Friday, February 10, 2017

Update from Markus from February 8, 2017

I have been remiss about updating this blog for the last few days. A lot has been happening. Here is the last post from Markus from two days ago...

February 8, 2017
I almost didn’t write an update tonight because I was too tired and opted for bed. But now I have a little bit of insomnia, and I’m taking advantage of it.
Yesterday’s platelet transfusion did the trick, in spades: Nurse Melanie won the wager in a big way, and my counts went up to triple their previous high. With that, my propensity for getting little blood blisters faded away. At least for now. All the other blood numbers continue their moderate course of “basically doing the right thing,” and thus the waiting continues.
Today brought two unexpected treats. First I got to eat not just one, but two tasty outside meals. This was courtesy of Annie and Hannah being at the Midtown Global Market for lunch and offering to bring me a little something while they were in the area (Vegan Channa Burrito from Hot Indian Cuisine, for the yum!). Thank you, Annie!
The second treat was that since Aurora and Audrey had their music lessons right after school today (guitar and ukulele, respectively), the instruments came along when they visited my room. I got a pair of little shows. Can’t complain about that. My ever-wonderful dear Tricia made the trek to La Loma Tamales to fetch my tasty dinner.
Over the last two days I have really noticed some allergy-like symptoms: itchy eyes and slight stuffiness in the nose. This is odd for me because I normally don’t have itchy eyes in winter, even when home in our house full of dust and cat hair. Hospital staff first guessed it was just from the dry hospital air, and gave me some saline eye drops with which to treat it. The drops, however, actually sting when they go in—also not normal for me when merely dry eyes are involved. I was guessing there must be some allergens in the hospital air which affect me; since my room’s isolation features were turned off the other day, now those allergens are getting into my space where before they weren’t. The doc also suggested this might be a minor side-effect of my temporarily-high white blood counts: all those extra immune cells want something to attack, so they’re inflaming my eyes and nose a little bit. He isn’t concerned about it in any case: my lungs continue to sound clear, and THAT’s where the potentially-hazardous inflammations tend to show up with my style of chemotherapy.
Of course I want to reduce or eliminate those annoying symptoms, AND of course I like to figure things out and come to know what’s up if I can. So naturally we’re running some experiments. Tonight my room’s positive-air-pressure isolation feature is back on even though I don’t technically need its protection anymore. All air now flows out from the room to the hallway. If the issue is allergens in the hall, then the symptoms should fade fairly quickly just from that change. If instead the symptoms persist, then we’ll know it’s something else going on, and we can come up with a way to prove and/or resolve that. It’s fun to be curious.
Thursday I won’t have my usual family visit because after-school activities will keep the girls away. I’ll miss seeing them, but this also means there’s a bit more of a time slot in case anyone else wants to swing by for some chats or to bring me dinner. I enjoy all visitors. Just ask about a time; I am mostly just hanging around here all day and night so it’s generally other people’s schedules that provide the constraints.
Let’s see if this sleep thing works now.

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