stay leaner then I was before. I was floating around the high teens before and would like my bf to settle in around 12% when all is said and done. So the goal is initially to eat real, whole food with lots of fiber. One of the challenges I have right now is I cannot eat any fresh fruit and veggies. Too easy to get sick from.

So for probably the next two months those will have to be canned or frozen or cooked though. Not a big deal, just no fresh salads, etc. Also, because of the steroids I’m on (prednisone - nothing fun) I have to watch my blood sugars and use insulin where neccessary. If all goes well there I won’t become a long term diabetic, but it is a possibility.

I am going to post a picture of me with what my physique looked like about a year and a half ago. Like I said in my initial post, I don’t really have any bodybuilding[physique type photos, but this should work.

Any comments, suggestins woulkd be greatly recieved!

Here is a pic of me at the beach acting like a goof in Kauai. Note the belly!

Is the eye sight going to be a long term problem?

Plus you know what you need to do, sounds like you have studied it your whole life.

Just keep us posted cause we all like to see great success stories and if we can give you support we will.

Derek542 - hopefully not. The docs think it is GVHD (graft vs host disease) which is normal in BMT patients and as the immune system comes back so should my eyesight. But it is a pain on the ass - ESP computer work!

Great attidude Andrew!