Saturday, September 30, 2006

Blood stats

Not a whole lot to report this week. I actually worked 41.5 hrs while getting in my blood test and taking Andrew to the doctor for his nose checkup. My blood stats are 9.8 for hemoglobin, 5.0 for white cells, 502 for platelets and 16 for Factor 2. Of primary interest is that my platelet count has actually dropped from 573 last month even though I reduced my anagrelide by 1/3. The last time my Anagrelide was dropped to this level, my platelets shot up from 259 to 1050 in 5 days though I also had just finished by the IgG transfusions.

I am sure that my hemoglobin will drop next week and I will have another blood transfusion . I also have another doctor appointment so may learn about what to expect next.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Busy week

After getting back from Michigan (Mom's funeral) on Sunday, I took vacation on Monday to be with Andrew during and after his sinus surgery. Tuesday, I had an eye doctor's appoinment and went home to sleep for a couple of hours to recover from the eye drops. Wednesday was a wild day. I had my blood test at 7:30am, took Andrew the doctor at 10:30, got a call to go back for a blood type & cross match at 2:30pm, stopped at DHL to pick up my repaired Mac laptop and still managed to work 7.5 hours before getting home about 7pm. I actually worked 9.8 hours on Thursday, trying to make up the time I had missed.

Since my hemoglobin was 10.2 a week ago, I really did not expect it to be 8.6 on Wednesday. I didn't expect it to be 10.2 before either. So I had a blood transfusion on Friday, but was not able to connect my laptop to the university network and to our work computers. Seems like my daughter's university network account has expired and I was out of range of the hospital's guest network. I ended up taking some sick leave to account for the missed hours.

So the count is 22 transfusions, 45 units of packed red blood cells and an average of 18 days between transfusions this year. The last 4 transfusions have been 14 or 15 days between since I slipped from transfusions on Wed to Friday.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mother Butterfly

Sorry for the delay in posting, but my mother died last Monday. My sister called from the hospital just before lunch and my mother died in our arms about 3 hours later. It was difficult to tell whether she could comprehend anything we said to her in those final hours, but I imagine that she was more concerned about us and was in perfect peace, knowing she was going to a better place in heaven. We recited the 23rd Psalm as she took her final breaths. I personally gained strength from this experience, like a direct channel to heaven was open for her and we shared in the power of God accepting her soul. May I be as peaceful and trusting in the end.

Thankfully, my blood counts were good on Wed. My hemoglobin was 10.2, where by past experience the week after a transfusion, it should have been closer to 9.3. My platelets were fairly level with previous weeks. Anyway, it gave me added strength for the week and the funeral on Saturday.

I didn't work the rest of the week, but spent a few days putting together a photo slideshow tribute of my mother's life, from her baby picture to her obituary. I had a lot of recent pictures from her 89th birthday party on August 20. I even scanned pictures from my mother's home on Friday night. The funeral home had a large screen tv which I used to cycle through the pictures throughout the visitation. One of these days I will get these posted on my web site as well.

The many tributes to my mother were tear-jerking. I was composed until my niece, Lori, spoke about my mother as a "Super Woman" who just kept going, working and serving everyone in any way she could. Lori related a story of when she was 8 and asked my mother if she could eat Thanksgiving dinner in the new living room with her big cousins. Then she accidently dumped her full dinner from the tv tray unto the new carpet. My mother did not get mad, but cleaned up the mess while comforting my niece and making her feel at ease. That was my mother, always gracious and never getting mad. After Lori's story, I was an emotional wreck and could not speak myself. Thanksfully, there was no shortage of tributes to my mother's life.

Remember the butterfly story about my father in my last post and the butterfly that showed up in the floral arrangement when I was in the hospital in Nov 2004. Why, there was also a butterfly at my mother's birthday party, there was one on the newspaper section of her obituary and also one on the program for her funeral. Coincidence? No, God-incidence as I once heard in a sermon. The butterfly has now emerged in a new heavenly body.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mom's status

Since I posted on Tuesday, I have had another blood transfusion (43 units over 21 sessions since first June 2005) and my mother has been going down hill. I visited her after my transfusion on Thursday and her response was minimal. Andrew and I visited again Thursday night and she seem to acknowledge when I said "I love you". I went to visit her today as my sister (Lola) relates in the following from an email message:

"Some of you know and some of you don't but my Mom had another stroke on Monday, the 4th of Sept. We were supposed to take her home this week but now she will soon be going home to heaven. She was able to talk with us some the beginning of the week but as the week has progressed she has gone into a coma. Joel, ( my brother), Don, another friend and I went to see my Mom this afternoon and had a little prayer service for her and sang a few songs. She seemed to try to open her eyes a little when we sang and prayed. It is difficult to see her like this but we know her greatest joy would be to wake up in heaven in the arms of Jesus. Please pray for us and for her these days. It may be a few days or it may be a week. It is hard to say how long it will be. Only God knows that."

My problems are forgotten in light of the current family situation. So many memories of my 58 years with my mother come to mind. She has had a good life of 89 years and is ready to go to be with Jesus and my father who died almost three years ago. As I sit with her it reminds me of sitting with my father five years ago and wondering what he was thinking. I related an analogy of a Butterfly on my Story2Tell website at that time. Likewise, perhaps my mother is like a Butterfly as well or soon to be in a beautiful new body in heaven.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Again, my hemoglobin is down to 8.4 and I am scheduled for a transfusion on Thursday. This makes 43 units of red blood cells since my first and an average of every 18 days during this year. Other blood counts were essentially the same though platelets were down some to 534. Strange since they should go up with my reduction of Anagrelide.

Again, my mother is back in the hospital with another stroke. This one was caused by bleeding into her skull on the right side. A 2 inch spot was visible on the CT scan and is putting pressure on her brain. It happened early Monday morning and I met my sister, Charlotte, in the emergency room at 7:30am. Mom is still aware and recognizes people, but has extreme difficulty speaking. She was doing better today, but doctors don't hold much hope for her going home again. Sunday, she was moving on her own with the walker, had control of her bladder and would have gone back to Lola's today. A day later and everything has changed.