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, February 25, 2007

Happy Academy Awards Day!!!

Hey Everyone,

Well, the snow has just started and we are in for the day...the perfect time to catch you up. We've had a crazy busy week. We saw Dr. L at Penn on Monday and she was "cautiously optimistic" about the bone marrow. She said it did trend downward, but she wants it lower before Bob can have the SCT and probably will have him do a 5th round of chemo. She wants a bone marrow biopsy at the end of March, after the 4th round. Depending on those results and the donors' availability, she will make a decision then on the transplant. So it's looking like late April for the earliest that Bob will be admitted. The good news is that he will be home for the blood drive, and also should be in the recovery(high blood counts) phase of the 4th round of chemo at that time, so we are cautiously planning on him being there.
I wanted to thank everyone who has gotten in touch about donating.....Barb M, Lisa P, Brenda, Jean, Sally, Kim, Lee, Ann M, Joyce, Arlene, Donna D, Santa, Nancy, and Meg & friends. Also thank you to Suzanne for your offer of help. Bonnie said the Red Cross will be sending volunteers to do the paperwork, juice pouring etc., but she is not turning down any offers of assistance, plus even if people can't donate, you're welcome to come socialize and see Deb and Bob. There will be food and drinks....though NO Alcohol before you've donated and even once you've given blood, you will need to rehydrate before you can think about imbibing.
I just got off the phone w/ Bonnie and the plan for signing up is simply going to be calling Bonnies cell phone. She is going to carry the sign-up spread sheets w/ her and will immediately pencil people in as she speaks to them. This way there won't be "too many cooks". We were afraid if we both take names there would be duplications. I'm not going to publish Bons' cell number yet. She should get the sheets this week, probably Thursday, and I will blog her phone number then. There are also posters going up this week, so you may see them around town...me thinks we are definitely going to have to have a second drive...time will tell.
Also wanted to tell you that Bob needed platelets this week, but otherwise is feeling prettty good. The sneezing-head cold thing has quieted down(as I knock a hole through this wooden desk for even thinking that, letting alone writing it), thank you God. Doesn't the snow look pretty coming down?(just watching it as I'm writing).
Also had a topsy-turvy house this week as we had the master bathroom remodeled. We have been working on this since last Sept. We've been in our home for 17 years now, and everythings starting to look a little worn...plus they scare the bejeezus out of you with all the possibilities of infections after the stem-cell transplant...and I figured there was mold etc. that needed to be gotten rid-of. So after many snafus w/ the shower door order it was finally done this week and turned out great. Now we need it painted....ugh. It never ends. Also needing new carpeting, kitchen floor, repainting...blah, blah, blah. I also hate doing this stuff. I worry so much over how everything is going to turn out. Oh well, enuf of that.
I'm going to take advantage of the blog to catch up a little.
Mussie, did you cruise thru the canal? Was this a pleasure trip? Or were you building schools or hospitals or something very charitable like that, which I would totally expect from you!
Kim, thank you for the wonderful e-mail...it would've taken me even longer than an hour...you should have called instead. Tell all your family that we say hello, esp. your Mom and "Stent" as your Dad seems to be calling himself these days. They always send cards and we reallly appreciate it. Also keeping Lynne in our prayers, and hope your h/a's are better lately.
May Day, hope you're feeling better post transfusion. What happened after that? Write and let me know.
Jean, thanks for taking care of the picture. Stop in anytime. We're home most evenings.
Lisa, it was great to hear from you. Did Joe tell you that his friend TLC worked on our bathroom? We told him you guys were "very old" friends. The guys did a great job though...quick, neat and efficient...I highly recommend Z's Home Improvement if anyone needs any work done.
Well, I'm gonna wrap it up. Can't wait for the Oscars. Oh, which reminds me to ask all of you to remember our gal Deb w/ an extra prayer this week. She is scheduled to have her gallbladder out at HUP this Wed., hopefully by laparoscope. Deb, we're praying it goes smoothly and you're home by Thursday.

Thank you as always for the prayers, blogs, cards...and of course all your support w/ the blood drive. We remember you all in our prayers too, and thank God for all the wonderful people we have in our lives.

