Tuesday, April 22, 2008


What do I mean by the title this time? Well, it is actually a useful mnemonic for remembering the causes of acute pancreatitis which the Dr thinks I might have. Steroids or autoimmune causes are most likely the problem. Actually, I am not sure if this would be chronic or acute pancreatitis since I have not had any pains except for cramps. My strange diarrhea has persisted for the last month and when I described how the nasty stuff looked and smelled, the Dr immediately related it to fat malabsorption. The Dr ordered a couple more blood tests to measure my amylase and lipase levels. I also got a prescription of Viokase 16 tablets which contains 16,000 units lipase, 60,000 units protease and 60,000 units amylase. I have to take 3 of these before each meal and one before a snack.

I also had another phlebotomy this afternoon. My hemoglobin was somewhat lower at 14.9 where two weeks ago it was 17.1. My platelets are still low at 81 so the phlebotomies do not seem to be helping that. The Dr told me to start taking multi-vitamins (without iron) that might affect my INR which was 1.48 today. I will have to get the INR checked again next week. My case is still strange as the Dr said he used me (unnamed) as an illustration in a recent lecture to all U of MN medical students.

The next big thing will be another bone marrow biopsy on May 9, the anniversary of my bone marrow transplant and also my 60th birthday. I see the Dr again on May 13th to get the results.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Second Phlebotomy

I just got back from my second phlebotomy this morning. The blood certainly comes out faster than it went in before, only took 30 minutes for the whole appt. My hemoglobin was at 17.1 this morning and per the Dr's orders, they drained 500 ml. After a couple of Oreo cookies and some juice, I walked out not feeling too much worse for the wear.

After thinking about the 93 units of blood that I had transfused between June 2005 and last Fall, I decided to stop by and visit the Masonic Day Hospital where I received most of that blood. This is between the Philips Wangesteen Building where I have my BMT appointments and the Fairview University Hospital where I actually had the BMT. I believe that most of the nurses that helped me over those two years were there today and I had a great visit. For any of them reading this, I again thanks you for all of your help and kindness. They were all very professional and experts in their jobs.

After having lunch with a friend, I stopped by the Express Bike Shop in St. Paul, not too far east of the University. I donated four bicycles to their Back Door program (Youth Express) and encourage you to do the same. I had nine bicycles in my garage and needed to clean them out. Some neighbor kids took a couple and my son brought his to the university campus. That leaves two, one of which I need to work on. Now I just need to clean up the rest of the stuff including two broken snow blowers. Luckily, we did not get the 26 inches of snow that they got north of here last weekend. Real Spring seems slow in coming.

Update: Just saw this on evening news after posting earlier this afternoon:
Masons give $65M to UMinn for cancer research