The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system covers portions of Contra Costa County, essentially all of Alameda County and San Francisco. It doesn’t cover south on the Peninsula much past SFO. There is the underway runnel connects San Francisco with the East Bay. Since the system was developed in the 1970s, maintenance was not exactly factored in. Not sure why but in order to work on the tracks under the Bay, the whole system has to be taken down to uni-directional for that stretch. Admittedly, the weekend is the best time to conduct this sort of work, the ridership is much less than that of weekdays. If people are smart, they will plan to stay on one side or the other.
And then there are those like me who need to get across the Bay, or from Berkeley to the Coliseum which did not involve a train change for Alex & me. However with just one train from our station, it meant that we also had the entire “going to San Francisco” crowd on the train.
We will ignore the As game, Lou Trivino, dropped balls and the Mariner’s four run 8th inning.
The real fun began on the way back. Only one train from Freemont/Dublin etc and going to Richmond. Want to go anywhere else? Change at 12th for SF or MacArthur for Antioch. When we finally were able to get on the ONE train headed across the Bay to SF, it was sardine time again. A change to the N-Judah at Embarcadero saw only minimal improvement. It was also packed. End result was that it took almost 90 min from the Coliseum to UCSF.
And, it took just about as long to get back to Berkeley with N-Judah -> BART with the same only one train going under the Bay -> change at 19th.
When I got home, it was more than time to crash.
Seriously, it probably has been over a year since we have seen the second car key. Having a car with only one key means that it is critical to manage the remaining key. There is a hook in the kitchen where we keep all the misc keys. The end hook next to the door is the designated post for the car key. It wasn’t there this morning.
I looked at the bus schedule – 25 minutes to the AC65. I had time to look. After spending 20 minutes of my remaining time till the bus fruitlessly searching the house (upstairs, main floor, all the rooms) I turned up neither the key or my missing pair of glasses. I sent Dani a txt checking to see if she was awake, my alternative to the bus being a ride to BART which could also net me a stop at Peet’s for coffee. Awake, she came upstairs a few minutes later. And handed me the car key.
“Sorry,” she said, “I hadn’t had time to bring it upstairs.”
Going from that to working my way through the BART system and arriving at UCSF was a picnic after that.
George’s doctor stopped through (not the attending, fellow, etc but his doctor who is the head of the transplant service) to let him know that his marrow is recovering. Upon request (which obviously happened) they manually looked at his blood slide. He has some neutrophils and the occasional monocyte. Means the transplant is starting to work. Red cells and platelets take longer. No clue how much longer, but sooner or later he won’t need daily transfusions…
So we spent a quiet day, ending with watching the As (and listening to RF149 which comes through clearly) and thinking that I should have braved the cold and gone to the park. I am headed back to Berkeley tonight, then going to the game tomorrow afternoon.
It seemed sensible to take you back to the count up (rather than down) so that all of us would have at minimum a clue without having to spin the wheel or ask Vanna White (Jeopardy – old TV show game for the non-US). George is getting really, really bored. Since he is occasionally coughing (which I don’t think is infectious but related to side effect from the chemo) he is stuck in his room. I thought about making him a t-shirt that says “help, I am a prisoner on 12-Long.” If I went with black and white stripes? Nah – the staff is wonderful and I am not sure that they would fully appreciate the attempt at humor.
We seem to be back to normal weather for this time of year. The fog is rolling in regularly and the temperatures have dropped down so that it is chilly at night again.
Quiet day, I am trying to find all the files that I have tucked here and there on the computer in order to make some progress on those papers which are still hanging over my head. It was Graduation Day for the five Norwegians who were here this past year for the LLM program. Thanks to WhatApps, they sent us pictures.
I elected not to go to the game tonight, just headed home on BART, stopped at the Safeway for food and made a bit more progress on my puzzle before heading to bed early.
