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January 23, 2007 , Day 98


We have had another busy and successful week! I have been working out a lot and improving a lot. The latest figures - riding my bike for 30 minutes at much higher intensity. In that single ride I went 3 times as far as the previous 20 minute ride. I walked over 40 minutes in three sets. Yesterday I went up and down three flights of stairs. Today I did a lot of walking around and hardly got my heart rate up. We have had a lot of fun coming up with recipes and cooking food that I can eat. We have also been playing around with a kitchen remodel, trying to design a better kitchen for our house. I even helped cook breakfast the other day. That was fun.

We got news today that my long term disability was approved today. That is certainly are relief. We are now working on Social Security Disability. I understand that takes 6 to 8 months to complete, so I won't hold my breath.

Today I had a doctor's appointment. We went to the hospital early for labs, then had a great doctor visit. They are really happy with my progress. At the end of the appointment, they did the bone marrow biopsy. I participated in a study during the biopsy. Menchie took a bunch of pictures during the biopsy. The biopsy aspiration was VERY painful and they did it twice! Fortunately it doesn't last very long. The biopsy site has been painless ever since. This biopsy is going to be very important. You will note that my lab results all are going down. My doctor is going to use the biopsy to see why my blood counts are not doing better. Depending on the results of the biopsy, I may get one of several boosters to my bone marrow system. It will be interesting to see what the results are. I hope to get results by next week. Of course one result is to see leukemic cells, but from looking at the blood samples, they don't expect to see any evidence of leukemia. Additionally, there will be a chimerism study done on the biopsy to see whose blood I am using. The ideal is that I am using only my brother's. I asked my doctor about riding my bike outside. He suggested that I wait until my platelet level is higher than 50. I also asked him if my prognosis was good enough to go ahead and get my new bike built up. He said I should go ahead and get it. I will need to have a riding partner to ride with. Menchie will ride with me, but wants a stronger rider to assist. If anyone is interested, please let me know.

Thursday is day 100. This is sort of an arbitrarily magic day when I can abandon the neutropenic diet and eat raw fruits and vegetables. In addition, I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Thursday. If it is interesting I will send an update. If not, I will wait until the Tuesday update. I have been faithfully wearing my monitor, but have activated it only once, so I am not sure this appointment will be very interesting. I have been able to control my heart rate pretty well. It is getting harder and harder to get it to go up, and I am feeling more comfortable when it is high. I have not allowed it to go past 82 %, which is where I was fainting before, but I think I can safely go higher now. I will be experimenting carefully with this in the next week.

My next appointment will be next Tuesday.

On the medical front, I am off Levaquin. I started to get a mild rash on my back, but after discontinuing the Levaquin, the rash went away. I still have not experienced any lightheadedness or dizziness. I just get tired. There have been no other changes to my medications.

Lab results: My counts are all down. For the first time, my doctor expressed concern about that, but as reported above, will use the biopsy to see what is going on and devise an appropriate treatment. My creatinine was only 1.0 which is great! Potassium and Sodium have moved into the normal range. I still need to get magnesium and albumin higher, although albumin is much higher than it has been.

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low






WBC 4.5 4.6 4.1 4.2 5.1 3.8
RBC 4.3 2.77 2.84 2.42 3.17 2.59
HGB 13.9 9.3 9.8 8.6 11.2 9.2
PLT 130 49 41 21 25 18

Have a great week everybody!

Ted and Menchie

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