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Thread: Life-Threatening Illness & Reality Check

  1. #101
    Keep on keepin' on!

  2. #102
    Still here Bear, and still praying and hoping for you. Hang in there, dude!

  3. #103
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Today is Friday, 12-3-04. This Bear is sitting, somewhat uncomfortably, in the ole' computer chair, updating Cyburbia.

    This morning I had my sixth bone marrow biopsy. Whole lot of fun. Or, should I say, "Hole" lot of fun. (It's not Courtney Love were talking about here.)

    The first three (3) were done in the "traditional" manner, in 1996, 2003, and early 2004. You lay on the table on your side and the doc gives you a "local". After a few moments he uses a tool that my wife says looks like a drill bit to go into the skin and into the bone, drawing out bone marrow. It usually lasts about 15-20 seconds and it is the most painful 15-20 seconds I have ever experienced. Katie did get to "assist" in the early 2004 BMB by holding my hand.

    A new way of doing this painful procedure was developed, using a form of sedation. The last three (3) have been a lot less painful. The Bear enjoyed the fun of the new way in mid-2004 (twice) and again today.

    Today's adventure was a "bi-lateral" bone marrow biopsy, so I did not lay on my side. Instead, bare-assed Bear (nice visual, huh?) was face-down as they gave me the sedation. I remember thinking, "When are they going to add the go-to-sleep drug to the IV in my arm?" The next thing I knew, I was waking up in another room.

    There is some after-the-fact pain, but not too bad. It hurts a little to walk. Katie kids me and says I should experience "childbirth". No thanks.

    The doctors in Toledo and at the University of Michigan will be looking at the two (2) samples of bone marrow and try to determine why my bone marrow has trouble producing stem cells and they want to see how much Hodgkins (cancer) is in there.

    Thanx for listening.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  4. #104
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Bear, what -- no pictures?

  5. #105
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Bear, you and yours are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    (I need to second Michelle and ask for Bare @$$ Bear photos )
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  6. #106
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    No photos for me thanks....

    I will send you my best though...

    Keep on going, man!!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  7. #107
    Cyburbian
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    I just made a comment about my dog licking her backside. My nephew said to me "I'm lucky I'm not a dog or I would be licking my bu^^ all day." He was serious, I'm still laughing.

  8. #108
    Bear, a question about your bouts with chemo. Did you notice your sense of smell getting very sensitive? In my case, I could smell things that really should not be smelled. Very disconcerting.

  9. #109
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nighthawk1959
    Bear, a question about your bouts with chemo. Did you notice your sense of smell getting very sensitive? In my case, I could smell things that really should not be smelled. Very disconcerting.
    The chemo didn't change anything with my sense of smell. I have never had problems with allergies, though, and since all the chemo treatments I tend to sneeze much more often. We have cats and dogs and perhaps the chemo wrecked some ability to fight off sensitivity to animal hair. Just a guess.

    One (1) of the symptoms of Hodgkins Lymphoma is excessive itching. Now that drives me up a wall.

    Scratch Bear Fever
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  10. #110
    My prt peeve was the bad hair week. I was working in the public, the counter at an indoor shooting range, and went from a full beard and long hair to the usual chemo do in about a week. My mother came over to clean my house about that time and found a lunch bag full of hair that I had pulled out of my brush. Needless to say she freaked out "What are you doing saving this stuff?" I told her it was for contingency purposes. I was going to use it to cover my bald spot after the rest came back. She claimed I had a sick sense of humor. Can't imagine why. When the guys at work ask if my hair was going to fall out and I said yes, one of them said "At least you don't have that much to lose." I nearly rolled in the floor at the looks from the rest of the gang!!

  11. #111
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Katie and I are getting a chuckle out of the latest TV ads. The ads are for a drug called NEULASTA.......this drug builds white blood cells that are lost during the chemotherapy process.

    The ad says, "Warning, some users of Neulasta have reported serious side effects such as severe allergic reaction."

    My oncology doctor told me that only about one (1) or two (2) percent of users of Neulasta suffer these side effects.

    I can't win the freakin' lottery but I can sure fit into that 1-2% group.

    And that's why we are chucklin'.



    Bear, Looking For The Drug Called "Nude-Lasta"
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #112
    Keep your wonderful sense of humor Bear, that's what got me through it as you can see from my last post here.

  13. #113
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    I went to an "owner's meeting", out of town, on Thursday, 12-9-04. When I arrived at home, around 11:00 PM, it was time for my every-other-day Neostar Port "flushing". Katie does this to me, using a hpyo device and Heparin.

    A half hour or so after the flushing process I went into a form of an allergic reaction, breaking out in some hives and experiencing excessive shivvering. I shivvered for about two (2) hours, even with a stack of blankets on top of me. The shivvers were so excessive that for a few days afterward I experienced muscle pains such as you would feel when exercising after a long lay-off.

    We thought that I was having a reaction to shellfish, from the meeting. I did not feel well on Friday or Saturday and my temperature went over 102 on Saturday evening. Late Saturday evening Katie flushed my port again.....and the excessive shivvers returned.

    Ahhhh....haaaaaa.......allergic reaction to the flushing?!

