11-3-10 Wednesday Day +6

Status: 8.75/10. Systemically feeling pretty good. The mucositis has spread to my mouth (not at all unexpected). A few raw spots on my tongue, cheeks, and lips. Still with some esophageal symptoms. Feels like you have a lump in your throat, an swallowing feels like you have something too big in your throat.

Events: Received platelets last night, which is what they will do any time my count drops below 20,000 (normal platelet count is 150,000-400,000). Hematocrit dropping slowly (recall that the average lifespan for a red cell is 120 days). White cells are virtually nil. Now we wait for my new marrow gets into gear.
Eating a liquid diet and had ~ 1,000 calorie milkshake for lunch (Lisa had brought in our blender and some hi calorie shake mixes). Shaved about a week’s worth of grizzly beard off. Used an electric shaver. Note: I detest electric shavers – gimme a blade any day, but Lisa had confiscated my shaving cream and razor.
It takes me about a half hour to shave with an electric shaver in order to get every teeny, tiny hair growing out of my face (sounds like Roseanne Roseannadanna).

Comments: The mucositis can peak or get worse, so they are watching it carefully. The one guarantee is that it will get better when my white cells return. Meanwhile, all that can be offered is symptomatic relief – lozenges, mouth moisturizers, viscous xylocaine (thick numbing solution you swish and spit) and something called Larry’s Solution, which seems popular here.
I asked the nurse what was in it, and she had to look it up. It contains xylocaine, Maalox, and BENADRYL! Here we go again. It was compounded by some pharmacist in Novia Scotia with an eye toward alchemy rather than evidence-based medicine.
I asked the group on the rounds this morning if they knew how much Benadryl was in Larry’s concoction. None did. The answer is 25 mg (the usually prescribed daily dose) in every 2 teaspoons! Try swishing that around 3 or 4 times a day for a couple of weeks.
On a political note, I’m going to miss Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell. When you’re in the hospital you need all the laughter you can get. Saturday Night Live is going to be less funny from now on.

P.S. Trivia – For those of you who have never been to the studio where SNL has been shot all these years. The seats are bleacher style. And when the show began they didn’t have enough, so Lorne Michaels asked George Steinbrenner if he could borrow a row from Yankee Stadium. George said yes, but he’d have to have them back when the show was cancelled (figuring it would be soon). They’re still there more than 25 years later, and with the old Yankee Stadium now gone, the seats are a permanent feature.

I’m looking to be a permanent feature myself.

Love,
-Bruce

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6 Responses to “”

  1. joel steinberg Says:

    Your fortitude and stamina uplift us. On a lighter note: You would think it was V-J Day today in San Francisco. About a million people (more than the city’s actual population) lined the streets for the Giants’ victory parade. The only championship in their entire 52-year tenure. Persistence and grit pay off. You have both in abundance. Hang tough. Joel and Margaret S.

  2. wendy Says:

    would hopkins supposed medical marijuana for anything you’re dealing with? just askin’ CA decided not to pass that proposition. And today a tunnel was found with millions of dollars worth of marijuna coming into the san diego area from across the border…interesting timing

  3. Denise Hanten Says:

    I actually have some helpful information when it comes to liquid diets! Our son was on one for 6 weeks or so last summer after an accident. We have some info on a blog from back then so let me know if you want the link. I hope you can eat solid food by Thanksgiving, but in case it is still hard to swallow, one of my favorite recipes was Pumpkin Pie Shake. Delicious! We also used a lot of muscle milk in his shakes. Hang in there.

    Pumpkin Pie Shake
    2/3 cup Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix (canned)
    2/3 cup vanilla ice cream
    1/4 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk
    Blend together and serve. 440 calories, 10g protein

  4. wendy Says:

    meant support
    can’t type or think when I get home at nite

  5. Henry Miller Says:

    If you find you really miss dumb politicians, we Californians can offer you Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown. And check out some of the anecdotes here: http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/16/putting-pols-to-the-test/

    Glad to hear your spirits are good and things are going as expected.

  6. Tom Linden Says:

    At least you still have Sarah Palin, Bruce. Maybe Tina Fey will return to SNL to give you some comic relief to help relieve the boredom of being confined to the hospital. One can only hope.

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