Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Help Me Blood Cancer Patients

I'm running the NYC Marathon in November to raise funds for Team in Training, specifically in honor of Dori Brown. Please pass on this message to anyone you know who is able to help this cause, our cause.

Thanks for your help.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting the Lead Out

Turbo, me and Asta in Rhode Island after my first transplant

My ferritin levels are down to 720 from a high of 7000! Ferritin is iron that combines with other chemicals and settles into your liver. You get the condition from blood transfusions. Not surprisingly, my liver numbers are better, too.

Fasting blood sugar was within the normal range at 93. Cholesterol is still high, 354. I may be on Lipitor for life. This is a condition due to the transplant and not gvh. I'll take it.

We're off to the country this weekend for some west and welaxation. BBQ by the brook, a little fishing for Billy Bob and Joe Pete. Grass for Turbo, whose birthday it is today.

Happy Birthday Turbo, you 14-year old man!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Same Old, Same Old

I was explaining to Harry the other day about graph versus host disease, or as we professionals call it, gvh. The nastiest cases, especially when the digestive system is attacked, can be deadly. Milder cases can be merely annoying, especially when it's the skin. Much of the time, gvh attacks a panoply of systems: the liver, the eyes, the joints, the muscles, etc. The drug of choice to keep this under control is prednisone which causes its own set of devilish problems. Water weight, high sugar, high blood pressure, muscle weakness and more, pop up and make you feel like crap.

HOWEVER, gvh has a positive side in that while your donor is kick-boxing your cells, he or she is also fighting any remnants of leukemia that might be lingering in the body. Treat it you must, but in the end, you shake hands and carry on.

Over time, gvh rides off into the sunset. It can take five years, but the chance of leukemia rearing its ugly head again are remote.

Sorry for the bio lesson. I hope you enjoyed the mix of metaphors.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Leukemia is a thief. He tortures you and heeps untold anxiety on the heads of loved ones. I weep today for someone facing this monster head on. I despise you leukemia and will fight you with all my strength.

You can take our bodies but not our souls.

Love to the Brown Family.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Best Mothers Day

I had all my chicks together on Sunday, the only gift I wanted. Harry took the train from Poughkeepsie and met us at the 125th Street stop. Mariel took the train from Providence and met us in New Haven. We took a taxi to the Yale Bowl where we met up with Mark.

Mark ran a great race, coming in second to a senior from Princeton. He now goes on to the regional championships in Indiana in 3 weeks. I'm so proud of him.

We took a taxi to Frank Pepe's Pizzeria and gorged on the best pie this side of NYC. They are famous for their clam pie, and it did not disappoint. The flavor lingers long after you've left New Haven.

Harry came back with us to New York and spent the night in our new apartment. He'll be spending the summer here and was excited to see his new room. While he slept until 11:30 am, I went to the hospital for my treatment and to see my doctor. Blood looks good, 5.6 wbc, 11.2 hgb, 113,000 platelets. Liver numbers are down, as is my ferritin count.

Harry and I lunched in a Turkish restaurant nearby. We had felafel and shared the most heavenly baklava I've ever eaten. Then we headed off to Grand Central so Harry could get back to school for final exams. I came home and did laundry, errands and more unpacking. By 5 pm, I decided I'd done enough for the day. and sat down with a plate of cheese and crackers.

There's always tomorrow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Eye Solutions

I saw my ophthalmologist Thursday and he agrees the drop regimen isn't working. He recommends I consult colleague Dr. Lee to see if she thinks special lenses are right for me. They constantly provide tears and also correct vision. I haven't worn contacts in over 6 months.

No tears this weekend, but crying. On Friday I watched Mark run the 1600 meter anchor leg of the distance medley relay. Why so emotional? Two years ago, I went to the relays to watch Mark and received a call from my doctor saying I'd relapsed. Then I had real tears. Yesterday, I logged onto Jim's site to see that Dori was hospitalized with a fever. Marty and I both cried, but Marty had tears.

May all your healing power be directed at Dori. She's a tough one and will kick this monster to the curb.