About me

I”m Gregg Timmons, and I’m currently 45 years old. The second week of December 2001, I found a bruise on my forearm, and my life changed forever. That was the first outward symptom of a form of acute leukemia, Acute Promyelocytic Myelogenous Leukemia (APML). After a few weeks of worsening symptoms, I entered Stanford Hospital and began treatment.

After a month of difficult treatment, I went into remission. With after a few more rounds of chemo and other nasty side effects, I slowly recovered. Sometime around May 1, 2002 I went into “full remission with no evidence of the disease.”

I returned to work in June 2002 and have done well ever since. I have been a frequent volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, particularly for their Team in Training program. I currently live in San Francisco.



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  1. Dear Gregg,

    While I was traveling with Cindy this week, she told me about your blog. I read it with interest since I know you! What a bold disclosure and brave sharing. You are an inspiration. Oddly, I especially related to your description of losing your cat, Sunny. You described it as picking a scab. That was how I described the swell of emotions I would feel at times after my husband’s death. The most seemingly benign things could “pick the scab.” I hated those times because I was no longer in control. Fortunately, time heals those scabs, or at least they decrease in size. They are less “pickable.”

    I hope your life is rich and always full of wonder. To me, that is the best part…allowing all senses to perceive the people, activity, and scenery at the time. May we never become so jaded that we take even the smallest stimuli for granted. Those are the things that shape us in our sensitivity and love for the universe and one another.


  2. Dear Gregg,
    I read your story and was very happy to know that you’ve been APML free for 5 years. I’m 30 year old woman who was diagnosed with APML in FEB 2006. I’m an American originally from Morocco and I moved to Londonn 5 months before I was diagnosed. I’ve been through hell and faced death several times.I Went into remission few months after I started the treatment and went back to work in Jan 2007.My bone marrow is leuakemia free but I’m still under ATRA maintenance treatment for another 15 months. The medication causes me unbearable headaches, chills, nausea, vision problems and I’m currently depressing. I only have to take it 2 weeks every 3 months but I’m in so much pain (I’m going through the 2 weeks these days)that I feel like quiting and live what I have left to live in peace. I feel like I have no courage left to face this ugly illness. Doctors say I might have 90% chance to make it but I know better than believing in statistics.I read all the time about people who’s life was improved and inspired after cancer but I feel like it broke me very deep inside. I feel a deep sadness that never goes away. I try any help I can get. I exercice hard, I eat very health, meditate, I try to travel and entertain myself as much as I can but can’t stop thinking it might come back and hunt me and this time I’ll have no strengh left to face it.
    Do you live a normal life now? Did you have to take any kind of maintenance treatment for 2 years? any advise you can give me? People like you give me a lot of hope

  3. Hi Gregg,
    I am a teacher, and I found your site by searching Google Images for a sea turtle. Your pic was great, and it brought me to your site. As a fellow Team In Training participant, I just want to say keep it up! Congrats and best of luck in the future! We’ll keep running until there is a cure.
    All the best,
    Ithaca, NY

  4. Gregg!
    I hope this gets to you. I was so worry when my christmas card came back undelivered. Your blog seems to indicate that you are doing great! So many friends. I enjoyed the pictures. Email me so I can get caught up!

  5. Dear Gregg – Welcome to our family. Yes, Travis touched a lot of lives with his big heart, smile, and compassion for life.

    Best wishes to you; and carry on with both of your dreams.

    Take care,

    Gary (Travis’ Father)

  6. Hi Gregg
    My mother has AML and will get to come home Monday. Her WBC are up and she had a bacteria infection that is also gone. The only bad part is that she will not eat or drink anything. She is so very very confused and very very weak. We have tried everything. She is 66 and the docs say for one it is because she has been in the hospital for over a month and some of her antibiotics cause confusion. I am so worried about her but all I know is I am bringing her home. I have Home Health set up for the PT, HHA, and Nurse. Please pray for her that she will get over this. I really think she just wants to come home and am hoping once she gets here some of the confusion will go away. I am so glad your cancer is gone. Have a wonderful holiday.
    Lisa Blankenship

  7. Hi Gregg
    I am an eye surgeon from India.recently i found your blog from google search.I am very happy that you are doing well.I also got this on dec 2004 in the same way.Are you taking any herbs?
    Have a wonderful day

    Dr.Sandeep Gulati

  8. Dear Gregg,
    My name is Daniel and i was diagnosed with APML in FEB 2011. I live with my berautiful wife to be and darling daughter in a village in Essex England. I am at early stages of my treatment although doing very well. Was searching the web for other people with apml to see what and how long the future can hold. Great to hear your story. Any words of encouragment kindly recieved????


  9. My 18 year old son was diagnosed with apml 6 weeks ago, due the rapid onslaught if the disease, his life was at risk! Chemo and atra was commenced to save his life.
    We are now on our second cycle of chemo and atra, he is currently experiencing atra syndrome, as there is cancerous cells in his bone marrow.
    Arsenic treatment has been mentioned, has anyone else had to endure this treatment after their three consolidation cycles.
    Any information or advice would be great fully appreciated.
    From bev lee

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