Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Red Devil's gift


Guess what I got for my birthday?
A friend called me last week to tell me this. She had battled breast cancer 3 years ago. Included in her treatment was dense dose Adriamycin aka The Red Devil. Aside from the nausea, neutropenia, anemia, hair loss, mouth ulcers experienced as one is being treated, down the road heart failure and leukemia could crop up especially with the dose dense regimen. It is a pre-leukemia called MDS leukemia in which the bone marrow can not produce enough normal blood cells. In 30 % of cases, it can progress to full blown AML leukemia. This is what the news anchor Robin Roberts had. She was successively treated with chemo to destroy her faulty bone marrow and then received a transplant from her brother, fortunately a match. Siblings usually are a closer match than children or parents. I couldn't even donate blood to my kids. Still it is a rare side effect of the Red Devil; only about 1.5 % of the time. MDS leukemia usually strikes a much older patient but the Red Devil causes ones that  are much younger.
Speed nursers: I had been concerned that since I have disturbed the nest of bunnies, I haven't seen the mother. They are still very much alive and there are 5 ( I miscounted yesterday). Turns out the total time a mother rabbit spends nursing is only 5 minutes. They have very rich milk and it fills the bunnies up for 24 hours. The mom presumably visits at night. Meanwhile either the barn swallow babies are particularly slow to mature or a brand new crop is being raised because the parents are being extra protective now. If I get within 50 feet, they will swoop at my face veering only at the last second. They are amazingly fast. So far, they haven't touched me but it is unnerving as they aim right for my eyes.
Helicopters: Sounded like thunder. I look up and there are 7 helicopters flying in close formation not far off the ground. WTF?

It is refreshingly cool versus the steambath it was yesterday. I was able to run and bike comfortably. Saw 2 northern flickers (a pretty type of wood pecker). Heard the red bellied woodpecker and saw it at a distance. On Sunday, I finally saw my first Michigan coyote (see them out west all the time) while I was biking. It was crossing the road about a quarter mile ahead of me.
And today, I have nothing scheduled versus being busy doing something every second yesterday.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Glad to hear that you do have some down time. I am always awed at just how busy you are.


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