From where I am staying in outer Sunset, it is just a short hike across Golden Gate Park to the SFVA. Of course, I can just ignore the fact that the portion of the stroll from the park to the VA is straight up 42nd.
you can see the location of the VA. and at the bottom you can see the small upside-down “V” where the cross-road park road connects to the streets on the north side of the park. Please count them, five blocks straight up hill, a definite challenge on a cool and foggy morning.
It was dental day for me. Like many others of our generation, I have a significant amount of dental work. Due to the care and diligence of Army (and Air Force) dentistry over the years, I still have all of my teeth (except for wisdom which exited when I was in med school thanks to the U of MN Oral Surgery Residency Program. $25, thank you very much). In fact, I have had one crown for a significant number of years, enough that I actually have worn through the crown. Today’s mission impossible for my poor dentist whom I have gotten to know rather well over the last two years, was to see if it could be patched with the alternative facing me of a new crown. Much as I really appreciate the SFVA dental staff, I don’t need to devote another several ½ days to the dental clinic. A successful patch later, I was about to go out the door. Only one dental issue left in my future – replacement of crown that will involve a visit to the periodontist. Since the previous dentist retired, there is only a part-timer on contract. His tech stopped in – would I be able to trade my August appointment for returning this afternoon?
It was only a matter of taking the shuttle over to UCSF and hang out with George for about three hours and taking the shuttle back. Nice guy (family Ukraine -> Israel -> to California) which means, of course, his practice is in Menlo Park (altho he denies living in Sunnyvale). His tech’s family came from China when she was young. My dentist’s family came from India. The nurses and cleaning staff are equally reflective of who takes care of our veterans–it is the new immigrants and their children. The ones that feel that they are contributing to the U.S. by taking care of those who serve. And often, they are also first to volunteer should the country need them and at a much higher rate than those who are two generations or more in the U.S..
(off soap box).
After being told to expect pain, I breezed through the pharmacy and ran for the shuttle, getting back to UCSF by 1600. I spent the afternoon just hanging out with George, then we watched the first three quarters of the Warrior-Raptors game before I headed to the N-Judah. He still has squat for white cells or platelets; I figure another week in this place. He is bored, he is tired. If you want to email him directly – georgeDOTrehmATicloudDOTcom with substituting the appropriate punctuation It would be a lot more appreciated by him than me playing momma monkey and plucking loose hair.
D+ too many to still be short on platelets or white blood cells, but there we are. (So yesterday, between running errands in the East Bay)
smaller size, Artifact Puzzle. Less than 200 pieces so it went together fairly quickly.
which lead to –
which meant I really didn’t spend any significant time trying to put together edges, but rather tackled a few of the objects before I needed to head back to San Francisco.
All of which has much more color than sitting here quietly talking, ignoring the TV and knitting while listening to audiobooks.
A long time ago, which you will all agree 1984 literally qualifies for (if you weren’t born yet, just take a breath and remember the world has existed a lot longer than any of us have been around. Not the center of the universe, which is true, but not always fun to remember) George, Shana, and I moved back to the US from Germany. He was looking at being involved in a legal practice with a couple of school mates, I was headed to Johns Hopkins for graduate school. Shana? Well at age, she was pretty much along for the ride.
Now consider, Washington DC. It is June. Our house was just outside the beltway in Kensington. It was hot. It was humid. Houses came with air-conditioning. Cars did not, unless you paid extra. (you know where this is going, don’t you?) I wasn’t realistic, after all, air-conditioning was not exactly needed in Germany. Too hot? Open a window. And then there is the slight matter of being concerned about finances. Spending an additional $500 on A/C just didn’t make sense to me at the time.
So there I was, commuting 3-4 days a week to Baltimore over the summer in our small, red, reasonably warm car with the windows open on beltway and the Baltimore-Washington corridor. It was probably the least expenditure of calories to become heat acclimatized in my life. Now fast forward to the East Bay. It is mid-June. The temperature has been in the low 90s (think 32*C) in an area where windows open, fans aren’t standard household features, and few can even spell A/C. In fact, I was surprised at how few people were even wearing long sleeves.
The Eldest’s cats are sunning themselves, which seems totally and completely insane considering that Richmond is even hotter than Berkeley. OTOH – they do have jungle cat ancestry.
