Short Version #2

This is a shorter version of Dave’s Adventure with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) which is a type of acute leukemia meaning that it is aggressive and progresses quickly.

EDIT: The really short version on 17 Dec, is that I am almost through with my 3rd round of Chemo and doing really well. 6 to 8 rounds is typical. The medium length version follows and the detailed versions are on separate pages.

Normally, I am getting Chemo in Hospital then I am sent home for a couple of weeks and the cycle repeats every 21 days. I get 96 hours of continuous Chemo into a PICC line. The PICC Line is a tube in my right bicep, that follows the main artery back to 75mm above the heart. This allows the very slow drip of Chemo to be mixed and diluted before it goes into the cells of my body.

As I said, I get 4 days of the main Chemo and then one hour of another Chemo. So, about 5 days of treatment in Hospital and then I am out to recover, then it begins again. Today, 14 Dec, I am beginning the 3rd Round.

But, on 9 Nov, I had surgery for a brain bleed. A subdural hematoma. They cut a 45mm hole in my skull and cleaned out what they could of a 22mm thick, large crescent shaped clot. My body is cleaning up the leftovers, giving me frequent mild headaches. Round two of chemo was delayed for 2 weeks while healing from this.

I have also had several Emergency Department visits that were clearly not expected and I was discharged from Round 2 of Chemo on 27 Nov. The next day, American Thanksgiving, I appear to have gotten a large Pulmonary Embolism, a blood clot in my lung(s). That made me very tired and lethargic, until 2:45AM, Thursday the 5th of Dec, when I woke up with a strange, strong pressure in the area of my sternum. However, my lethargy was gone and I felt better than I had in weeks. Ironic.

Off to the Emergency Department again, where they found several clots in my lungs and legs. They pondered for several days

the idea of giving me ‘blood thinners’. They do not actually thin the blood, but they affect one or more of the clotting factors. This is because, like in a stream with tree branches being carried along, the ‘clot’ does not usually completely stop the blood flow, but as blood leaks around the ‘clot’ these ‘tree branches’ cause the ‘clot’ to grow and grow. I will be on the ‘thinner’ for months, and must be careful not to cut myself.

The various kinds of ‘blood thinners’ make ‘clots’ less likely, but with the history of a large bleed in my skull, you want things to not leak. Catch 22.

They decided on the best choice and sent me home. I am doing pretty well. So well that I walked about 1.5 miles (2.4km) downhill on the way home from our latest check up regarding the brain bleed. But, it was downhill, dropping about 217ft (66m) and after about a mile, my legs were like rubber, so, we had lunch in a restaurant, and rested. When we were continuing it began to rain and we had no umbrellas, so we caught the free shuttle from the SCCA House to our apartment at the Pete Gross house.

My calves are still sore several days later. I overdid it. As most of us have learned, walking downhill can be worse that uphill at times.

This is the ‘short version’ of Dave’s illness, from 15 Oct to 14 Dec, 2019.

2 thoughts on “Short Version #2

  1. It sounds like forward progress is being made. My wife Kathy and I send our best wishes to you Dave, and to your shipmate as well.

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