Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh Boy

Counts, counts, what are my counts?

WBC: 2.1
RBC 3.15
Hemoglobin: 12.3
Platelet: 65

Does that help you?
It doesn't help me, I feel great. Address the patient, not the numbers, yeah?
Well, I feel fantastic. Almost back to normal, but then, who defines 'normal'? Was I ever normal? And aren't the levels in my blood only relevant for those in my same situation; How many of us are to compare?
It doesn't matter, that's what I'm saying here. What matter's most of all is my mental health and overall happiness. I can claim to have both, but some of you may disagree with the former. To me, that just means your opinion of me has not changed at all, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
What I've got ahead of me is my new birthday - April 28. The day before I am to go into the DCAM and get another bone marrow biopsy, where we wish for what? That's right, NED is what we wish for. No Evidence of Disease. And I've got a pulmonary test, the one where I'm in a box and get yelled at to "BLOW" and try to exert off my lung power while sitting on an ice cold ledge made of metal. I am going to have to find some way to make that fun. the fun right now is surviving, isn't it?
This spring has opened up new opportunities and I'm making no small plans. I'm actually making moves to get out of the albatross of a house and try to move on with other aspects of living, some thing you all overlook ,some I have overlooked for too long. I'm still trying to improve on a daily basis, and look forward to more warm days in which I can get a little exercise and increase my lung power, so I can increase the amount of blood flowing, if my blood refuses to hold any more oxygen. I'll just move more blood!
And while this summer may not hold Chickenfest, it surely will have a lineupoflosers and I will do my damnedest to try and win some free tickets or something! I'd like to get back to full-time rocking out. I've noticed that beer doesn't affect e quite the way it used to, so I can get away on the cheap this year. I still love beer, oh hell, yeah, it is just that I have the tolerance of a high school girl, and cheap beer just plain tastes bad to me these days. I've learned to refine my ordering and enjoy the one or two cocktails of fine spirits when I go out and just leave it at that. It's a damn, shame, I know, but I can at least enjoy the tastes of things better and there's many positives in that.
If any of you want to take a bike ride over to Wrigley this spring, we can hang out and wait for home run balls on the street; bring your mitt! I'm waiting for a day over 60 myself. I found myself in front of the park this week, and while very tempted to go in, I had to pass due to the chilly weather. Cheap tickets or not, hell free, even, I cannot risk the chance of catching cold while sitting in 45 degree temps with a 20mph wind in my face. That's not fun unless you can brace against the wind with a pint in the pocket and well, I think I just discussed that! Now, if any of you have a seat in your suite that you would like to offer me, well, I can do that. I could even bring some extra tasty snacks.
I'm deliberately not talking about going back to work because of a current jam I'm in and soon hope to find a solution. I will elaborate when I've hurdled this obstacle.

Get outside and have fun, play frisbee, get half-naked on your lawn, just revel in the weather and ability of the humanity of the smile. Especially a child's! I miss those snot-nosed little buggers when I not allowed to be around them. Good thing my kid is a dog. And really, she's old enough to hang out, I think.

Them is your orders! Make a child smile today!
Peace to you all,

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guest Post! - Tim Elliot

Ladies and Gentlemens, I give to you today a guest blog post; Please meet Tim:

Timothy Elliot

The Immediate Danger Of Aggressive Cancers

Cancer can manifest in a multitude of ways, not only in terms of where it is located and what type of tissue it spreads to and attacks, but also in terms of the way that it can unfold as a disease. Certain cancers will proceed remarkably slowly, while others can aggressively spread through-out the body almost immediately. Although scientists are unsure exactly why certain cancers can react aggressively while others are far more passive, but a genetic mutation of a protein called MAD2 might be a key part of the explanation. Because when the protein MAD2 is missing entire chromosomes can become unstable scientists’ believe the strong correlation between its absence and the chromosomal instability found in aggressive cancer cells. The MAD2 protein may be a key component in understanding how to stop some of the deadliest, most aggressive cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, T- cell prolymphocytic leukemia, and mesothelioma.
Breast cancer, which is diagnosed in over 207,000 new patients every year, is estimated to be responsible for a staggering 39,840 deaths a year. Because breast cancer is such an aggressive cancer, only about one-fourth of the diagnoses each year are able to be operated on while the tumor is in its earlier stage, which is particularly shocking given the widespread awareness of breast cancer. Fortunately, although breast cancer is an extremely aggressive cancer, there are often still several treatments available for patients- usually including surgery.
Colon cancer is likewise one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the United States. However because almost all colon cancers begin as benign, noncancerous polyps, colon cancer, if caught early enough, can be treated completely. Unfortunately, colon cancer spreads quickly through-out the body and in many cases can have no symptoms. The most common symptoms of colon cancer, however, are abdominal pain, intestinal obstruction, unexplained weight loss, and blood in the stool.
Unlike breast cancer and colon cancer, T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia is a very rare form of cancer that occurs in only about two percent of all lymphocytic leukemia patients. However, because T-PLL is both extremely aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy it is among the deadliest of all cancers. T-PLL’s aggressive metastasis through-out the body causes the average T-PLL lifespan to be about seven and a half months. However, new treatments with monoclonal antibodies and the research into MAD2 are expected to be far more effective in treating it.
Like T-PLL, mesothelioma is far rarer than breast cancer and colon cancer, however mesothelioma is unique among the extremely aggressive cancers in that it has a latency of period of 20-50 years before it begins to aggressively expand through-out the body. However because tumor often goes undetected until the cancer has metastasized, the mesothelioma life expectancy is only about a year after diagnosis.
Patients diagnosed with these four deadly , aggressive cancers figure to be among the first to benefit from the new research that is being done on the role of the MAD2 protein in cancer. As we understand more and more about cancer, hopefully we will continue to find better ways to fight it as well.