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Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 2006 Remembered Now and Forever

MYJ | Another significant milestone in my journey with MCL
Forever in the lives of The Foxworths "the ides of March" shift a couple of weeks to the end of the month for the reasons that this post explains. And while we thankfully live to continue and to tell the story, this time of the year brings special reflection on the events that changed our lives four years ago.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MYJ | This gadget would be helpful for patients in my position

Yesterday, I received another IVIG, immunoglobulin infusion, at City of Hope (COH). This has become a monthly routine that may continue indefinitely as doctors try to rebuild my immune system. Periodically (about every 90 days), I also receive infusions of the miracle drug Rituxan.

Since I haven't had an infusion catheter (known as a Pic line or Hickman) for more than a year and a half now, the nurses and techs at COH must run a new line each time I have these procedures. They are really experienced and good at this, but because of my initial 16 months of chemotherapy, these veins tend to be hard to find which often requires multiple sticks. On one occasion in radiology prior to a CT scan, running a successful IV proved impossible so after six attempts, so the radiologist asked the nurse to do the procedure without the IV. Ouch!

After yesterday's procedure, even though two "sticks" is tolerable, I wondered if there was a device to help make this process easier. Sure eno

Handheld “Vein Finder” for Faster, More Accurate IVs

A team of Georgia Tech engineers has developed a novel ultraportable system to identify veins for easier IV placement. The system is a miniaturized Doppler ultrasound:
The patent-pending vein finder is composed of two parts: A reusable unit houses the electronics and signal processing components, while a disposable coupler box holds a reflector and needle guide. The needle guide is positioned parallel to the sound beam being transmitted by a transducer in the device’s reusable section.
Vein Finder
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Monday, March 8, 2010

MYJ | Another CT scan soon to check the status of MCL

I have lost count of the number of CT or PET-CT scans I have had since the onset of mantle cell lymphoma in March 2006. I know there have been at least six and perhaps close to a dozen. But I know that there have been many. In at least once case last August, the return of MCL would not have been detected any other way. Shortly after that time, I had another form of radiation (TomoTherapy) to treat a single tumor in the abdomen.

Thankfully, the treatment was successful, as confirmed my a subsequent CT. You can bet I will be asking my physician about this story when we have a followup visit tomorrow (March 9) at City of Hope.
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CT scan safety: Concerns mount over radiation associated with CT scans – chicagotribune.com

As physicians find new ways to use diagnostic imaging to discover and deal with disease, concern is growing about Americans’ increased exposure to potentially cancer-causing radiation. Annual radiation doses from medical imaging have soared sevenfold since the early 1980s, according to a report last year from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

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