As it turns out, on this D+14 day, George’s ward is one of the few that actually has air-conditioning. Which, if you think about the fact that all the air going into the ward has to be filtered and scrubbed makes perfect sense. The windows don’t open, the double sets of doors not quite completely providing an air-lock, controlling the temperature of the inbound air is probably the easiest of what is essential for patient health. Of course, you can’t control the temp in each room, that requires a call to the maintenance people but that seems like a trivial thing to complain about.
I spent the morning and early afternoon running errands before heading back to SF. He now has clean laundry, I have a couple of projects that I can complete over the next several days. More than likely I will stay on this side of the bay till Sat night.
Dogs shed, cats shed and so, at this point is my George. I had had the faint hope that he would be spared the hair loss but no, he is shedding. Much like every cat I have ever had, those dark hairs liberally sprinkled through the grey seem to land visibly on his pillow case. The grey? Prominently displayed on his navy Cal t-shirt. There are a few whiskers that may be joining the exodus. As if that wasn’t enough, he is still sorely (sorry, bad, bad pun) waiting on white blood cell and platelet recovery so all of his visitors (me included) are sporting gowns and masks.
If you have ever had trouble sleeping – think about doing so in an M-95 respirator. On the other hand, don’t bother. It is a small annoyance compared to the lousy sleeping chair and all of the iterations. After spending most of the day quietly together, I took that marvelous mode of transportation called BART back over to the East Bay and crashed. Errands to run, laundry to do. And sleep.
(this is D+13 if you are counting).
I mentioned, did I not that the DC Metro doesn’t start till 0800 on Sunday mornings? That the first meetings start at 0800? That just because the Metro opens at 0800 doesn’t mean that corresponds to the time the first train rolls through my particular station? End result is that I made it to Dupont Circle and up the hill to the conference location in time to discover that there was a definite lack of coffee on site. Listening to people discuss dry academics without caffeine in my system is not necessarily my idea of a good time.
My working group is dispersing back to their home countries (Australia, Austria, France, Canada, India, UK, US) with plans made for future conferences and collaborations between.
And then it was time to head for the airport (closing ceremonies are never my things, especially when the last speaker in the conference doesn’t end on time). I was flying Delta. Arriving at the airport early wasn’t a problem. Finding a location where I could sit down was, especially after a gate change.
Did I mention that all the flights were so seriously over booked that the airlines were offering hotel vouchers, meal vouchers, $600 in flight coupons and rebooking to 0600 in the morning. Was not seriously tempted, but it thought about it for all of 30 seconds.
Then the delays started. Slight delay of plane arriving from Atlanta (duh). Followed by mechanical on the way out to JFK. Then the flight arriving in? Medical pickup followed by 20 minutes of deplaning before loading for La Guardia. So we were only 20+ minutes behind for my connector to Detroit. Which was packed. Which was filled with all of the above mentioned passengers attempting to bring their entire life possessions with them on the plane in suitcases obviously too big to fit anywhere other than the baggage compartment. It meant that the boarding process had to be stopped part way through to take cases back out of the plane and check them.
Detroit is just a short flight away. We arrived with 45 minutes till my next flight (not the 90 that I had planned). And the fun started all over again. Announcement – this plane is completely booked. We are looking for volunteers to delay travel till tomorrow morning. Ok – not happening from the looks of things. And…. we need 37 roller boards checked as there is not going to be room on the plane for all of them. !5 minutes later – Folks – we still need 32 large pieces of carry-on checked. If you are in Main 2 or Basic boarding, there is not going to be cabin space for anything that doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you.
And on it went. There were a few intelligent people, but the majority once again had to be stopped on boarding and handed luggage tags. The flight from DTW to SFO is almost five hours. Add in packed plane and turbulence, I was glad for my window seat and head phones. It was after 2300 when we landed at SFO. Looking at the BART.GOV website – the very last train headed toward the city was scheduled for 2354…
Taxi in, escape the plane, hustle to the Air Train, bail out and dash down the steps to BART. The train is there: Antioch (with connections to all stations but for two). The doors are closed. The train is partly full of passengers waiting. Suitcases, lot of suitcases. And the doors are closed. I am at one end of the train, watching unbelievingly as someone at the other end boards. One open door – down at the other end.
