Back at the writer’s desk.  Your supportive words helped me through the worst two days here.

Status:  8.0/10.  Felt better today, despite being one of my busier days.  Lisa was here, brought some mint tea (still on my self-enforced liquid diet).

Events:   Started the day with the anti-fungal med (Ambisome), which gave me so much grief yesterday.  It’s a new formulation of a drug we used to give more than 35 years ago when I was at Vanderbilt to patients who had histoplasmosis,  a fungus that was a common organism in Middle Tennessee.  My mentors had taught me that you could avoid those nasty side effects by giving it slower and prepping the patient with a cortisone-like drug.  I had them give it to me over a 3 hr period, not the previous 2 hr, and prep me with Decadron (the cortisone drug).  All went well.  Just takes 35 years for best practices to percolate through the system.

  My surveillance throat cultures found a rare bacteria usually only seen with compromised immune systems (that would be me), and it was resistant to all antibiotics except Bactrim – so I’m now on that, too

  Next came platelet transfusions, then more platelets to bring them up a level for my LP.  Had the LP at about 2 PM, then 2 more blood transfusions, still going as we speak.  Looking forward to their completion so I can get to sleep.

Comments:  Lack of fever makes a day that much better, although I’m on about as many antibiotics, anti-virals, and anti-fungals as allowed under any broadening of health care reform.  When my white cells come back, and my immune system starts working, hopefully we can get off all this stuff.  Getting out of here would be nice to.

 Love you for all your support,



21 Responses to “”

  1. Hopie Says:

    Yeah, a better, but busy day for you. The 8’s look and feel better than 7’s. Rest well my first! I love you, Mom

  2. darya Says:

    It is no nice to have you back on the writting desk! Means you must be feeling a lttle better. Yeah! Hang in there Bruce.

  3. darya Says:

    sorry Bruce… I meant it is “so” nice 🙂 My eyes are challenged when it gets to this hour. Hope you have a good night sleep.

  4. Peggie Neill Says:

    Lovely to see that you felt a little better. I have a hunch your neutrophils are coming back/up. Dig deep, and keep up the fight. You are teaching us all.

  5. wendy Says:

    B- my favorite medical mishap was finding out when I relocated and took my medical records with me.. that the ER report from visit to Northwestern Hospital when they thought I was having a heart attach and admitted me for test and surveliance, that they stated that I had had a complete hysterectomy, unbeknownst to me- try changing medical records. SO while you are involved with your daily regimen and meds, treatment etc… be sure to look over their medical reports cause you might have also had a complete hysterectomy unbeknownst to you. Seriously!! check them

  6. Judie Davidson Says:

    Hi Bruce,
    When I read your blog, the first thing I look at is your status number (spoken like a true accountant). Glad to see you are in the eight’s again. Always thinking of you and your family.

  7. mike and sharon goldstein Says:

    kudos to those Commodores…..if they only could direct those efforts to the football program we’ve all endured since there in the 70s. we remain riveted to the the blog, and begin to get jumpy if it’s not in the box by 9 (so tell those medical folks to leave you alone for a minute so you can meet your deadline.) Also, admire your “8s and 9s” during this ordeal. I’m sure most of us at the end of a day relatively free of serious problem would only give ours a 7………..no more. good thoughts from mike and sharon

  8. courtney Says:

    Hi Bruce –

    Just so you know…reading your blog is a treat for me in the mornings!!! (I’m a faithful reader.)

    I’m glad to see that you’re back in the 8’s…the 7’s didn’t sound like so much fun. I’m sure you’re hoping to see the 9’s soon enough!!!! (Me too.)

    Still cheering for you down here in Atlanta. =) I really do admire your strength and optimism. (I always ask Henry, “Is there anything that Bruce hasn’t done?”)

    Sending you happy thoughts.
    courtney =)

  9. Sue Anne Murray Says:

    I work for your brother – Terry. I had a brother that went through what you are going through so although I do not know what you are experiencing I do know somewhat of how T-Dan feels. He loves you and is very proud of you. I pray for many good days ahead.

  10. Susan Bies Says:

    Hi Bruce,

    No great pearls of wisdom, just wanted to send out a virtual hug your way and let you know you are on my mind and in my heart.

    I do have one quick Rachel anecdote. During Saturday night’s musical performance my son blanked on one of his lines. When taking Rachel home from the cast party, I overheard her talking to Brian about it. She said her instinct was to throw him a line containing a clue. I immediately thought, “wow”, how caring, to be aware and supportive in the pressure of the moment. Everyone else was probably thinking, better him than me. Her thought spoke volumes to me about her character.

