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 5/14/17

Thirty days after my 3rd infusions:

I am feeling good. My chemo is postponed, because I have a skin rash, and need Dermatology to check it out before continuing. The Doctors are being careful to avoid creating a problem.

(After seeing the Dermatologist):

It looks like Petyriasis Rosea. They took a biopsy to confirm it. The Dermatologist doesn’t think it’s related to chemo and he will message Oncology that I can continue with infusions. I’ll get some topical steroid to treat it, in the meantime.

I’ll update, when I know more.

 

Update 4/24/17

Ten days after my 3rd infusions:

I was really sick, and thought I had an infection.

My last round of infusions was Thursday and Friday, 4/13 & 4/14.

On Saturday I was nauseous, vomiting and had intestinal distress, in the form of cramping, no bowel movement. I also had joint and muscle aches. The nausea medicine helped, and I took Advil for the aches.

Sunday I ate lightly, slept most of the day, there was no vomiting, but all the other symptoms were there, along with being cold.

Monday I felt better, but ran out of gas by mid-morning and rested. I still had intestinal and bladder pain, but not as strong. No fever or chills.

Tuesday I felt better in the morning, but was tired by mid afternoon. I had diarrhea in the afternoon. Still some aches and background bladder pain.

I had lab tests on Wednesday. The results, despite feeling so bad, were encouraging. I didn’t have an infection, and the symptoms were not from Chemo. I probably picked up a virus and was dealing with it. The labs showed my immune system is strong and that I could fight it off normally. That is, as it turned out, exactly what has happened.

No issues today. I’ll have another update this weekend.

 

Update 4/14/17

I just finished my 3rd set of infusions, I am at the half way point of my treatment.

Weight: Steady at 197lbs, +/– 3lbs. My appetite is good, I’m eating well.

Headaches: Few. I may have 1 or 2 in a week, and they are mild.

Body and joint aches: Some joint aches, but nothing a hot shower doesn’t cure.

Fever: None.

Blood Pressure: 114-128/ 48-73, This is low to normal for me.

Rest Pattern: I’ve started sleeping longer; 4- 7 hours, shorter if I nap during the day.

Energy: I feel good. I still go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm. I am tired after Chemo. That lasts about 2 days.

General status: I’m back to a normal schedule.

 

Update 4/7/17

It’s 21 days since my 2st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

I feel fine. There is no update this week. Family was in town. I’ll pick up on 4/14/17.

 

Update 4/2/17

It’s 14 days since my 2st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

Weight: 197lbs, +/– 3lbs. My appetite is good, I’m eating 3 – 4 meals a day.

Headaches: None.

Body and joint aches: Muscle aches after pruning the lemon tree, nothing else.

Fever: None.

Rest Pattern: I’ve started sleeping longer; 4- 6 hours most days, but shorter periods, if I nap during the day.

Energy: I feel good. I still go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.

General status: I’m back to a more normal schedule, errands in the morning and putter around home the rest of the day.

 

Update 3/25/17

It’s 7 days since my 2st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

Weight: 195lbs, +/– 3lbs, although I popped up to 203 last Saturday and drifted back to 195lbs by Monday.  My appetite is still good.

Headaches: Slight headache after chemo. That is gone now.

Body and joint aches: I have some joint aches. I take Advil if they show up. None today.

Fever: None.

Rest Pattern: I still sleep 3-4 hours, then get up for an hour before returning to bed. I have to nap after chemo for 1-2 hours. This pattern hasn’t changed.

Energy: I feel fine. I go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.

General status: I’m inclined to stay close to home the 1st week after chemo, in case I get tired. My regular routine is to run around and do errands in the morning and relax the rest of the day.

 

Update 3/17/17

It’s 36 days since my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

Weight: 196lbs, +/– 3lbs.  The normal fluctuation is between lighter in the morning and heavier in the evening. My appetite is still good. I’m eating 2 or 3 meals a day.

Headaches: Slight headache after chemo.

Body and joint aches: I have minor joint aches after chemo. I will take Advil before bed.

Fever: None.

Rest Pattern: I still sleep 3-4 hours, then get up for an hour before returning to bed. I have to nap after chemo for 1-2 hours. It’s just the nature of the therapy.

Energy: I feel fine. I go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.

General status: I had my delayed chemo sessions yesterday and today. My lab work looks normal for me, meaning I am at my baseline numbers, with little deviation. My next sessions are in 4 weeks. Retention of lymph vanished 3 weeks ago and my lymph nodes are working fine. That is an indication that the cancer cells that were clogging them are significantly reduced. All in all, I am doing well. I’ll check back in next week.

 

 Update 3/10/17

It’s 29 days since my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

Weight: 193lbs, +/– 3lbs.  The normal fluctuation is between lighter in the morning and heavier in the evening. My appetite is still good. I eat 2 or 3 meals a day.

Headaches: None.

Body and joint aches: I take Advil when I have aches, which is seldom now.

Fever: None.

Rest Pattern: I still sleep 3-4 hours, then get up for an hour before returning to bed.

Energy: I feel fine. I took a nap in the afternoon last Tuesday. I go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.

My 2nd infusion sessions have been moved to next week. I have to finish some antibiotics. One of my labs indicated I might have an infection and that would affect the white blood cell count, which is used as an indicator of how the chemo is working. I will pick up on chemo next Thursday & Friday.

 

Update 3/2/17

It’s 21 days since my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:

Weight: 197lbs, +/– 3lbs. – one day I was 190lbs in the morning and 195lbs by evening. My appetite is still good. I eat 2 or 3 meals a day.

Headaches: None, until the last 2 days.

Body and joint aches: I’m taking Advil when I have aches, like abdominal discomfort, and lower back muscle aches – 2 or 3 days a week.

Hot flashes or Fever: None.

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

Energy: I wash the car, do shopping, fix things, do some tree trimming, and I feel fine. I took 2 naps in the afternoon, in the last week. It’s kind of relaxing. I should nap more. Lastly, I go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.

 

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 return 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

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.

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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12-24-16

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.

Posted in Socio- economics | 1 Comment

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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