Not stupid here, I head down the platform figuring the worse that happens is the train departs and the best is that I can board. Once on, I head up the train three cars and find a seat. Then the doors open for about 2 minutes, close and we leave. I change to Muni at Civic Center. Unlike during the day with hustle and bustle, the station is mostly inhabited by various people who view the station as their home away from home. Muni is much the same. Not many of us taking the various trains, but interesting people watching while I wait for the N-Judah.
I am the only one getting off at UCSF facing the challenge of figuring out which door I may enter, then finding I have to sign in with security. It is just short of 0100 when I get to George’s room. I will not bore you with what passes for a “family sleep chair.” Just to note that I can stretch my legs out if sitting down, or I can curl up in fetal position. But the night will be short….
(date altered so that it comes out on Sunday. Because I feel like it is still Sunday….
rather than continue to confuse myself and everyone else around me with trying to determine which day it is. Yes, Saturday. As apposed to either the third or fourth day of the conference depending on whether or not one actually counts Wednesday.
Of course, it was this morning that I discovered that the DC Metro doesn’t open till 0700 on Saturdays. What is worse, the station nearest my hotel, like the rest of the Metro doesn’t open till 0800 on Sundays. Once again, a system which is designed for white collar office workers on a Mon-Fri schedule and discounts everyone who works shifts and needs to present at 0700 on a weekend or holiday.
The lectures and symposiums ranged over all age groups and types of travels with, still, an emphasis infectious disease. Probably the highlight of the morning was the presentation by the Smithsonian on their “Outbreak” exhibit (which is on epidemics in a connected world).
they fed us lunch – (who says there is no such thing as a free lunch)
And for those medical types – ABCs of resuscitation? Airway, Breathing….camera….
After attending the business meeting, I skipped the reception to get back to my hotel before it became dark. My congrats to any Texans–the As just didn’t have it and lost both games of the double header.
George is holding his own – minus platelets and white cells.
This is a 7000 series train. Followed by where it is going and the next station. Of course, not all seven thousand series trains are created equal on the Washington DC regional Metro. Some have internal electronic signage. Some don’t. The trains are all shiny silver without any of the advertising wraps that are now becoming much more common on the BART system. The insides –
some of interior design is the same as BART. But there is a noticeable difference; both are there sidewalls which create compartments, but also blocks free movement of passengers. I also noted the complete lack of space for bicycles. Apparently, no one in the DC Metro area uses a bike for commuting.
where my hotel is located. There are various bits and pieces of that particular leaf (Oak?) around the station.
That was just the getting to and from the conference portion of my day. Otherwise, I went to a number of excellent presentations and a couple in which I was all too easily distracted. On me, maybe. Our military related symposium went extremely well as did our working group meeting. Surprisingly, the Canadian contingent outnumbered the US. Otherwise, we had representatives from Austria, Australia, India, Taiwan, UK, France, and a few who never said anything,.
I had a chance to FaceTime with George who is getting extremely bored (watching the eucalyptus sway and paint dry). Otherwise, there is news on the TV which is not necessarily thrilling. And of course, there is baseball and on some nights, basketball. (The As almost managed to toss away their win against the Rangers.)
the day (June 6, 1944) in World War II on which Allied forces invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy. Today is the 75th Anniversary. All who served in that war, no matter which side, are now in their 90s. Our memories are short; the further we get from that conflict the easier it is to revise history. To discount the burden on those involved at the time, respect for all those who died, and the impact of post war on the future of more than just the countries directly involved with fighting on their lands. It isn’t just the Holocaust survivors of whom I speak, it is all who underestimate the impact on our politics today. That war, and the follow on Korean Conflict (War) had a huge impact on all of my generation as we grew up in the aftermath with the Cold War. The influence on our parents in turn affected us. And a large number of “us” are today’s politicians.
