Thursday, September 24, 2015


watercolor miniature

hand made raku tile 25 cents
25 cent pot in middle will be filled next year with a miniature plant in my clay village
miniature plants purchased for clay village that turned out too big Cute flower basket might be useful
A card stolen from someone's blog. The bumblebee was a metaphor for her life: science says that bumblebees can't fly as the aerodynamics are wrong but yet they fly anyway due to their superior determination. She was determined to cure her leukemia 'naturally' . by not going through traditional chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Rather she prayed a lot and ate healthily thinking that 'toxins' she had consumed in the past (sugar, meat, dairy) gave her leukemia in the first place. The prayer did not work.
IMHO whoever calculated that bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly did their math wrong. I have been going though leukemia blogs (Being cancer conveniently stores lots of blogs by disease type; mine is in there) to find some good ones that will give my friend hope. Once she gets stronger, she will need more stuff to occupy herself in her isolation. So far, the reporter Robin Roberts story is the best. She was roughly the same age as my friend when she had breast cancer, the chemo gave her MDS leukemia (which turns into deadly AML leukemia if ignored). She received stem cells from her sister that saved her life and she is fine now. Robin was very fortunate to have a sibling match because finding one outside her family in the African-American community was only 20%. She wrote a book about her experience. Her mom's motto: Make the mess your message.

Bumblebee's story initially sounded promising. She was the same age as my friend when diagnosed with MDS leukemia. She initially did do chemo to go into remission. She was told that this remission most likely will be temporary but she chose to believe that she could make it permanent by prayer, healthy living and lots of travel. I kept on reading even though I would not recommend this one for my friend other than as a cautionary tale for not taking Bumblebee's road because she was an excellent writer. She went to several very expensive holistic treatment centers whose philosophies just made me shake my head. Towards the end, she was quite neutropenic (no white blood cells) and  running a fever. Traditional medicine would say, run to the ER, get hooked up to iv antibiotics to kill the  infective organism because your body can't. Holistic practitioners  told her, don't seek medical attention; the high temperature was actually a good thing killing the organisms, blah, blah, blah.

Then I came upon a young (18 year old at diagnosis) physics student who writes well and amusingly. She is now Naomi's age and survived her transplant from a non-related donor but is sort of in a no-man's land as some of her bad bone marrow remains (should be 100% donor; not 96%). She is kept on maintenance chemo to suppress that 4% from growing but the chemo is making her miserable. She can barely climb stairs as she is so weak (again, Naomi's age). Should she risk getting off the chemo so she can have a normal life? There is no guarantee that the chemo will keep working and there is a chance that the 4% will never take over and she will be fine. Won't recommend this as I don't want to scare my friend with this what-if.

Then there is the upbeat young man who did survive with lots of infections post transplant. He 2 years later is fine but details all his fellow transplant patients who didn't survive from his unit.

I'll keep looking and meanwhile buy Robin's book.

A beautiful Southern California day(only in Michigan) again. Hardly any fall colors here due to the nights being well above freezing. I have not seen my hummingbirds today so maybe they left. What signals their departure? Temperature? Length of day? The boys left 3 weeks ago. I did see one in late October (right after my 2nd surgery for cancer) but I guess they are rarely here in October.

My odometer died due to an expired battery. I finally found the instructions buried deep in one of my many junk drawers. It said the computer's battery only lasts a year and the sensor's battery lasts 7200 miles. Weird units. I just replaced the computer's battery but everything needed to be reset and I was afraid I screwed that up. Gone is my total distance reading of 2376 miles (I have ridden 90 miles since then). So I checked the new odometer reading versus my GPS and I think it is OK. In the past, the odometer read about 1% low but now it seems a bit high. Hard to tell. Every 5 minutes, the GPS app announces how far I've gone and what my current speed was but the info is about a minute off (in that minute I could go .2 mile) The other day while I was slowly chugging up a hill, it said I was going 19 mph. Well maybe I was 2 minutes ago. We have a 2 mile  absolutely flat stretch near my house that goes through a series of lakes and streams so on that stretch, it is easy to go a consistent pace so it did seem the speed on the odometer matched what the app said. So I did a nice ride today stopping at the every other week barn sale where I got the miniatures. I had hoped to see Shanna and Tess today but Ms. Tess doesn't feel well. Mybe she'll be better tomorrow.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

A few days ago I discovered that an acquaintance needs a stem cell transplant to survive. Not cancer, but an experimental treatment for my disorder. Whether there is time left is anyones guess.
My heart goes out to everyone trapped in medical mayhem land - whatever the reason.
Sadly, I have seen too many people go down the healthy living, positive thoughts, no medication route and not make it to the other side.


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