Today I had another bone marrow biopsy. They gave me some fentanyl and vercid to somewhat sedate me. It's a conscious sedation that makes me feel a little loopy, but really helps the pain throughout the biopsy itself. I should get back the results sometime tomorrow...at least the preliminary results. Once I get those results, I will have a better idea of what the next step is. If the results come back conclusively negative (meaning there is no evidence of leukemia in my bone marrow), then I may have a chance of getting out of the hospital for a few days. Of course they are only going to let me out if:
- The biopsy results come back good
- My white blood cell count goes up above 1000 and my neutrophils are at about 90%
- My immune system can sustain a normal body temperature of 98.6 or so without the assistance of anti-biotics
Right now, I am constantly on anti-biotics to ensure that I don't get any infections or fevers. They will soon take me off of the anti-biotics to test out my immune system to see if it can handle normal living conditions without spiking fevers. One of the anti-biotics is called vancomycin....vanco for short. I remember having to take this stuff 4.5 years ago when I was at St. Luke's hospital here in Milwaukee. I dreaded it then, and I hate it even more now. I know it's good for my immune system and keeps me healthy, but it absolutely destroys my taste buds. Everything that I eat tastes like a mixture of cardboard, moth balls, and lead. Not only that, but my saliva always has that "flavor." It coats my mouth with this gel like film that nothing can really make go away. I keep a bowl of sour candy always close by, because they are literally the only things that I can taste.
The last couple of days I've had a pretty good flow of visitors. Yesterday, one of my older brother Mike's good friends, Nathan, came by. He lives in New York and was in town so he paid a visit. Mike, Nathan, and I play a lot of computer games together so it was nice seeing him in person instead of over a game. We talked for quite awhile and had a good time. Thanks for the visit, Nate!
At about the same time, another really good friend of mine, Marcela stopped in again. She's been very supportive and has really been a good friend. I hadn't seen her in a week or so, so it was nice to see her again as well!
Later at night, a group of friends (all from high school), all stopped in for a couple of hours. I think we must have talked about the Packers for two hours alone. We all go back a long way and every time we get together, we have a good time. If everything goes well, I just MIGHT be able to go over to Jason's place for one of his Packer parties on Sunday. He has a really nice TV and a refrigerator full of a great beer selection. I'll have to ask the doc to see if beer is allowed to be on my menu (that is if I get to leave for a couple of days).
Today, Matt Sinclair stopped in to visit me again. He was one of my friends at SC Johnson over the summer. We were both interns. As he walked in the door, he handed me a check for $100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. When I looked at the amount that he was donating towards the L.I.F.E. cause, I totally lost it. It was a very emotional moment for me. Just knowing that there are so many people out there who are coming forward to help this great cause is totally overwhelming. I cannot even begin to express at how grateful I am to all of you out there who have been as supportive as you have. Thank you all for everything!
Lastly, I bet you are all wondering what the topic of today's article was all about (Harley!!!). Well, as some of you may know, I worked long and hard through my college career and spent many many hours interviewing with a large number of companies for job offers after I graduated. With half a dozen job offers or so, I ultimately ended up selecting Harley-Davidson as my future employer. Well, my official start date with Harley was supposed to be January 7th. Obviously, due to my current situation, I was not going to be starting at Harley on the 7th. I called Harley after the New Year and told them about my situation. My contact in HR told me that she would speak with her manager and get back to me as soon as possible to let me know what Harley could or could not do for me. Well, the following Monday they had a meeting with one of their IT directors and HR directors. A couple days later, she called me back and informed me that my they would keep my position open until my treatment was complete and I was healthy and ready to go to work for them. I cannot express how grateful I am to Harley for working with me through this.
Ironically, 4.5 years ago, one of my father's college friends, Steve Ashley, bought me this do-rag. Little did we know at that time that I would one day be working for them in the IT field.
God bless you all and good night,