I headed back to the hotel early last night. Exhausted would have been a polite way of describing my staggering in the door and landing face down on the bed. At 0700 I was back at the hotel, meeting with the rest of the leadership of our working group. (ISTM provided breakfast, so there was a reward for being at a meeting when my body was clearly sure it was 0400). End result, we have a fairly good plan for the next meeting and a potential for joint symposium with a couple of the other special interest working groups. If any of can make a commitment to the regional meetings in 2020, there is a possibility (ick, how German can I get in sentence construction translated into English) of symposium at those meetings as well.
(and a thanks to Miriam. Her logo for our working group has been turned into a very nice coin. Military are all about coins.)
There were a number of absolutely excellent presentations today covering a range of topics from the expected malaria presentation through the handling of emergencies. I should have stayed for some of the evening meetings. Instead, I went back to the Courtyard Marriott to sleep.
(Word from George is that he is stable. Bored out of his mind, but stable).
Ok, title coding first. This is the Conference, International Society of Travel Medicine, #16. This afternoon was dedicated to the pre-conference workshops. Those included to take examinations could have spent the morning on the Certification Exam. I decided that I didn’t want to do years ago. I enjoy the meetings and I have a network now of fabulous people. But another exam? Done with those, thank you very much. And if I had, had even the smallest temptation, UCHastings and legal exams have thoroughly cured me.
I successfully made it from the airport to the Metro to the meeting hotel. I am still contemplating whether it is better to walk 4 blocks up hill from Dupont Circle, or 8 blocks downhill from Woodley Park. Such hard decisions are the bedrock of life.
The pre-course, mostly organized by my French colleague ran smoothly, so that is one critical item checked off my list. After thinking carefully, I bagged the opening ceremonies and reception in favor of heading to my hotel (the cheaper one a few stops up the Red Line Train to ….
At this point, it is waiting and consumes about as much energy as watching paint dry.
Seriously, it is nap, hang out, watch for side effects, complications, or infections (and hopefully none of the above).
So I thought I would talk to you about Robo.
Some bright person somewhere in the hospital, who if they are sensible, will never, EVER, admit that this was their idea, decided that robots could deliver certain items more safely and securely than people. And it was not a one time purchase.
They do not share space. There is a robotic voice feature that basically says “get out of my way.” If you are already on an elevator, it may tell you to leave. If you are both at the elevator, it will tell you that you can not ride with it. Note – TELL, not ask,. I have the suspicion that the robots are disruptive enough that they do not allow them on the utility elevators which means that they are restricted to interrupting visitors and staff, rather than patients being transported between hospital locations.
It took several of us to free up this particular bit of idiotic machinery, as it was stuck. There was a bed in the way, there was a chair in the way. Oh, horrors! And this is one of the new models. It has flashing lights, the same robotic voice. If you have a real desire to learn more – there is an article about Tug in 2017 on Wired. Or its home page on Aethon. Note – there are no prices on the website. Frankly, I don’t see it as a money saving measure – given initial investment, maintenance, and the requirement for people on both ends of the supply run, which means that it doesn’t really improve patient safety in delivery of medications, blood products or surgical instruments. There is the issue of contamination as it rolls in and out of public spaces. And finally, they get stuck. The end result of which means that it is not what you want for anything that is an emergency. It probably is cheaper than replacing a pneumatic tube system in an older facility, but there is something seriously to be said about investment in people.
I am now at USO at SFO. Taking the red-eye from here to DC. The ISTM meeting starts on Thursday morning. As an every two year meeting, I try not to miss. I would make the exception this year except for the fact that I am the co-chair of one of the working/interest groups and made the commitment to be there for the meeting last fall (before any of the current challenges materialized). Even so, I might have bailed had not two other committee members done (including the local organizer) so leaving it down to my co-chair (French) and the sec/treasure (Canada).
The two eldest will be checking on George, I will be making extensive use of FaceTime. And I paid for trip insurance in case I have to head home early.
