Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mick McKellar Update--Day +194

I did better this time, it has only been nine days since my last posting.

Mayo Clinic set my next appointment for a follow up visit: September 29, 2011. Once again we will leave on a Wednesday (the 28th) and hope to return on the following Friday (the 30th). The doctors at Mayo Clinic seemed pleased with the numbers generated by my weekly blood tests, even though my last hemoglobin count was down 8.7 g/dL (normal for men is: 13.8 to 18.0 g/dL). My other numbers are generally good, some even near normal.

There appear to be no lingering effects from my latest hospital adventure: The Old Man and the Gall Stone. I will see a surgeon in Rochester regarding recommendations on removing a recalcitrant gall bladder when I visit next. At least, I managed to stay five days in a hospital and not bring home any infections or diseases I didn't bring in with me.

Folks ask me how I am doing...

In general, I feel quite well, although my energy level depletes quickly and there appears to be no reserve. I find that afternoon naps, when I can arrange to get them, are quite helpful. I am having no pain other than that which comes from using muscles too long on hiatus. Three times in the last week, I raked apples from under our trees -- I raked them and Marian collected them with a snow shovel and a little red wagon (Radio Flyer) for dumping in a special composting area. The pain in my shoulders and upper back reminded me of how long it had been since I did any raking.

I mowed it all myself...
I managed to mow the entire yard yesterday, and took some photographs to commemorate the occasion. It was cloudy and cool in the morning...perfect weather for a person suffering from medication-induced photophobia. Unlike the latest edition vampires, I do not sparkle in the sun...I just turn red and feel really rotten for hours after exposure. At least three of my medications warn against prolonged exposure to any sunlight, natural or artificial. There are no tanning booths in my near future. Maybe I will join the Pale Force.

The intrepid walker also managed two days of two-mile walks (accomplished in the late evening, just before the sun goes down and there are plenty of shadows in which to hide). Unless there is construction or grass mowing or other dust-producing activity, I can even walk without the benefit of the Darth mask.

Good news and bad news...

First the molasses: After all my complaining, BCBSM may have discovered errors in billing and payment, as well as miscommunication between BCBS of Minnesota and BCBS of Michigan causing these extraordinary additional billings from Mayo Clinic. We may not owe as much as we were told. Our last payment nearly broke the bank...

Now the sulphur: Two times the technology troubles in a single week. First, we sent our Nikon Coolpix camera in to Nikon for repair only to be told that the view screen was somehow cracked and bleeding...and the damage is not covered under warranty. They want more than $105 to repair a camera that cost me about $85 to purchase. Not going to happen. I found a nice Kodak Easy Share at Wal~Mart for around $70. Nice price, but it still hurts.

I still have not determined how the view screen cracked itself while sitting quietly on my desktop between uses. Odd, that...

Second, our ancient (about 15 years old), 27-inch, combination space heater and television quietly expired -- right in the middle of Marian's favorite soap opera. We bit the bloody bullet and bought a 26" LED LCD HDTV from Vizio at Wal~Mart (last one in stock). It is the largest flat screen that will fit in our old entertainment center, but certainly big enough for our tiny living room. Another ouchy just hit our account. I am hoping it will partially pay for itself in energy savings and reduced eyestrain.

Writing the great American memoir...

Several folks have indicated that I should publish my journal as a book, and share my experiences along the leukemia/blood and marrow transplant journey. I think it is a grand idea, and will work on it as my chemo-brain allows. Editing and formatting a book requires energy and concentration at levels I cannot yet maintain for long. However, I feel I am getting stronger and will keep everyone posted on my progress.

Of course, I still have to find a publisher willing to take a chance on an "unpublished" author. If you know anyone interested in publishing the story of my 100 days plus, the journey of a leukemia survivor and his transplant experience, please let me know. It would be a real motivator to know that a publisher was interested.

Well, it's getting on toward time for my next barrage of pills and a quick supper. Thanks you all for the prayers and good thoughts.

God bless and good evening,


1 comment:

  1. You haven't lost your sense of humor. Thanks for this.