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October 7, 2003


First I would like to thank everyone who has sent messages in the last few days. The support I get from this group really helps me get through each and every day. I especially liked the observation that this tissue mass was the onion to go with my liver. Also amusing is the charge that I just made all this up to get out of work and get sympathy. My weekend was actually pretty good, once I got over the frustration and anger of having a new problem to deal with, that might delay the bone marrow transplant. I had the second CT Scan yesterday afternoon. The barium sulfide contrast drinks are not very much fun, but the rest of the process is pretty interesting. The CT Scan yesterday was a lot more detailed than the first one. Unfortunately, it did not completely settle the identity of the mass. It did prove that the mass existed, and that the films had not been mixed up with someone else, somehow. The doctors think that the mass is something that is called a hepatic hemangioma. It is definitely connected to my liver, hence the hepatic part of the name. A hemangioma is a mass of blood vessels. It can be either capillaries or larger vessels. The doctors have never seen one as large as this one though, as most are less than an inch in diameter. Anything more than about 1.75 inches is considered a giant hemangioma. Since mine is about 6 to 8 inches long and a couple of inches thick, I guess I have an "Enormous Hemangioma". To confirm the identity of the tissue mass, the next test is something called SPECT Nuclear Imaging. Some of my blood is drawn, and it is given a radioactive marker made up of technetium-99m. Then the blood is infused back into me. After a wait of about an hour, an image is made of the mass. This technique has been shown to have 100 percent reliability in identifying large hemangiomas (greater than 5cm). I will probably have to consult with a vascular surgeon to see if anything can or should be done with it prior to a bone marrow transplant. My doctors are pretty sure it won't have any impact, but due to the incredible size of this one, they want to be sure. The imaging test will be done on Thursday, so my appointment at City of Hope that day will be rescheduled.

On the medical front, the hemoglobin and RBCs continue to climb. I still feel good. Today's lab results are below. Nothing much else going on!

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low




WBC 4.5 5.7 6.6 4.9
RBC 4.30 2.70 2.88 3.10
HGB 13.9 8.6 10.2 11.0
PLT 130 230 239 227

Have a great day!


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