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7 11, 2015

Next stop: Amelia Island

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My left hip is biopsied and we're waiting for the results. Regardless, Pattie and I are flying home today as planned. Most folks worry about whether they turned off the lights, forgot the tickets or left the toaster plugged in after they leave for the airport. Me? I'm back on the 7th floor for an

4 11, 2015

Trick or Treat: I’m checking out today

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I was just emerging from a five day long, near coma on Halloween. That didn't stop my sister, Joan, from decorating my room top to bottom: These skeletons are clearly visible to the main hallway; Joan has been complimented for her spooky efforts to help distract me and others from our unpleasant captivity. Here's a

2 11, 2015

Day 12: Houston, we have lift-off!

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Remember being a teenager and getting yelled at for staying in the shower too long? Or dealing with a son or granddaughter for using up all of the hot water? Check this out: I can finally smile! It was an excruciating week. For three or for long days I was a mess; all drugged up,

29 10, 2015

Off the grid

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No kind volunteer to step up and write for me today. One advantage to being an inpatient: I didn't need caregivers over difficult to staff Halloween weekend. That's fine, but only works if there aren't any complications. I endured a major extra hurdle this summer; a nasty VRE requiring a month on IV antibiotics. Now

28 10, 2015

Complications: Please don’t worry


Hello. I am Mason, a volunteer at the hospital, and I have had the recent pleasure of meeting Pat. Pat is doing alright, but he is feeling very weak and still battling some GI issues. Pat is still alert and friendly as always, and of course he wanted everyone to know he is doing alright.

25 10, 2015

Will to live: Why I want to go home

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Why am I fighting so hard to stay alive and get home? Yes, I want to help my fellow patients. I still feel I have so much to do. Life is hard right now. But it's precious. I miss my wife. I miss my life! Just between you and me, want to know why I

21 10, 2015

Chemo today, Day Zero tomorrow

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I put this together Tuesday evening. Last time I'll be smiling like this for a while! Two hours sucking on ice. Mmmm. Sister Joan was kind enough to bring some flavored ice pops to mix in for a change of pace. Still feeling OK but combination of all four chemo agents today wearing me down.

20 10, 2015


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Second dose of melphalan this morning. But before I start sucking ice let's have some fun. A few more serious pictures first. Yesterday I wrote: I’m staring up at the extra large blood count chart on the bulletin board at the foot of my bed. A sobering reminder about what I’ll be facing soon. My

18 10, 2015

Hectic first day glitches

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Pattie reports that our beloved dog, Finnegan, feels the same way about me! Apparently he lays at the front door, forlorn, waiting for me to come home. Sorry, Finnegan; it's going to be a long wait. But if things go as well as we all hope, I'll be home with you for a good long

17 10, 2015

Thank you rant

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A number of you have already contributed to help CrowdCare Foundation fund a pair of cutting edge T cell trials in Germany and John Hopkins in Baltimore. THANK YOU! For those of you on-the-fence, I wanted to share some good news. A friend has agreed to match any contribution—dollar for dollar—up to a total of

16 10, 2015

Great news!

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I met with Dr. Tricot this morning for my pre-transplant check. As expected, I'm good to go. I wasn't expecting such encouraging, eye-opening test results. The report from yesterday's PET scan still aren't available online. But Dr. Tricot had them. After he carefully examined me and double checked my numbers, Dr. Tricot flashed a big

15 10, 2015

My tandem transplant schedule

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Ready or not, I'm back in Iowa City, preparing to undergo my second modified stem cell transplant in less than four months. I was at the University of Iowa Cancer Center all day for tests. It was more grueling than I expected. Except for almost an hour wait, my second PET scan in two months