There is no chemo scheduled for today. Just a watch as George’s white count continues to drop headed for that magic zero. After that? Any and all blood cells will be courtesy of his donor. Red Blood cells, of course, don’t count at this point.
Mostly, he is resting, listening to KQED (the SF Public Radio Station). I think he is receiving good value for his annual contribution.
I have been through as many library books as I have interest in, for the moment. Instead, I am thinking about all those things at the house which I will have the wonderful “opportunity” to tackle while we are on house arrest this summer. The garage is too dusty and dirty to allow George anywhere near it.
There is one section of the garage that we had shelved with the plan to store above floor level all those items which need to be safely stored and not at risk of water, pressure or other damage. I actually started to make progress last July. From solid wall of boxes in the center, I had it down to those dozen in the center.
Then things got reorganized a few times, sometimes were shipped in. Other items left. Much of what we have falls into that wonderful category of “too good to toss” but I don’t need it. Often this involves books, hard copy movies, and those treasures which have been inherited but have limited value. Actually, I am more than glad to gift just about anything; to have things find a new home. I am resistant to the idea of landfill, it just seems a waste.
It is also the reality of getting older. One’s interests can change. One’s need for several thousand beads, ten pairs of shears, or boxes of books that will never be re-read is actually limited. All of us also have to face the issue of mortality. True – if I get hit by a car on the way home tonight – the garage will not be my problem. But seriously, is it the kind of legacy that I want to leave my family?
OTOH – at a box a day? What, a couple of years before I am done? And exactly how long will my interest level in clearing out actually last…..
At this point in the process, one’s own white cells have pretty effectively been wiped out and the stem cells are s ttling, but haven’t started replacing all those white cells. Means that there is a serious risk of infection (which helps explain at least part of the handful of pills which include anti-virals, antibiotics, and anti fungal agents.)
Anyone who has been through chemotherapy and recovery knows about how wiped out one can get. The rest of us can just use our imaginations while being grateful it is not us at this time. All of which lead me to thinking about past years.
Twenty-one years ago, I was in the Balkans as the Commander of Task Force Med Eagle. Sixteen years ago it was Kuwait as the Command Surgeon for ARCENT-KU. Eight years ago, I had just been retired and was home in Heidelberg. From 2007 on (which is about the past 12 years, I can just look up archives although I wasn’t able to get all the photos transferred from my old German blog host to the current one).
My, time flys when you are having fun….
totally amazed this morning – I had to wait for the outbound N-Judah to clear before proceeding to the tram stop. The drive of the inbound waited for me! Perhaps I am just having great luck right now with transportation drivers. Yesterday I had an appointment at the SFVA. My choice was to take the N-Judah in to Powell, then catch the 38R out Geary spending almost 90 minutes under way or .. walk across Golden Gate Park. I chose the latter. 40th->41st. Across the park on pleasant paths which come out at 42nd. Stagger up the hill for a few blocks (about four?) and there I am at the VA. Distance well under 3k, time less than 30 minutes. Coffee my reward on arrival.
Last night seemed to be another of those “not getting enough sleep” for George so he slept most of the morning. I wound up going back to the Outer Sunset for a few hours of sleep myself. Met Alex at the ballpark to collect the “unicorn rainbow fanny pack” give away and watch the As lose another to Houston.
Headed to Berkeley for the night to do home laundry, repack some clothes and otherwise take a short break.
(easy to see where we are, right? No need for now for me to come up with any interesting headings, titles or anything that requires even basic imagination. Especially helpful when I am running more than a bit tired.)
Mostly today was sleep. There is nothing like running a bit of fever during the night added into the extremely frequent checks to insure that you don’t get much sleep. KQED is running in the background (I forgot to bring my headphones – something that I will correct on Saturday night when I head back to the East Bay for a few hours.)
