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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Wireless" At Last!

Today, I am due to be discharged after a 6-day stay for what is determined to be an e-coli infection, probably caused by the photopheresis treatments during the last two weeks.

This latest "setback" occurred last Wednesday when at mid-day, I came down with severe chills, followed by an elevated fever. We were directed to come to the COH emergency treatment center where blood tests found my white cell count (WBC) at .5.

But now, the WBC was 2.9 yesterday thanks to the antibiotics and another round of Neupogen shots. This has proved to be a "God-send" miracle drug for many chemotherapy patients, providing a boost of white cells when chemotherapy is needed, but white cell counts are too low for doctors to administer cancer-fighting drugs.

As I go home today, two key observations:

1) I will be "wireless" for the first time since June. No more catheters for drug infusion, although that means that all of my blood draws from this time forward will be done peripherally and that is a challenge because finding veins in my arms is nearly impossible after 16 months of chemo. Today's blood draw and yesterday's insertion of a temporary IV line were accomplished with small needles and sticks in my hands.

2) Our critical and significant "first 100 days" end Friday. The chart in this journal indicates what percentage those 100 days are for a year (line 2), for 10 years (3), and for the total days of my lifetime (4). While, at times, these 100 days have passed slowly, this is really a very short time in the grand scheme of things.

This period brings us to a heartfelt appreciation that my recovery is truly a medical and human miracle for which we a extremely grateful, knowing that Devine providence has allowed this with the knowledge, expertise, and compassion of some very gifted physicians and caregivers.
And always, I must give my greatest accolades to the love of my life, Dee Dee, who has been a faithful, giving, and supportive spouse throughout this trial. She is and has been the greatest blessing of my life for more than 36 years.

Last 4 Posts on MyJournal
Day 92: Back to COH
What Will This News Bring to Life?
A Stem Cell 'Milestone'
What About Lymphocytes?
PQ: Thought for Today

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