Dr. Bobs Adventure

We've created this blog for several reasons. First is to keep family and friends(including Bobs' pts.)informed of Bobs' condition while he undergoes treatment for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia(AML) at HUP. You may also write to Bob by posting a comment, which I'll print for him to read. Please feel free to pass this blog site on to anyone you think may want to join us.Instructions to blog are listed under day 12, and bobs' address etc are under day 14. Click on April Archives to find both.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Twas the night before Christmas.....I'm finding it hard to believe. We just wanted to wish everyone Joyous and Peaceful Holy Days, whatever your religious affiliations.
We are "keeping Christmas" this year, but in a much calmer and quieter manner than our usual. Bob is still "settling his brain for a long winters' nap". i.e. he is still sleeping. For some reason he seems to get his soundest sleep from dawn til 11am or so. He's still having trouble w/ the darned nausea, despite the meds. He's still eating light and I think at times the nausea is actually due to hunger. In fact this morning he was downstairs at 6am eating cereal,"to stave off the nausea" as he put it. His counts are holding, and he hasn't needed any blood or platelets since last time I wrote. His white count keeps dropping down however and is now at 2.0, so we're being more diligent about our germ warfare. Bob has an appt. this coming Friday w/ Dr. Zipin in Chalfont, and on Jan. 2nd he sees Dr. Luger at Penn. I'm not sure whether he will have the repeat bone marrow at that time. It may be too soon at that point, but I will let you know.

We both wanted to thank everyone for all the beautiful Christmas cards we've received. I especially love the baby and family photos. I'm amazed every year at how quickly our kids grow up. As I wrote last time, I did manage to get some cards out, but mostly to family, so please forgive me for not reciprocating to you all this year. I don't want to single people out, but there are groups who have been such a wonderful support...our co-workers at Tri-Valley and Montgomery Surgi-Center....all our "old" co-workers at North Penn(sorry CMMC, but you'll always be North Penn to me)...all the "old" LMG docs. and staff....ALL Bobs' patients who have sent cards, made meals and blogged...of course our "inner circle"(as Deb T. calls it) of close friends...and last but not least our families. We would not have made it through this trying time w/o you all lifting us up along the way. We love and cherish you all.

Merry Christmas
All our love,
Bob and Mo

Sunday, December 17, 2006

8 Days til' Christmas

Dear family and friends,

Again, I say I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. We've been quite busy, as I'm sure you all are too. I can't believe it's one week until Christmas Eve. We are wrapped, decorated(about half the usual trappings are out), shopped and the cards are in the mail. The only thing that's not done is the baking, which I hope to do this week.

On to Bob. He is doing "OK". The chemo ended on Tuesday, and he continues on house arrest. His white count as of Thursday was down to 2.4, and his platelets were 7,000. Remember, normal is at least over 100,000. So on Friday Bob got platelets at CMMC(our local hospital). That was an all-day affair, b/c he has to be typed and cross-matched(T&C'd)at the hospital first, and than it was another 3 1/2 hours til they were ready and could be given. So that meant 2 trips back and forth, but I did manage to get our cards done while Bob received the transfusion. This weekend Bob seems to be having a lot more joint pain, which makes me suspect the white count is dropping further. He's very fatigued and doesn't sleep well at night d/t the aches and pains. He's limited as to what he can take for relief since advil, motrin etc. are off-limits. Basically he has to take codeine which actually gets him wired as opposed to sleepy. So that's been a difficulty. He is having nausea, usually after he eats, but so far has managed to retain everything, although he really only has one good meal a day as his appetite just isn't up to par. And I have to knock wood again, but I think he has finally gotten rid of his rotten cold.
So Bob naps throughout the day. He still plays a little bit on the computer(World of Warcraft is still his favorite game, if anyone is familiar w/ that...he was so excited to show me a commercial for it the other day...I guess it's pretty popular. I know one of the attractions is, he can play w/ Matt, Mandi and Rhane online), and is currently engrossed in a book about the battle of Leyte Gulf, called Sea of Thunder.

Speaking of Matt, I didn't tell you last time what a nice visit we had at Thanksgiving w/ him Mandi and Rhane. I did get the tree up(actually Joey Teklits got the tree up for me-thank you Joe)and the plan was to have us all trim it together. Well, Rhane attempted it, but she and I had more fun playing w/ the Barbie ornaments than actually putting them on the tree. But it was wonderful to meet Mandi, and it was so good for Bob to have Matt and Rhane here. I made lasagna and we had a nice meal together Friday evening, not to mention a delicious Amarone. It was all too short, but very sweet.

