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Interanimate: To animate or inspire mutually

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day +97 Ouch, Progress, Gollum, Salad, Bday

Todays bone marrow biopsy was ouch. My Dad was with me at today's appointment and got to finally see me undergo this procedure. No screaming, just pillow clutching and grimacing. I was hoping he would read his paper cuz I had doubts about his ability to dispassionately watch the proceedings. But no. He had to watch. I thank God I did not have to watch, mainly cuz I laid on my belly as they cork screwed into my tailbone someplace. I hear the tool is very impressive. And, thank God this will be my last bmb until next January.

I've posted my blood counts on the blog page. The highlight is that my whites made a dramatic 25% jump from 2.8 to 3.5. Since I stopped the antibiotic Septra 12 days ago this was the hoped for result. My platelets rose a few points too, signaling a believable end to their mysterious slide of April 1 through April 8. I have 7 more days on the trial drug Maribavir. I am told the end of this drug will also result in improved blood counts. Progress is sweet. My doctor gave me the speech about how the infection protection I'm getting from the drugs I'm taking outweigh the protection I'd get from simply higher blood counts. So it's a trade off, the drugs suppress the blood counts to some degree.

Hairy update. I used my electric shaver's clipper attachment to run around my head over the weekend. The way my hair is growing, up close it appears that random follicles are growing at different speeds and different thicknesses but always gray; I was well on my way to looking like Gollum, 'my precious'. My brief reverse mohawk look would have been a soothing sight by comparison to a single strand comb over. If I let my teeth rot I could join the Hobbit circus, getting extra tips for showing the braided 3 hairs growing on my left big toe. Well, that's another story. The body is still up-ended at this point. I can still feel the ongoing confusion. Believe it or not, I havent written about everything that has happened to me since my transplant!

Last Friday there was a brief hint by a nurse about a possible end to my neutropenic diet. The goal of this diet is to minimize the introduction of bacteria. I've been on this since January 2. The diet is difficult to follow during strawberry season. I cant eat fresh fruits, raw nuts, salads, leftovers, many cheeses; the list goes on and on.
Today my doc said I can now eat 'anything I want' provided it is prepared at home. I can now eat strawberries, apples, cheeses, salads, etc. The one thing I'm still not allowed to eat is restaurant-prepared food. I especially must not eat at buffet style restaurants where food is left out for all to sneeze on. Kinda scary, that. I think I'll take Soup Exchange permanently off my list after the nurse told me some stories about it.

Maddies 16th birthday was yesterday. We threw her a home cooked family party. After supper we sucked up the helium in half a dozen balloons, talking like Mike Tyson and Betty Boop. We had a blast. We love her and I am very glad to still be around to enjoy this event in her life.

Good health to all! Thank You for all you good wishes!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before I read your post, I saw the climb of your wbc. Great Success!!!
June

SoftwareEngineer said...

Fantastic news about the blood counts. But the best news was about the fruit. Not sure how a person could *live* without fruit.
God Bless,
William

Anonymous said...

ROCK ON
Everything sounds like its going well. We are so happy to hear that. We even liked the news about the braided hairs on your toes thats a cute pic. LOL. We love you so much. Congrats on the no diet plan... I think I need to get on the plan. LOVE YA LOTS
Shelli

David and Cassandra said...

We are all so happy to have you around also for Maddie's birthday and many many more to come.

Mike B said...

Jim,

Counts going up, Maddie turning 16, last bmb until Jan, hair growning back, expanding diet (in a good way)--sounds great! I am so happy for you. You've been through so much. Glad to hear life is on the upswing. Take care. I'm praying for you.

Mike B

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow is day 100! I hope you are planning a celebration. That in itself is a milestone. So much to be grateful for. You inspire us!
Barry & Bev
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