EPILOGUE: Partial remission for man profiled in Code Red

For 10 years, Steve Rudaniecki has been dreading his trips to the doctor’s office.

He finally has a visit worth celebrating.

Rudaniecki, one of the patients profiled in The Spectator’s Cancer: A Code Red Project, found out late last week from his doctor that his cancer is now in partial remission.

“I’m in a helluva good mood today, ” Rudaniecki joked after hearing the news with his wife, Susi. “I’m positively thrilled.

“We came home and high-fived.”

Rudaniecki, who lives on Caroline Street in Hamilton’s North End, learned he had Stage IV chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2003, on the day of his 51st birthday. He was told the prognosis was one to five years of life left.

He tried several types of chemotherapy over the years but each time, his body would become immune to the effects.

Last November, Rudaniecki was told he had run out of treatment options and had between three months and a year left to live.

In late spring, however, he enrolled in a new clinical trial for his type of leukemia involving two chemotherapy drugs and an experimental drug called ibrutinib. The chemo drugs are real but Rudaniecki doesn’t know if he’s receiving the ibrutinib or a placebo.

Rudaniecki says if his blood count numbers continue to hold steady, the next step is to conduct a bone marrow test to determine if his cancer is in complete remission.

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