So obviously our Christmas is going to be very quiet this year. Christmas Eve is usually spent at Bobs' Aunt Millies' where we feast(and I do mean feast) on just about every seafood known to man, but our favorite is her calamari w/ spaghetti in tomato sauce. It's so tender and delicious...like nothing you would get in a restaurant. Bob has already put in his request for a care package, and if he's doing okay, I will go myself to visit and bring his favorites home...he's also requesting her spare ribs and frittata. Aaah, am I making you all hungry? It's been far too long since there's been food talk on this blog.
We are also going to sorely miss my parents this year. They always spend a week or 2 w/ us over the holiday, but with Bobs' immune system compromised we just can't take the chance of having them here, and my brothers steps are still too much for my Father to take on. So they will be in Scranton, and Tom will got to visit up there. I hope to get up when Bob is feeling better and things are stable. I really miss baking w/ my Mom, something we've done together since I was little. She's the reason I am the cookie maker that I am today. So we'll bake in a few months time, I hope.

Well, I think I've gone on long enough. Believe it or not, I've been working on this for one hour now...I really am incredibly slow at typing. I hope you are all enjoying this Blessed season, and not too harried over getting "things" done. I've learned a little bit about what truly matters over the last couple years, and I have to say that I wish I learned it sooner. I didn't enjoy what I was doing at the time b/c I always felt so stressed. I guess these are the things we pick up as we get older.

So this has been one incredible year. We thank you all for the love and support you have showered us with. I know for certain we could not have done it w/o you. We keep you all in our prayers, as I know you do for us.

This Christmas we wish you peace, joy and loved ones to share it with.

All our love,
Bob and Mo

Thursday, December 07, 2006



Just wanted to say hello and give you all the latest, though there's not much to tell, which is a good thing. Bob started his out patient chemo on Monday. It consists of a series of 7 injections(actually 14, since they have to give 2 injections each day as it is a large quantity of serum to inject into the fatty tissue)and they have used Bobs arms, one leg and his abdomen so far. The sites are a little sore and we're told may get knotty and sorer. He hasn't had any nausea or vomiting which of course are always possible side effects, but his appetite isn't quite what it used to be. The biggest complication that will probably occur will be a lowering of his counts, most likely in the next 2 weeks. We're pretty sure Bob will need platelet and packed cell transfusions then. His platelets are only 20,000 to begin w/(normal is closer to 150,000), but his hgb is pretty stable at 11.4 Of course when the white count drops he will be under house arrest, although except for traveling to Dr. Zipins' office in Chalfont(20 mins away) for the drug every morning, Bob hasn't really been out since last Friday. He has been plagued(in Biblical proportions) by a terrible head cold. His poor nose is raw and red, and he's unable to take decongestants as they really cause a lot of side effects in him, especially since he's anemic. But he hasn't had a fever, and the congestion hasn't traveled anywhere else,(as I knock on this wooden desk), so I'm grateful for that. So based on all the ah choos, followed closely by a string of expletives, I can tell you Bob has not been his most chipper, cheery self. I think the nose has been less active today though, so hopefully he has turned the corner on this bug. So that is pretty much it. It will just be a waiting game once the injections are done. We'll keep an eye on his counts(still done 2x a week) and another bone marrow biopsy will be repeated sometime in Jan/Feb. If the leukemia is back down to 20% or less than, the stem cell transplant can take place. So that is what we are praying for.

Although Bob hasn't felt up to posting on here, he does appreciate your blogs, and sends his thanks for your continued prayers and support. He says if there are any patients of his out there, he'd love to hear from you. I have a feeling a lot of you read this, but may feel strange about writing. Bob loves his patients so much. I swear every time we've been out to breakfast or at the bank or post office he runs into somebody. Just yesterday in Dr. Z's office he was chatting away w/ a patient he ran into about "the good ol days". So drop him a line.

As usual, I want to thank everybody for the constant love and support we are so privileged to receive. Please continue remembering us in your prayers. I also wanted to shout out a big thank you to that sneaky Joe and Stella K. who paid for our breakfast at the Koffee Korner. As Bob said to the waitress...you just can't trust anyone over eighty. Gotta go make dinner...I'll be back when there's more news.

All our love,
Bob and Mo