    We called the doctors and finally determined that I have an infection, or possibly two (2) infections, underneath my two (2) separate ports. The port on my right side (double-lumen) is buried under the skin. It has been trying to force itself out of the skin and looks quite gross. You can see the round plastic outline of the port just under the skin. (This port is shaped like a double case for a pair of contact lenses).

    This Thursday they will remove both ports. Thank heavens!

    I still feel a bit funky today.....although better, and my temp has gone back down
    to normal. I will be so glad to have these puppies removed from my bod. Especially glad to see the Neostar port go away, with it's dangling from my chest plastic tubes and the continual flushing and bandaging.

    BTW......we won't flush again.

    Bear Going Under The Knife Again
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  14. #114
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Oh, fun. I got to try to clear the drains on my sis after surgery when one got clogged and she began to swell. This "Borg" technology has NOT yet been perfected.

  15. #115
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Well, I have some fun holiday plans.....

    Thursday, 12-16-04
    Surgery to remove two (2) separate ports from my body. Infection undedr at least one (1) of them.

    Friday, 12-17-04
    Ann Arbor.....meeting with doctors to discuss the alternate plans to get those pesky little stem cells from my bone marrow so I can get the blasted bone marrow biopsy.

    Monday, 12-20-04
    Surgery to get the stem cells. "Come out, come out.....wherever you are." Sounds like what will be done is going after those guys by using the "old-fashioned" method: Drilling holes in my hip bones and sucking bone marrow out. (This is not the way they "normally" do it nowadays, but I have to be different.)

    So, when do I get to wrap presents?

    Nostembear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  16. #116
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    I'm Back - For A Few Days, Anyway

    This is your basic OUCH story.

    A week or so before Christmas they removed the two (2) ports from my chest. The dangly port (Neostar) was supposed to be used for the bone marrow stem cell transplant. It became infected, inside of it, despite the continual flushing that Katy did to it. Gone!

    The other port, placed under my skin back in May or June, was also for pumping chemo drugs into me, as part of the pre-treatment process. It was breaking through the skin. Gone!

    That was on a Thursday.

    On the following Monday (the Monday before Christmas) I went back to the University of Michigan Hospital for surgery(so many nurses, so little time) to use the "old-faashioned" method of removing bone marrow stem cells. They knocked me out for almost three (3) hours as they drilled a bunch of holes in my back hip bone and sucked out bone marrow and blood. As this was going on they were counting the stem cells, because I need a certain number to have a successful transplant.

    When I woke up from my slumber time I couldn't even walk. Katy got me home, in Swanton, OH, 75 miles from the hospital, and I spent a couple days on the couch, in a lot of pain. Yesterday, New Year's Day, was the first day without pain pills since the operation.

    Like an idiot, I went to work a couple days before Christmas.....stoopid workaholic who had to see if everything was OK......I was able to walk by then, although very slowly and hunched over like an old man. Wait a minute.....I'am an old man.....
    Most of my time at work was spent in my office, catching up on year-end reports and plans and goals for the new year.

    They got enough stem cells.....just enough. The doc said that because they do not have an over-abundance it will probably increase my hospital stay after the transplant.

    I was scheduled to go in for the transplant on the day before New Year's Eve. However, my insurance company balked, claiming that they need a "cardiac clearance" before allowing out-of-insurance-network U of M do the transplant. So I had to go up to Ann Arbor for another series of heart tests......all tests were fine, this ole' ticker is good.

    My admission date is now scheduled for the first Friday in January. I do have a few more tests.....Cat Scans. That's on the board for tomorrow morning, Monday, the third.

    Bottom line.....the Bear is back to bug you.

    For a few days, anyway.

    Soon To Be Wandering The U Of M Halls, Butt Showing
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  17. #117
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Soon To Be Wandering The U Of M Halls, Butt Showing
    But(t)... do Habanero and I get photographs this time.

    Glad to have you back. Folks have been wondering.



    And VERY glad that they finally got the stem cells.

  18. #118
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    the Bear is back to bug you.
    Glad you are back.

    That must be a sight to see you waltzing/two stepping/jitter bugging in the hallways with your IV pole.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  19. #119
    Cyburbian
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    Glad to have you back Bear! Good luck with everything!


    It'd be great if you did Bart's Dr. Buttocks impersonation in the hospital

  20. #120
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Been missing you Bear and sending you a big Bear HUG!!!!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  21. #121
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Great to hear some good (if painful) news! I remember , well, actually don't remember passing out when I first tried to stand after the "old fashioned" harvest. The ride home was agony, and I think I spent most of three days lying on my stomach. I can't imagine going from that into having the transplant a couple weeks later. So are you going to have a computer and access to the internets from your hospital room?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  22. #122
    Cyburbian
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    I'll keep you in my prayers.

  23. #123
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Best of luck! We all have you in our thoughts and prayers
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  24. #124
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'm greatful for the update.

    Tighten Up and Keep Pushing

  25. #125
    Keeping you in our thoughts with best wishes.

    As the official scorer of the Cyburbia HoopFest, I'm granting you this 60-second timeout. RJ has to stay on the court, though
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

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