All our love,
Bob and Mo

P.S. All you fil-um buffs, have fun tonight. This is one of my favorite nights of the year, usually spent w/ Miss Deb, but we decided to go solo b/c of the weather. I'll miss you Deb.
And I'll be back w/ Bonnies cell phone number this week.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Belated Happy Valentines Day

Hello everybody,

I know this is a long overdue post and I apologize, but I've been waiting for some info to share with you...more on that later. First I'll catch you all up on Bob. When we wrote last he was in the midst of his second round of chemo. He did fine w/ that, had a bone marrow biopsy on the 31st, and just finished his 3rd round of chemo this past Tuesday. We found out last week that the bone marrow has improved...the blast count, which is the number of leukemia cells, was down to 16 %. To refresh your memory, it was up to 40% in November and needs to be less than 20% for the stem-cell transplant to be done....so we have yet to speak to an MD, but we see Dr Luger at Penn this coming Monday and should know more then about what lies ahead. Bob has spoken to his nurse practitioner(NP) from Penn and she did tell him to schedule a 4th round of chemo. So that will start at the beginning of March. At that rate I think it's looking like the end of March/beginning of April when Bob will be hospitalized for the transplant. But, like I said, that's speculation on our part and we'll know more after Monday.
Bob's feeling okay right now. He is still plagued by these 2-3 day bursts of terrible congestion and sneezing. He has gone through 2 large boxes of tissues in the last 3 days. I talked to Bobs' visiting nurse today and she thinks it's related to the chemo. The nausea still comes and goes, but it's never been as bad as it was with the first round, and of course his arthritic knees are still painful and this weather hasn't helped much with that. But overall I'd have to say he's come through the chemo very well, and I hope and pray that is a good omen for the transplant. Oh! I forgot to tell you that his counts have improved dramatically also...his platelets are up to 56,000, his hemoglobin is 12.0 and his white count has been close to 5.0....numbers Bob hasn't seen since the AML was diagnosed. So speaking of blood counts segues me nicely into my next subject, the reason I was putting off writing to you.
I'm so excited to tell you that there is going to be a Red Cross blood drive in honor of Bob and our dear friend Deb Teklits, who as most of you know also has AML. Our good friend Bonnie Handerhan(AKA Stonehead to Bob) has undertaken this task since she wanted to do something for the both of them, and says so many people have asked her if there is anything they can do for Bob or Deb. Deb and I have talked frequently about all the red blood cells and platelets she and Bob have received. Without all the volunteers who give blood and platelets they both would have been sunk a long time ago. So we're all so excited at this opportunity to give back to the Red Cross and through them the community at large. I also want to clarify that this blood is not going to be targeted specifically for Bob or Debbie, they simply want to give something back and are hoping you will all help them to do that. We're also thinking this would be a nice opportunity for people to see Bob and Deb, both of whom will be there, health conditions or hospitalizations not preventing them.

Now, what I know for sure is that the drive will take place on Saturday, March 31st at Bonnies' home, which is on Tennis Circle in Lansdale(right up the street from Debs' house). The tentative time is 11Am to 5PM. There is a lower age restriction of 17 years. There is no upper age limit. Obviously there are other restrictions related to health and medications, dental work, tattoos, piercings etc. which are too long for me to list here. Anyone can call, blog or e-mail me with questions or you can call 2 Red Cross numbers...215-451-4363 or 1-800-give-life. My e-mail is mobobmaz@msn.com. I'm not sure yet exactly how we are going to handle signing up. There are going to be appointments slotted for every 15 minutes, and we may have sign up sheets on the computer, or you may have to call or e-mail either Bonnie or myself. Bonnie and I met today w/ the Red Cross reps, and the whole process for each person takes about one hour, most of which is used up on paperwork. So that's the meat of the matter for now. I'll be back w/ more details, especially the exact time and procedure for signing up.
If I can answer any questions in the meantime, I'll do my best. I know there are many people who don't feel comfortable blogging, but I'd appreciate a little feedback about the blood drive, so we can get an idea of how many people to expect. Feel free to e-mail or phone.

Thank you as always for the prayers and good thoughts, blogs and cards. Not a day goes by when I don't run into someone who sends Bob prayers and well-wishes. It means so much to us and we thank you for all the support you've given us through this "adventure" thus far. Bob sends his best and says..."Come out and get stuck. It's for a good cause and you can see me too. What a deal! Ha!"....I swear...he really told me to write that. I never would have used the word stuck!!!

All our love,
Bob and Mo