Calendars , home

October 21, 2003


I have started the Long March. This is going to be the longest leg of my marathon. This afternoon I got the first dose of Chemotherapy leading to a Bone Marrow Transplant. In the last week, there have been some moments of apprehension about today. Today, I felt great emotionally. I feel highly motivated to get it started and over with. I am looking at 5 days as an outpatient, followed by about 35 days as an inpatient. After that, probably a minimum of 90 days as an outpatient again. I have talked to other transplantees, and some have stayed here as long as a year. It depends on how one reacts to the transplant.

I never did get the results of the biopsy done last week. I will have to ask tomorrow. However, it seems that the biopsy triggered an episode of chronic back problems that have plagued me for the last 25 years. One day last week I could hardly walk, and that was in excruciating pain. It is slowly getting better. I didn't get a cold, but last night had trouble sleeping and have had a light cough and mild sore throat today.

On a lighter note, we have decided to have a contest. Anyone can enter. The contest is for a design for the costume of the superhero(?) Neutropenic-Hemopheliac-Bubble Boy. Menchie and I will be the judges. The winner will get their design published in a future update!

On the Medical Front, lots of new things going on. First, my chemo drug of choice this week is Fludarabine. It prevents cancer cells from growing. It takes about an hour to get this chemo. Before getting the Fludarabine they give me Zofran, an anti-nausea drug. I am on a bunch of oral drugs right now. First, I am back on Levaquin, an antibiotic. Bactrim is another antibiotic, used to treat or prevent infections. Zyloprim is used to prevent kidney stones. Zovrax is an anti-viral drug. I am taking Pepsid to prevent gastric problems. I also have Ambien to help me sleep. I guess it is a real knockout pill. I will be participating in a number of studies. One will follow me for the rest of my life to see if there are long term effects of the treatment I am undergoing. Another will track any fungal infections for the Center for Disease Control. A third will track a possible viral infection, to try to help them figure out why it happens to about 50% of susceptible patients. I guess these are going to be my contribution to humanity.

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low




WBC 4.5 4.7 4.6 7.0
RBC 4.30 3.39 3.16 3.60
HGB 13.9 11.6 11.3 12.7
PLT 130 235 188 202

Talk to you all again tomorrow as I start pretty much daily updates again.


Calendars , home