    Best wishes,

  11. Ashby Says:

    Yep, numbers do matter. Here’s hoping you hit an 11 soon. Field Day in the rain at school. I am amazed Jaye is letting them on the grass. Just got a call from Susan that Will cracked his elbow. No word on if it really is serious. I am just grateful he didn’t burst into flames!

  12. Catherine O'Brien Says:

    I’m on an antibiotic for an infected (?) bee sting and I feel lousy from it. I can only imagine how all those drugs and treatments make you feel. And yet you are chipper enough blog and share not only your experience but useful medical information that I hope gets published far and wide. I admire your strength, sense & humor. Glad to see you feel a bit better.


  13. jackie judd Says:

    Hi Bruce–
    Good to see you back in the 8’s..like one of your other readers, it is the first thing my eyes go to when I read your blog.
    A report from the field….my boys are done with high school! Shocking. Graduation services are in a few weeks and then college in the fall. Philip is going to Hamilton and Andrew is going to St Andrew’s in Scotland.
    We are thrilled about Rachel’s fall plans–she will thrive at GDS and get a tremendous education. Philip has volunteered to take Ethan to a Nats game this summer if he likes.
    I so hope your coming days are better than the last few. I’m back at Temple Sinai this Saturday where I hope my silent prayers for you will be heard.

  14. Amy and Blake Says:


    When our mom was ill, I suggested to her chief doctor that for nausea, to consider accupressure bands rather than more medication to control the other medications.

    At the time, 2000, accupressure bands was not well known but allegedly accupressure bands is a non-medicative way to control nausea in an individual. There are plenty of websites that Lisa could go to look up, “accupressure bands” which may help with the nausea from the chemo. I was going to send you a specific link, but I thought it may be best for Lisa and you to discuss and determine if this may be an alternative or additional way to abate the nausea. Looking for a 8.5/10 tomorrow!

    Stay strong, cousin.

    Love, Amy and Blake

  15. Paula Van Ness Says:

    Hey Bruce: Glad to know things were looking up during your last time at the writer’s desk. Man, oh man, you’ve had a lot of lumbar punctures. As I’ve read through, all I could think about was my experience at an un-named hospital ER (it’s in Washington and it starts with G) when I had lyme disease…57 ill-fated attempts before they got the senior resident into the treatment room to get it done. Honest. I was a human pin cushion. Anyway, I send you my warmest thoughts and am keeping you all in my prayers. You are so strong and courageous and through this blog you are sensitizing all of us. Thanks for mustering the strength to do so. Lots of Love, Paula

  16. Carolyn Hyde Says:

    So glad to hear that you’re doing better! I can’t even begin to imagine how tough the past couple of days have been. The good news is that when this all behind you, you’ll have an incredible appreciation of your own amazing strength and fortitude; not to mention, your never failing sense of humor!

    Hang tough…

  17. Judi Golding-Baker Says:

    Yea, I’m so happy your back at 8! I’m praying you get some healing rest tonight and roll another “8/day” tomorrow. Hang tough dear cousin.

    Love you, Judi

  18. Ashby Says:

    I’m thinking you are one of those people who enjoys music. You know I do. Tony Rice comes to mind this evening and in particular “Hell on Chruch Street Blues.” I would love to play it for you some time but I don’t pick nearly as good as the author. “Well I got myself a rocking chair to see if I could lose these thin-dime, hard-time hell-on-church street blues.” Music makes me laugh and cry and I would rather laugh with you than cry for you. Get some good sleep and we will all be here for you in the morning.

  19. Barbara McKee Says:

    “Keep on keeping on” – whatever that is supposed to mean but I am pulling for you and know that you can win this battle and bring back “the world’s smartest man”.

  20. Gail Lehmann Says:

    We are following your saga closely and know you will bet this disease! Mark’s Mom had chemo & radiation last year, and said that GINGER helped her nausea. They had ginger candies in the infusion room and she drank Ginger tea at home. TRY IT!
    Gail & Mark

  21. Gail Lehmann Says:

    Bruce, I see someone wrote about accupressure bands and I swear by them. I suffer from motion sickness when we travel and they are the BEST. Get them at any pharmacy for $6-8 bucks and hopefully they will help alot. I used them on the crossing we took on the Queen Mary 2 and I never had a problem while others suffered.
    Try them!

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