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5 November 2014 / erikduval

Rather good…

Sometimes, Echternach (a few steps forward, a few steps backward) can work to your advantage. Last Monday, I had a PET scan to assess progress with my chemo treatment. I felt awful. Splitting headache, nauseous, … I’ll spare you the details.

Turns out that was a step backwards, to make room for some steps forward. (“Reculer pour mieux sauter”…) Yesterday and today, we had not one, not two, but three opinions about the results of the PET scan. (Hey, my health is kind of important to me!)

It can be a bit disorienting to get conflicting advice… Then again, that’s the other side of “patient empowerment”, I guess… But the take-aways seems rather good: I might be in total remission (which is VERY good) or, if not, I am in deep partial remission (which is still good).

The consequence? ‘Ordinary’ chemo is over (yeah!) and, in order to celebrate that (and get the final remainders of cancer out of my body), I will get a super-heavy-dose of chemo, which would kill me, if it wasn’t followed by a transplant of my own stem cells (which were “harvested” from my body months ago) and a few weeks in hospital to recover.

Bottom line: I will probably start that 3-4 week intensive chemo-and-transplant period on November 20 and can build up strength again until then. Bit of a relief. So far, so good. Touch wood and all of that, but still. Rather good…


Touch wood…



Leave a Comment
  1. dougclow / Nov 5 2014 6:24 pm

    Wow! That is fantastic news. I am very pleased to hear that – though I guess not quite as pleased as you were.

    All the very best for the last chemo and transplant. Will be thinking of you.

  2. Shane Dawson / Nov 5 2014 7:57 pm

    great news Erik – all the best for the last run. Hopefully we get to catch up soon at LAK

  3. Donatella / Nov 5 2014 7:58 pm

    I’m very simphatetic with you, literally! My “strong” chemo is almost over (November 20th), and I have just learnt that the next step is a month of radiotherapy……ending at the end of January. In the meantime a “light” chemo will go on till the end of 2015. The fight must go on. All the best! Touch wood!

    • erikduval / Nov 6 2014 3:41 pm

      Stay strong, Donatella! Hope you can see (and feel) the progress from time to time. It’s a long fight, but, as you say, ‘the fight must go on’. VERY best to you too… Thinking of you…

  4. palavitsinis / Nov 5 2014 8:20 pm

    Knocked on attached wood, cracked screen, replaced screen… 😉 All the best!

  5. Tinne / Nov 5 2014 10:25 pm

    Niet vergeten: de processie van Echternach geraakt ook op zijn bestemming!
    Misschien kan je wel de nieuwe en minder chaotische stapprocedure eens uitproberen “Tijdens de optocht zijn de deelnemers aan elkaar vastgemaakt met witte zakdoeken en springen zij in de maat van de processiemars naar voren, afwisselend op hun linker- en rechtervoet. Dit is in 1947 zo ingesteld omdat het voormalige ritme (drie stappen naar voren en twee terug) voor te veel chaos zorgde.” (

  6. Αgro-Κnow / Nov 6 2014 7:27 am

    That’s really good news Erik – wishing you all the best from now on and strongly hope that the worse is over 🙂

  7. Maria João / Nov 6 2014 11:45 am

    Erik, here a Chinese Proverb made just for you: “No matter how many steps you gave back, the important is how many steps you will now take forward.” All the best wishes. Maria

  8. Marian / Nov 6 2014 12:11 pm

    Heel veel aansterken de komende periode, en dan veel sterkte gewenst voor de periode die rond 20 november begint. Met Kerst thuis, dat gun ik je van harte!

  9. josemota / Nov 7 2014 11:55 pm

    I’m very happy for you Erik. Things are looking good so far. All the best for this last big step.

  10. Julie Vermeersch / Nov 10 2014 9:56 am

    Dear Erik, I can’t tell you how much I admire your strength (and I know to a lesser degree what it’s like to get life-shattering news and have to cope with a messy aftermath… It isn’t easy.). You’ve walked a long road. Glad to see what kind of hopeful perspectives lie ahead! I hope you’ll be able to surround yourself with the people you love and to enjoy the next couple of days so you’ll have plenty of nice, sunny, warm memories to strengthen you. Then you’ll be home by Christmas and get a good start in the new year. Wishing you all the best.

  11. fvanassche / Nov 10 2014 1:45 pm

    Ik ben blij voor jou Erik. Veel sterkte toegewenst voor de komende periode.

  12. longpd / Nov 13 2014 6:55 am

    It’s reassuring to read when good things happen to truly wonderful people. I know the woods remain ahead, for at least a few more weeks, but this is a truly mindbendingly good prognosis. We look forward to your return to the communities that have missed your warmth, intellect, and integrity. Our candles burn brightly in anticipation of the opportunity to have you back among friends, colleagues and family energetic, fit, and whole again. Thank you for sharing your progress with us. We are enriched because of it.

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