From here on in, it is going to be mostly watchful waiting. Plus medications. Remember from a couple of years ago when I was complaining about having to take a handful of pills in the morning? My meds have nothing on the double handful George gets to swallow multiple times a day. There are anti-infection for both virus and bacteria, kidney support, liver support, Calcium, VitD (sunshine now one’s enemy), immune suppressors and a few others. Thinking about counting them. Then again, why would that make either of us feel any better? Still several meds running through the I.V. which will be our friend for days yet. My main job right now is quiet support and laundry.
Rest assured, I am passing along everyone’s well wishes.
The As had it, then they blew it. I am headed to the game tomorrow. I don’t think my presence or absence will make a difference. If you tune into the game on TV, we are the crew with the drums right behind the banners in the right field bleachers.
In general, transplants are messy, painful operations involving anesthesia, surgeons, recovery; did I mention pain for days afterwards.
But this is what a stem cell transplant looks like
Now add in vital signs, premedications (the usual to prevent a reaction), two nurses carefully double checking each and every bit of identifying data (just like a blood transfusion only more so), and in less than an hour it is done. Never have to leave the room; no rolling down the hall dressed in horrible hospital best with all these people who don’t know you staring as you are wheeled past. No opportunity to say stupid stuff in the recovery room that may come back to haunt you. Just the opportunity to read or sleep while the pump does its thing.
Meanwhile, now a few hours post transplant, George is watching the Warrior-Toronto game after supper. I spent time playing computer games.
Then, I decided to read more on ethnicity, HLA typing and other fun scientific inquiries. There is a really neat data base here which gives you background on HLA typing and has a database in which you can look up HLA alleles that have been correlated with different ethnic groups. Besides the obvious data from Europe, there is also significant data from Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands, New World Native, and various combinations there of.
If you are interested – this link provides data on the relation between ethnicity, donor availability (unrelated donor match) and survival. This particular study is now ten years old, but the facts remain that being Caucasian improves your chances of a finding a match with an unrelated donor. The closer your match, the fewer complications and the better your long term chances. Most of us do not have enough siblings to have one a perfect match. In fact, some of us, by retirement age, don’t have any sibs, or none that are healthy enough to donate. The US National Registry is here. The same exist in UK, OZ, all Western European countries. Primarily, they are looking for the under 30 crew (free to register) and males are preferred over females (and females who have not been pregnant over those that have). In case you are scratching your head – pregnancy exposes a woman to HLA antigens not her own. Unlike other organs, stem cells/bone marrow is self renewing.
George was still doing fine when I headed off for the night. We were told to “not expect problems” but to report anything that was a change. Anything at all. Discomfort, pain, itching, anything.
Shall we just ignore the As pitchers yesterday who managed to blow up, magnificently in extra innings.
George was looking much better today. Even a small break from the chemo does wonders for his energy level. He doesn’t look any different; perhaps a bit more color since his hemoglobin level is higher than it has been in months. But otherwise, he just looks normal.
I made a detour to Berkeley this morning to discuss next year’s teaching schedule at Cal. I guess I am making a commitment to be around, at least for spring semester. (But hello, the best TAs are in the fall anyway..) Dani (Daughter #2) came over to spend time with her dad while I was out. Then there was the side trip to Oakland. According to our NYC crew, the TV cameras pointed toward RF 149 more than once. That would have been the highlight….
Tomorrow is transplant time. From what we know, the stem cell donation arrived from Germany.
Have the countdown? Tomorrow is the rest day before transplant, then we count up till George is able to escape from the hospital. I bounced over early this morning, taking comfort in the N-Judah running so that I could sit on the hard seats of the tram rather than the slightly less hard seats of the N-Owl night bus. Go figure. The tram has a lot more seating and better grab bars for those standing.
George is wiped, after a bajillion interruptions this morning, he finally got some sleep this afternoon. I ducked out to the library, then came back and watched the first few innings of the As game with him rather than fight the crowds over to the ballpark and back. The Umpires have stepped over the line from bad to horrible. Even on reply it was obvious that there was a missed call. That call gave the Angels a walk rather than an out. Followed by another missed call. Since this was the top of the 9th, you can imagine. On second thought don’t.