Chemo Update

I’ll post to this every week or two, the latest information will be at the top, followed by the evolving history.

Update 2/24/17

It’s 14 days following my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

Weight: I have stabilized at 197lbs, +/– 3lbs. My appetite is good.

Headaches: Not so much now, if at all.

Body and joint aches: I take 2 200mg Advil in the morning and, other than a knuckle that aches, I don’t notice any.

Hot flashes: These have stopped.

Rest: I sleep 3-4 hours at a stretch, then get up for an hour or two before returning to bed.

Energy: I am at 80%. I don’t nap in the afternoon anymore. I go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.


Update 2/16/17

In the 7 days following my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

     Weight loss: I have gone from 206 lbs. to 193 lbs. My appetite is good.

     Headaches: They come and go throughout the day. Nothing severe.

     Body and joint aches: They show up midday and go away after a nap.

     Hot flashes: 2 or 3 times a day.

     Rest: I sleep 2–3 hours at a stretch at night, get up for an hour and go back to bed.

     Energy: I am only at 60-80%. I take a short nap in the afternoon. That seems to help.

This morning I got up at 6:00 am, which is late for me. I felt good, for the first time since last Friday. I did some running around, had breakfast and spent time on Twitter. It’s noon and I’m getting tired, so a nap is in order. That’s all I have to report for now. I’ll update you all next week.


Update 2/11/2017 (hoping the year is relevant)

I have CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, it is not curable, but is very treatable. It is a non-Hodgkin’s leukemia.

The prognosis is good for me. It has been caught before attacking any organs and is contained to my lymph nodes.

I am being treated with a broad-spectrum chemical (Bendamustine) that kills b-cells, the precursor to White Blood cells and a biologic agent (Rituximab) that is targeted to a marker (antigen receptor), specific to my cancer. I just finished day 2 of treatment and feel fine. My lymph nodes are shrinking noticeably. One on the side of my neck is 1/3 it’s size 2 days ago.

My next session will be in 4 weeks. A typical course of treatment is 6 sessions over 6 months, if I’m tolerating the therapy well.

Just before my next session, I will have labs done, to measure progress and side effects, then go over them with my Oncologist. At some point during treatment, I will have a 3D CT scan, to get a visual of my lymph nodes, to see how much they’re shrinking. My immune system is being reset, from the ground up. When the cancer is knocked back to a low enough level, for some measurable time, (6 months), I’ll stop chemo and go back to monitoring every 6 months. That seems like a lot of 6’s – (4) – and, I’m just happy to be over three.

The expectation is that the cancer will remain at a low level for a good long while, before I must treat it again.


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Unwelcome Winds of Change

Individual threads on the tattered edge of a time bleached fabric of generations flutter,
disconnected from each other,
clinging against disappearing hope, to a final tiny anchor of their identity.

Humbled and alone before relentless raging winds of destructive structural decay,
they’re overwhelmed and torn away,
disappeared from what remains of their dissolving dreams of unified serenity.

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Winter arrived last night,
with a combination fury
worthy of a defensive back.
Sustained fits of pounding rain and wind
assaulted the darkness relentlessly from every angle,
enraged at whatever it found in its path.

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The Much Maligned National Debt

                                   Who Holds the $14.3 Trillion National Debt?


The US Public $3.6 Trillion

  • Includes debt held by individuals, corporations, banks and insurance companies, pension and mutual funds, state and local governments.

 Foreign Countries roughly $4.5 Trillion

  • China                                                    $1.2 Trillion
  • Japan                                                     $0.9 Trillion
  • Britain                                               < $1.0 Trillion
  • Oil exporting countries                 < $1.0 Trillion
  • Other countries                                  $1.3 Trillion

The US Government $6.2 Trillion

  • Federal Reserve System Includes collateral for U.S. currency and liquidity for emergency needs.             $1.6 Trillion
  • Social Security Trust Funds Surpluses generated by the program invested in government bonds            $2.7 Trillion
  • Other gov’t trust funds     $1.9 Trillion

 Sources: Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service, Bureau of the Public Debt; Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Office of Management and Budget

When the Debt Was Accumulated

Obama                $2.4 Trillion

GW Bush             $6.1 Trillion

Clinton                 $1.4 Trillion

G Bush                 $1.5 Trillion

Reagan                 $1.9 Trillion

Carter                   $0.4 Trillion

Before Carter      $0.6 Trillion

 Sub Totals

Dem President in Office                                $4.2T

Republican President in Office                     $9.5T

 Sources: Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service, Bureau of the Public Debt; Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Office of Management and Budget

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Leadership Qualities and Presidential Candidates ~ The Deal with Trump

Sara's ramblings

I’ve read a lot of hand-wringing statements over the years about ‘What’s Wrong with this Nation.’ I agree with some, and many are blown way out of proportion. Many are essentially the same kinds of generational worries that have stressed out humans for millenia (“Kids these days ain’t got no upbringin’ at all,” Dad used to joke).

We tend to have selective memories about the “good old days,” waxing nostalgic about ‘simpler’ times because the bad stuff didn’t apply to us. Or, like childbirth, we survived the excruciating parts but got a wriggly, living bundle of joy with happiness that completely overwhelms the memory of experienced pain.

That said, I’ll throw in my own “What’s Wrong with this Nation” statement: We have experienced too few admirable leaders in recent years. Servant leaders, with great strength in their ability to listen, respond, and lead. Not roll over under the auspices of negotiation…

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The Moron’s Case For Hillary Clinton…because some of you really are that stupid.

An old colleague and I were having breakfast this morning when he looked up at the news (I can’t remember which network …MSNBC, I think) and noticed a split screen of Donald Trump and Hillary Clint…

Source: The Moron’s Case For Hillary Clinton…because some of you really are that stupid.

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The Sun is Starting To Rise

The media is, predictably, focused on maintaining a 2 horse race. They spent the last 3 weeks discussing what Trump needs to do, to get back in the race. So when he modulates his rhetoric, they present it as a miraculous tactical adjustment to his disastrous, polarizing campaign.

Given that, Donald faces a number of structural problems:
• He has no traction with Black, Latino, LGBTQ, Democratic, Educated and Women voters. This is, when totaled, a plurality.
• The number of people who are vulnerable to his new softer rhetoric are not enough to change the tide.
• The States he needs to win are all Deep Blue, or leaning Blue. His popularity is in States that don’t have enough electoral votes to carry him.
• He has no ground game to Get Out The Vote, making his poll numbers unlikely to materialize in November.
• Any shift to the middle, will alienate his radical followers. There are already indications of people leaving his rallies, after he starts talking.
• The Time required for him to change Blue to Red is running out faster than his campaign can gain speed.
• The HRC counterattack is kicking off and will continue relentlessly, through November.
• The Press, WaPo & NY Times for two, see him as a threat to their business and their reputation.

Having said all this, anything is possible. The biggest hurdles that remain for HRC are the Debates and turning out the vote.
It’s not sunny yet, but it’s not completely dark on the horizon either.

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