Remember that pop culture catch phrase from twenty years ago
? Well, it aptly describes my blood platelete counts. They've fallen and I can't get them up. Yesterday, they were back down to 12,000 / unit which is 118,000 below normal. So I will spend New Year's Eve in the IV infusion room (Chemo room) at Michiana Hematology - Oncology getting some rituxin
which is used for various purposes, but will be used in me to stimulate platelete production. Infusion time is generally 5-6 hours unless it needs to be slowed down due to adverse reactions. Since I know that its pretty common for me to experience adverse reactions, I'm guessing that I'll be putting in an eight hour day.
Still no word from the research doctors at the University of Chicago as to what is causing my blood platelete counts to drop to critically low levels. For anyone wanting a refresher lesson on the various components of blood, here is an easy explanation from the archives
In writing this post, I did a search through the archives and came across this nostalgic look at my last stem cell transplant. Great video of Margy and Rev Kev blessing Mary's stem cells before they are given to me
In other news, the prednisone
they've got me on has got me totally out of control. Prednisone is a famous steriod in our family. Many Kloskas understand prednisone because Dad has had to use it so much in his life. Well, it can make you irritable and aggressive, but it can also make you voraciously hungry. I'm finding myself eating five or six clementine oranges at a time, ripping through the meat drawer in the fridge, and polishing off a triple stacked steak burger at Steak and Shake without it even putting a dent in my appetite. (Even writing about this makes me want to go downstairs and raid the refrigerator right now!) I'm walking around the house, flexing my muscles, growling, and pounding my chest for no apparent reason. And if you note the time of this posting, I'm now officially experiencing insomnia. At this rate, I should be gaining several pounds per day in weight. My children actually enjoy the fact that I've been wrestling with them lately, but Rover seems to be a little freaked out about it all.
Anyway, Margy and I walk a balancing act between showing our children my vulnerable health issues and sheltering them. On one hand, we share with them enough for them to not be completely surprised and shocked by it all when it sometimes worsens. And it is what it is. Human beings suffer and we think its healthy for them to understand that nobody escapes. On the other hand, we don't want their childhood to be overshadowed by doom and gloom. We don't want their conception of their father to be dominated by visual images of IV poles, and suffering and weakness. So I want the kids to stay away from my infusion. Let them enjoy Christmas and New Year's without a visit to the chemo room.
Which leads me to my next point. After years of this, I've been humbled to the point where I feel comfortable just asking. Since I want Margy to stay with the kids and NOT come up to bring me lunch, is there any kind soul out there in South Bend who might be able to bring me a Jimmy John's JJBLT for lunch?
I won't be able to leave and with this prednisone, I know that I'm going to be VERY hungry. Coke Zero and a bag of Salt and Vinegar Chips completes my order. My temporary cell phone is 2749744. Better call me to confirm. There is a Jimmy John's just a few blocks away in South Bend. Thanks.