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March 24, 2004 DAY #148


Hello Everybody! It has been a very busy week for us! We have been on two short hikes, three if you count my friend's driveway on Saturday, it has a large elevation gain in a very short distance. Both hikes were about 1 mile. The first one was pretty flat, in Marian Bear Park near our home. The second was also about a mile, but we walked up the Clairemont Mesa Road grade from Rt 52. I got about 0.3 miles up the grade. I was pretty tired by the time we got back down, but it felt great. Maybe in a few weeks I will try to tackle Cowles Mountain. I am still shooting for Mt San Jacinto in July, so I really have to work hard to get in shape. I also visited my office on Friday, which is quite a hike also. I just stopped in to say hello to friends. It was fun. I will probably try to do that more often.

My doctor appointments this week were pretty standard. The only problem is that my creatinine keeps creeping up. It is up to 1.5 now. RBC and Hemoglobin are up nicely!

There is an interesting conjunction of dates coming up. Friday is March 26. It is also day 150 since my transplant. It is the 9 month anniversary of my going into the hospital for the first chemotherapy. It is our 3 month wedding anniversary also. It is the 9 month anniversary that I have been reflecting on today. I asked the doctor back then what my prognosis was if my illness was left untreated. He said the probability was that I would be dead within 9 months. So as I reflect on the last nine months, remembering hard times as well as joyous times, I feel victory. Every step up that hill is a victory! I don't think about dying any more, at least not any more than I did prior to nine months ago. I have severely beaten the odds up to now. The battle isn't over yet, but every day is now a precious gift that I am blessed to share with my beautiful bride. Mahal kong asawa, Menchie! I think we are going to try to figure out some way to celebrate on Friday.

Another career milestone was also confirmed this week. On May 1, 2004, I will be transferring to the Retired Reserve, effectively retiring from the Navy. It doesn't seem possible I have been in the Navy for over 25 years now. I will be happy to retire, but overall, the Navy experience has been a pretty good one. I can tell lots of sea stories when I get old, many years from now!

On the medical front the doctor cut my prednisone as expected. I am effectively down to 7.5mg per day. He expects to lower that to 5mg next week, and within a couple of more weeks get me off prednisone entirely. Then he will start reducing the other medicines little by little. The rashes are still fading. I think I might have some GI GVH, but I am experimenting with milk products and acidic foods a little bit to see what I can stand. The last experiment went just a little bit too far I think, so we are going to back off for a couple of days. My next appointment will be on Wednesday.

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low





WBC 4.5 - 5.7 5.8 4.5
RBC 4.20 - 3.77 3.73 4.00
HGB 13.0 - 12.4 12.5 13.2
PLT 130 - 244 228 196

Thanks to all for letting me share! Until next Wednesday!


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