Friday, July 13, 2007

Briefly; this isn't my computer.

I am in the hospital. Last night I started getting a fever, and this morning the whole thing just snowballed. So my mom drove me to the University of Chicago Hospitals, and here I am. At one point this afternoon, my temperature reached 40.2 degrees Celcius, or about 104.4 Farhenheit. Hooray, hot! But I think my fever has broken now; at least I don't have the chills anymore. Also, my red blood cell count is super low, so I'm experiencing all kinds of dizziness. But I'll say more tomorrow when I have my computer. Hopefully then I will know what's wrong with me. Until then, peace.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Currently listening to: Hambone's Blues Party

My jazz station features this guy, Hambone, and his blues party at least once a week. I really enjoy both the music and the deejay. A few weeks ago he was talking about how he took his daughter to Boston to look at some schools. And then he started talking about how they decided to go to a ska concert. At the Middle East. I was like, "awesome." He was going on about how he started "skanking" (really intense ska-music dancing. I think people usually end up hurt) with a bunch of college kids, and I could just see it. Crazy fifty-year old Chicago male, transplanted to a Boston ska concert at the Middle East. I was a wee bit jealous, even if I've never been to a ska concert. Although, I don't know, does Cake count?

So, I have decided the worst part of having leukemia. I think, after seven months, that I have done enough "research" to speak with certainty. The worst part is the lack of blood, both red and white cells. To my knowledge, I have been running out of blood cells for at least a year now. I actually came across a journal entry from June 2006 in which I wrote that I was getting worried by the number and severity of bruises all over me. So, even one year ago, my platelets were dangerously low. Although I had no idea at the time that's what it was; I thought I was just anemic. My red blood cells were probably unhealthily low as well, but my body had adapted to having so few cells so I hardly noticed it. But now, I know what it's like to have a relatively normal blood count level. And right now, my red blood cells are getting too low again. I can't walk (jump...) up six stairs without my heart pounding like a maniac. And when I stand up, I get these super cool black-outs. Oh well. Hopefully I'll get a blood transfusion tomorrow, or Monday at the latest. But either way, I think having blood and not having to worry about it mysteriously disappearing is what I am looking forward to the most when this treatment is finished. I can't wait to be able to run again, to be able to jump out of my chair without needing to grab on to something solid for balance. Good things to look forward to. And now, I'm looking forward to some sleep. Pax.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I am procrastinating.

I just read a blog post from a friend of mine studying in Dublin over the summer. In it he admits to having drank a bottle of Captain Morgan in one night. Well, Jon, I just ate a carton of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. While there are distinct differences between ice cream and rum consumption, the level of intoxication, for instance, there are also notable similarities, the amount of sugar ingested, perhaps. Also, his liver probably hates him right now, and my liver function is also somewhat spotty. But most importantly, in neither instance was moderation a factor. So Jon, I raise my empty, sticky ice cream carton in your honor. Please come back to BU alive.

In other news, the adventures of Me continue. And today's adventure is definitely one for the books. I got pooped on. Right smack in the middle of the crown of my scalp. I was just sitting outside, minding my own business when I felt something hit my head. I thought it was a bug or a leaf so I reached back to brush it off. But mostly I succeeded in transferring the little turd to my hand. Rest assured, I hurried back inside to wash my hands. But there is a redeeming factor in this usually unfortunate situation: Since I have no hair, washing my head was super easy. A quick pass of the head under the faucet's very hot water and I was back to clean and normal. There were also some soap suds involved, but again, nothing too difficult. There would have been much more swearing and consternation on my part if I did, indeed, have hair, but I was glad, just this once, that I don't.

Otherwise, I am trying to write a paper I was supposed to have written seven months ago. The going is slow, but the going is going. So hopefully I'll get an A... I mean, come on, I've got cancer! Haha, no, I wouldn't pull the Card for a grade. Financial Aid, yes, but they are having none of it. So, back to work I go. Woo. Alrighty, peace.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I am so damn frustrated. "With what?" you ask? With this stupid white tubey hanging from my chest. As most of us are aware, summer is currently upon us. And with summer, especially in Chicago, comes heat. And, particularly in Chicago, with heat comes humidity. And where there is humidity, you had better believe that sweaty people are not far behind. Now, I may or may not be a naturally sweaty person. But when the heat index is above 100 degrees, as it was today, all natural tendencies can be ignored in the face of the reality that just about any physical activity outside will result in sweating.

Today I was given the task of delivering a letter to our post office. Our post office is maybe a little less than a mile from my house. I didn't have a vehicle today. The result: I walked to the post office, stopped briefly at Starbucks for an iced latte, and walked back to my house. The whole trip took me thirty-five minutes. And then I was back in my air-conditioned house. But I was ridiculously overheated. My head was especially hot. Whoever said cotton breathes is a liar. And here's the best part: the skin beneath the bandage covering my catheter site had perspired. Not a lot, but enough to loosen most of the bandage. The edges came up and probably helped compromise the sterility of my chest-hole. As a reminder, bacteria thrive in warm, moisture-rich environments. Bacteria are bad; bacteria are everywhere. My catheter site, which offers easy germ access to my insides, is a potential breeding ground for bacteria. I am trying to do everything I can to keep the site sterile and covered. Natural perspiration, and the accompanying ooze from within the hole itself, are not things I want to be dealing with right now. So I am frustrated.

Otherwise, I am finding out the hard way that you do not want to poke the hole in your thigh where you have just given yourself a shot. It is surprisingly painful. But I guess these things you learn through experience. Although it is quite possible that I am the only one stupid enough to do that... All very thought-provoking subjects. But I will end this on the happy note that the temperature is twenty degrees cooler since this afternoon, and my catheter seems to have ceased with its oozing, for now. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow. Oh well. Peace.