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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chemo schemo, check out my hair!


Hair growing on head, face, fill-in-the-blank. Growin like a weed... for now. :)

iwkia,

-jg

Sent from my mobile device

Friday, February 25, 2011

Donor Rap

Blogging Tunes: soma.fm - Space Station

Quick Donor update since Benji asked... as far as I know we are on track to start the BMT during the week of March 21st.  My understanding is that we have identified two donors (there are more if things go sideways) and are pursuing in parallel.  In addition to checking in on the donors' health, UCSF is pioneering a new typing technique to take the 10-out-of-10 to 11.  This one goes to eleven!

Also, for those that don't know, I will have no idea who/where the donor is until well after the BMT, if at all.  The marrow.org folks act as the "middle man" and the way it works is, when I'm cancer free for a year, I can request donor contact.  If s/he agrees, then we can connect.  Until then, or even after the 1 year period, if the donor doesn't want contact, I may never know who helped me.  Nutty, huh?

On an unrelated, and very sad note, a long time acquaintance and feisty bartender at the Kezar Pub passed away this week.  Bridget, we've had some interesting times to say the least, and your presence will be sorely missed at the Pub.  Hopefully you're hangin' out with Jer-bear right about now.  Bridget became pretty fond of Floyd over the last couple years. Apparently, she had a big hand in the creation of this banner:



R.I.P., Bridget

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm just Second Hand News...

Blogging tunes: soma.fm - Space Station; NYI@PHI.

No news is good news?  Second Hand News?  Huey Lewis and the News?  Typically, when I don't post, it means things are going well.  So yeah, "no news is good news" :)  I've just been busy.  I got over my sore throat without incident though both kids now have ear infections -- business as usual in the winter with two little ones.

So yeah, life has been incredibly busy since my last post... I guess that means things are returning to normal... somewhat, at least for now.  Call it the calm before the storm -- a month from now, they are going to destroy my immune system and give me a new one.  Oy.

Going chronologically, the big event last weekend was that Floyd "Watermelon Truck" Greene turned 3 on Saturday. It's know it sounds cliche, but they really do grow fast.  We didn't plan any kind of big birthday party -- as much as Heather loves that kind of thing -- because we didn't know if I'd be home from the hospital, or how I'd be feeling.  In the 11th hour we decided to invite some local San Rafael folks and a couple others over for a brunchie-birthday-party on Sunday (Saturday was booked with swimming and another birthday party -- Happy Birthday, Jack!)

At around 7:30a Sunday morning, Floyd and I went out to pick up scones at Arizmendi and grab some balloons and other last minute items at Safeway.  It was so nice to go out that early... only the earliest of risers were out and about, and the sky was clear blue -- first sunshine in days.  Everyone we saw was smilie and friendly.  When we got back, one of the cheaper, single-color balloons popped just as we got inside the house.  Why do they always over-inflate them?  It scared the crap out of me, so I kinda yelled, and then of course Floyd cried... and cried and cried -- it was actually kinda funny.

Side note: as I type this, four full days after the party, the more expensive balloons are still floating on the ceiling:



I've never seen balloons last that long.  I guess you get what you pay for.  And from what I hear, we might be paying quite a bit more for helium balloons in the future.

Anyway, the party was a great success.  Here's a pic of some of the kiddos with their cupcakes (pictured left to right: Ruby, Jaedon, Floyd)


And Floyd got the best present ever... a stomp rocket set!  Sometimes inventions don't have to be complex to be cool.  Stomp on the air-compartment-thingie and the foam rocket shoots 30 feet in the air.  Nice.  The inventor is probably basking on the beach somewhere.  Lucky!!  Floyd is having a blast with this one:


One of the rockets already got stuck way up in one of our redwood trees though.  Maybe tonight's rain will bring it down.

Speaking of which... man, it is really coming down outside!  We have another Severe Weather Alert for tonight -- no, that doesn't mean a foot of snow like it does out east, but it does mean lots of rain and freezing temps at low altitudes.  Ever been to San Francisco?  Seen the hills?  Imagine if it actually froze over. No worries this time around.  I think the freezing level is predicted to be at around 1000 feet.

Another present Floyd got, courtesy of mom and dad, is this cool Yamaha drum pad.  For the music-related stuff, I feel like "toys" are pretty useless.  You want real "grown-up" products with stellar sound that kids can use. I think he's going to get a lot of mileage out of this one.  It's hard to see, but he's got a blue drumstick in his right hand and he's hitting the top-center pad:


On Monday evening (well, late afternoon), to keep the celebratory vibe going -- it was a holiday after all -- and on a friend's recommendation, we went to Bubba's Fine Dinner in San Anselmo.  Heather's Shrimp Po' Boy sandwich was incredible -- I might have to get it next time.  I got the spaghetti and meatballs, and Floyd got Mac 'n' Cheese.  It's an honest-to-goodness diner, so there's breakfast all day.  The yeP! guys will get a kick out of this one:


The place was great -- we'll definitely go back.

