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June 30, 2003


Good afternoon! This is my latest health update. For those of you who are new to this list, this is my second update. I am planning to put these messages on a web page also. I will be happy to add others to this list if you know of people who would be interested. Please let me know.

I have completed the required three treatments with idarubicin, and am about to complete my third of seven days of treatment with ARA-C. So far the chemotherapy has been pretty benign. I am not experiencing any side affects other than some metallic taste to my food. Some new treatements have been added. In addition to all the antibiotics taken orally, I am now getting eye drops every 6 hours to protect my eyes from the chemotherapy. There have been some other "eyeopeners" also. I have been walking up to 2 hours a day, and the doctor warned me to be careful. I can walk too much! If I get a blister it could be very bad! I have to wear a mask now every time I leave my room. The doctors told me yesterday that I was responding extemely well to my chemotherapy. I stole a peek at my chart today, and all of my blood counts have dropped a lot since Friday. I will put some of the numbers below. I will have to create a chart so that Craig at SPAWAR can have something to show for the monthly program review! :) I will put that on the web page, I guess.

Yesterday, the arm with the PICC line (thats the Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) inserted in it was swelling. This morning, I had an ultrasound of my arm. It turns out that there is clotting along the catheter. They will be giving me some blood thinning drugs by IV in the other arm today to combat that problem.

On a lighter note, I had all sorts of problems with breakfast this morning. First, they sent up the completely wrong breakfast, so I asked for a replacement. It took over an hour to get the replacement breakfast, but they got that one wrong too. I requested the missing parts, but just then, I got a phone call from Menchie. As I got up to get the phone, which was on the other side of the bed, I bumped the tray and knocked it onto the floor. So now my breakfast was all over the floor. The nurse came running in because she thought I had fallen. Quite a comedy of errors. Well, I finally got everything put together and got it eaten about 1030.

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low



WBC 4.5 .6 .3
RBC 4.30 2.24 2.23
HGB 13.9 8.7 8.5
PLT 130 24 27

Once I dropped below .5 on the WBC I had to go on what's called a Neutropenic diet, or a Low Bacteria diet. The WBC count is what we are trying to get to 0.

OK, the nurse is here to start my new IV, so I have to go! Everyone have a great day!

Ted Wilcox

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