What started as a personal journey of a doctor turned patient morphed into a way to share what’s universal in dealing with cancer, in my case a nasty leukemia (CLL), a failed transplant and a successful clinical trial. The telling of my journey has become a journey to teach about CLL, related blood issues and all cancers. Please visit our new website http://cllsociety.org for the latest news and information. Smart patients get smart care™. If you want to reach me, email bkoffmanMD@gmail.com
Thursday, February 21, 2013
ASH 2012: Dr. Tom Kipps Explains BCR, Chemokines, and the Power of Blocker Drugs
This is part two of my ASH 2012 interview where my doctor, Dr. Kipps out of UCSD, makes the importance of BCR and chemokines to the B cells understandable. Even a vegan like me can understand his Thanksgiving dinner analogy. He too talks about the debt of gratitude owed to all the patients who enroll in the clinical trials.
More to come soon.
On a personal note, I am home a day early from five days in Manhattan at a hematology conference where my family doctor brain was crammed full of new malignant hematology facts and figures so that I can talk about more than CLL to the experts that I am privileged to meet. I was, for obvious reasons, the only family doctor there, and had to check "other" on my registration form as there were not expected any PCPs to show up. If you newbies to CLL think the acronyms for CLL are bad, hematologist are the perpetual masters of an expanding array of coded alphanumeric soups. I was constantly multi-tasking as I was learning the new material and scouring the web at the same time to decode the heme shorthand for all their therapies.
I did take time off to have some gourmet vegan and raw vegan meals at Pure Food and Wine, Candle 79, and Candle Cafe, dance and sing at a neo-Hassidic shabbat service at the beautiful B'nai Jeshurun,
and catch the very last day of the gritty ash-canny George Bellows exhibit at the Met (and of course revisit the masterpieces by Van Goghs and Caravaggios) all artists whose lives ended far too early, but whose influence will be eternal.
Despite the biting cold and the wind that careens channeled by the steel skyscraping canyons, just walking around Central Park (where I saw an extremely rare golden (or red) tail hawk) or by the skaters at Rockefeller Center or inside the bustle of the well preserved centarian, Grand Central Station, or with my fellow gawkers at Time Square, there is no place on earth like New York City.
After a wonderful visit with dear friends in Springfield, Missouri and undergoing a critical and demanding but extraordinarily successful external review for all the medical education work that I do, I had the help of a friend who drove me 80 miles to Joplin, MO to get the very last seat on an overbooked flight out of Missouri before the ice storm hit the midwest (all the local flights were unavailable and the next flights out were likely two days away).
I got home a day early to warm and sunny California.
A family doc and husband of 1 and father of 4 and grandfather of 3 who loves his family and his work. I live with no TV and no microwave, but wouldn't last a minute without friends, art, music, books and the beach. Hockey, good jokes and exotic travel are pretty important too. Writing, Talmud and Zen give meaning to my life. My diet is organic vegan, often raw. I hope the blog makes the load lighter and the path both safer and more fun for those who read it or are going to similar places. I want to help. I crave your comments. If you are new to the blog, check out the portrait my son Will painted (it is the first post), and my very first text post.