As we settled into the week, I was eager to get back to work -- working from home, that is -- but there were things to do and people to see.  I had to pick up my new (used) car -- yep, as much as I didn't think it would ever happen, we decided to get a second car: just something to get me from point a to point b.  Point a being our house, and point b being doctors offices and hospitals in the short term, and the ferry terminal in medium term.  The reality is, it's going to be awhile before I'm in shape to bike to and from the ferry every day, so I need a backup plan.  That backup plan is this certified pre-owner 2005 Camry 5-speed.  No one wants a Sedan in a stick these days -- no one, except me.  So I got a great deal on this puppy.  All it needed was an after-market stereo with a USB/iPod in.  Dealer took care of it.  :)


Heather named 'er "Yota."  That picture was taken in the front of our place.  You can see our other car (the Outback - "Ruby 2") in the driveway.  Long before we had two friends who named their babies "Ruby," we had a 2000 Subaru Forrester who shared the same name -- hence "Ruby 2 for the new Outback"  You guys name your cars, don't you?  Did I mention that Yota's a 5-speed?  :)  That's the iPod's USB cable behind the shifter


On Tuesday afternoon, I had an appointment at the California Cancer Center in Greenbrae. This place, which is adjacent to Marin General Hospital is going to help manage some of my care.  Basically the CCC and Marin General will take care of anything I need where my team doesn't think it's absolutely necessary for me to come to UCSF (e.g. blood draws, transfusions, certain tests, etc.)

This is huuuge since CCC and MG are 5 mins away (ok, maybe 8) by car whereas UCSF door-to-door is closer to 35-40.  Yota did the job -- got me there and back.  All she needs now is some kind of license plate frame and a tiny stealie.

Wednesday was a fun one.  With Floyd in day care, and our neighbor watching O, Heather thought we were going to spend the day together for a belated anniversary get-away. Instead I surprised her with a spa day (which she loved) but instead of going with her, I drove to UCSF to get blood drawn and undergo 4 different pre-BMT tests.  Why do I think I got the short end of the stick on this one.

Today, Thursday was a work catchup day.  Tomorrow will be more of the same (minus a 9:30a appointment).  OK, I'm exhausted.  Night night.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Friday, February 18, 2011

Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon

Blogging Tunes: soma.fm - Groove Salad

Quick post.  Here are two pics from yesterday.  Even though it was wet, cold, and windy, Floyd wanted to play baseball after I picked him up from day care.  I was freezing and coughing, but he didn't seem to mind:


Here's a picture of a branch that came down in the storm.  I cleared about 8 of these:


Looks like we might get a little sun this weekend, but lots more rain and chilly temps.  I guess winter is back.  I still feel a little crappy, but my throat hasn't gotten any worse, so that's good.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Settle down easy

Blogging Tunes: soma.fm - Groove Salad

So I got home Saturday and it's been quite the roller coaster.  ejsphilly was in town until Sunday -- great visit, homie! -- and then we tried to settle into our normal routine.

Of course, there is really no normal around here -- for anybody -- so everything is new once again.  What do I mean?  Well, ever since we moved to San Rafael, I've been in and out of the hospital so much that Floyd doesn't really have a normal.  Sometimes normal is that I'm home -- sometimes normal is that I'm not home.  For most kids, normal is that their daddy leaves in the morning and comes home at night.  Not for us.  So the adjustment's been a little tricky.

To make matter worse, everyone's been a little sick -- lots going around I guess.  Floyd's had a nasty cough for a while, Orion's nose was runing like a faucet, and even Heather was a little under the weather earlier in the week.  Not the best environment for me to come home to one day removed from neutropenia.  Fortunately, I was able to avoid catching anything... until yesterday, when the "little tickle" turned into a full-blown sore-throat.  My counts are way way up though (WBC at 18) so as long as I don't have a fever, I'm ok.  Still, sucks to have this bug on top of fully recovering from the chemo.

Also, as the locals know, it's been raining like crazy the last several days.  We've had crazy winds up here too.  I wonder if this is a North Bay thing, a San Rafael thing, or even an "our neighborhood" thing or whether it's been crazy-windy in the city.  Can SF folks enlighten me?  Our backyard, once again, looks like a war zone.  Our patio umbrella flew off the table to which it was attached and one of the glass planters shattered all over the ground.  Several branches broke off the trees too.  At least a whole tree didn't come down.  I think it's going to get nice this weekend, so maybe I'll get my chance to get my hands dirty out back and Floyd and I can play some wiffle-ball.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to be a complainy-pants... I'm totally psyched to be home -- I just wish I felt better and it was a bit nicer out.  I missed the majority of those two weeks of "65 and sunny," don't forget.


I've been working about 40% time and hope to up that to 60% starting next week.  It's so much nicer working at home: faster network, two monitors, more privacy, and there's so much to catch up on.

Still, I need to balance my time between work, resting/healing, family, and personal projects.  There's a lot to do before I go back into the hospital for the BMT (currently scheduled for Mid-March).  How'd you like to have your tax day come a month early. Mine is. I'm also shopping for a new bike (I think I found one) a beater car (where's my used Civic 4-door?) and trying to get a bunch of projects around the house done before I'm out of commission for a few months.

