Hi! We just wrapped up a video shoot for Takeda, the pharmaceutical company that makes my oral chemotherapy. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Prior to the shoot, the production company asked if I could send them a timeline of my CML journey. I started working on it, pulling together the different pieces of my story. It is below.
I wanted to publish it here for a couple of reasons.
- It was living in Google Drive, not doing anyone any good.
- I wanted to provide people with easy access to my CML story.
- Over the past two days, I’ve been inspired with a few ideas, and I’m going to work on rebooting this blog.
Anyway, it was remarkable to visualize the history and recognize how far I’ve come. Everything changed after I made the decision to embrace cancer and seek opportunities through adversity. I talked about this a lot in the video shoot, and I hope I get to share it here once it has been edited. (It’s for an internal audience, so I’m not sure if they’ll allow it…but I’m going to ask!)
So much has happened since I started this blog. Technology has evolved, communication is different. Does anyone even read blogs anymore?
I stopped blogging after my clinical trial because it simply became too overwhelming to keep up with. Then, when I lost all of this blog’s content (I think it’s backed up on an old computer, but the monitor doesn’t work sooo it’s going to be an ordeal to check), it became even more challenging to update it.
So I have no readers and no audience, but I wanted to leave this here anyway. Consider it an epitaph for a guy who hasn’t died. I just put a lot of work into this and well, I’m hoping it helps someone.
*January 2006 – Diagnosed with CML (Gleevec)
Early 2007 – Met Katie (became friends)
July 2009 – Katie and I started dating
December 2009 – Moved to Dallas
*January 2010 – Started going to UT Southwestern (Dr. Robert Collins, Gleevec)
*July 2010 – t315i mutation detected (UT Southwestern)
*October 2010 – Started going to MD Anderson. Candidate for Inclusig trial, but no t315i mutation detected during second test (MD Anderson)
*November 2010 – Started second line TKI (Sprycel)
March 2011 – Participated on Bristol Myers Squibb patient advisory board (First time to meet a CML survivor in person)
*November 2011 – t315i mutation detected (MD Anderson, Inclusig trial was closed to new patients)
January 2012 – Katie and I got engaged!
*February 2012 – Enrolled in first clinical trial
*February 2012 – Experienced toxic side effects and stopped first trial
February 2012 – Started writing for MD Anderson’s Cancerwise Blog
March 2012 – Published “Life Through Headphones” on cancerwise.org
April 2012 – Katie moved to Dallas
April 2012 – Published “Unmasking a History of Non-Compliance” on cancerwise.org
May 2012 – Published “What cancer has taught me: emotional health begins with communication” on Cancerwise.org
*March 2012 – Started closed phase 3 Ponatinib (Iclusig) trial via compassionate use
May 2012 – Published “What cancer has taught me: life is a marathon” on cancerwise.org
May 2012 – Became DFW advocate for National CML Society
*July 2012 – Reached Complete Cytogenic Response
August 2012 – Published “The fruit of leukemia: Life-changing perspectives” on cancerwise.org
August 2012 – Katie and Justin got involved with local young adult cancer advocacy
September 2012 – Published “Discovering the nature of hope” on cancerwise.org
*October 2012 – Reached Major Molecular Response
October 2012 – Published “Chronic myeloid leukemia survivor: Life after the finish line” on cancerwise.org
November 2012 – Katie and participate in ARIAD marketing photo shoot
December 2012 – Katie published “Cancer caregivers: “Do what you can do and that’s all you can do …” on cancerwise.org
January 2013 – Published “Getting married after cancer: Guilt is part of the diagnosis” on cancerwise.org
March 2013 – Feature story “Training for a race is well within Justin Ozuna’s control — unlike leukemia” in the Dallas Morning News
May 2013 – Joined Critical Mass: Young Adult Cancer Coalition as social media manager
Summer 2013: Story published “The Treatment: Improving on Success” in MD Anderson’s Conquest Magazine
October 2013 – Katie and I got married! Link to photos
October 2014 – Katie joins Sarah Cannon as an Oncology Survivorship Navigator and Psychosocial Coordinator
December 2014 – Participated in ARIAD patient focus group
March 2015 – Presented at ARIAD National Sales Meeting
March 2015 – Participated in ARIAD Virtual Ad Board
November 2015 – Became Director of Communications at Fort Worth Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Coalition
*October 2015 – Started back at UT Southwestern (Dr. Robert Collins, Iclusig)
May 2016 – Finally graduated college! (Emerging Media and Communications) // Feature story “Cancer survivor graduates from UT Dallas” on WFAA Channel 8
August 2016 – Launched Metamedia Creative Co., a digital marketing agency