Heather and I did manage to get out for a nice monkey-versary lunch yesterday, but we're going to have to wait a little while to celebrate in style.  Our first night out this calendar year will be in early March when we go to see Trey in Oakland. Not sure how we'll get out before then, but maybe.

Now it's time for a nap.

I will kick it's ass,

-jg


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ch-ch-ch changes....

Blogging Tunes: Chatter Desktop TechDD via GoToMeeting

GREAT NEWS!  White Blood Count rocketed to 0.5 this morning! Pic coming later of the new counts w/ ejsphilly.  I guess that bone pain was for real.  The oxycodone has taken some, but not all of the pain away, and I don't feel too loopy -- I guess I got a really small dose.  I am going to push for a Saturday morning discharge.  Gotta talk to my doctor.

Project update: PRESENT RECEIVED!  My mom and dad finally received the electronic picture frame I'd been working on.  Yup, the special blog readers were my parents.  They have a tough time traveling, and we haven't made it back to Philly recently, so they haven't even gotten to meet their newest grandson.  We thought loading up a picture frame with the best of the best (with honors) of our family pics would be a good present.  I went through all of our pics from the last 8 months, and used pics from a few older slideshows that we made for special events.  e.g. our wedding slideshow.

Here are a couple pics of the kiddos while Heather is getting ready to wrap the present:


Orion and Floyd looking at a picture of the piano.


Floyd looking at a picture of Orion and Rider.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

All those numbers, give me guidance...

Blogging (via iPad) tunes: Howard Stern - 3/2/10

Tylenol and hot packs had little effect on my lower back, hip, and pelvic pain, so even though there might be nasty side effects I just took a small dose of oxycodone. This pain *better* be related to serious white blood cell production. I should know in a couple hours and will post when I do. Time to drink some cranberry juice.

Heather visited last night -- thanks, ejsphi for watching the kiddos. We watched Idol and The Office. The new judging panel sent 327 people to Hollywood this time around (which is twice the normal amount.) I can only guess they think this will allow them to come up with a stronger Top 24. We'll see.

Yo, check out Gaurav's awesome cap!  Yes, you can get yours too at http://www.cafepress.com/cberator for only $15.  Benji, you gotta get one to Marc for his next big keynote :)


iwkia,

-jg

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Get 'em out by Friday?

Blogging Tunes: Grateful Dead - Pine Knob - 6/19/91 Set II

I've been working hard at learning the intro to My Friend My Friend and making great progress.  One more practice session and I should have it nailed.  My brain finally learned those crazy minMaj7 chords.  Nate, you'd be proud.

In other news, my counts didn't move at all today.  In fact, my hematicrits fell below 27 which means that I had to get another couple units of blood.  Essentially, this all means a Friday discharge is out of the question.  So the earliest is lookin like Saturday, and now even that's a stretch.  Bummer, as I was really hoping to get out while ejsphilly is here.  He flew in today (and is leaving Sunday) and visited me at the hospital on his way to San Rafael.  Sorry, no pics.

Here's a pic of my counts on the whiteboard though:


The white blood count needs to hit about 1.0 before they'll let me go -- as you can see, it's sitting idle at 0.1.  It's possible that if it's trending up (even if it doesn't hit 1.0) that they'll discharge me, but we really need to see 0.2 or 0.3 tomorrow.  Tonight was my 4th neupogen shot, so we gotta be close to turning the corner.  I'm actually having some pretty significant pain in my lower back, hips, and pelvic area -- it feels more like it's in my bones than in my muscles, so that's a great sign.  Bone pain is a indication that the marrow is producing white cells.  Now if they only had a narcotic-based pain reliever that didn't give me nasty side effects.  I guess it's gonna be Tylenol.  Nurse, please.

Johnny Dallas came by to watch Idol with me last night -- it was the San Francisco auditions. He got to see me lose my sh*t with the food service people.  While the medical care here is top notch, the food service leaves much to be desired.  Last night, even after multiple inquires about the status of my dinner tray, I didn't get any dinner at all.  This is after they assured me that my tray was coming.  By the time they came to see me, the kitchen was closed (8:00p!), so after offering me some random extra tray they got me a dry-as-the-desert turkey sandwich with one piece of lettuce.  Good thing I had an ample supply of Pop Tarts to augment.  Oy vey.  And, yes, the food services Director has already heard about it.  I'm totally like that dude in the Snickers commercial who turns into a Diva when he's hungry:  If it's the same girl tonight, I'll apologize to her -- wasn't her fault.

OK, enough of my bitchin'.  I gotta focus on producing white blood cells, not the "small stuff" like food service issues.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Steps up, sits at his table

Blogging tunes: Howard Stern - 2/25/10 (Tracy Morgan is one funny muh-fuh)

Not that I get to experience it, save for the window, but the lovely weather continues out here.  Much cooler than the weekend -- now we have highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s -- but sunny and clear this week.  That probably means a week of rain when I get outta here, but I'll take that.  We need the rain, and there's still plenty to do around the house.  The cooler temps mean my room is more livable too.  Since I have south facing windows, it can get really hot.  On Sunday, even with the fan on and the door open, it had to be 80+ degrees in here.  No, the building doesn't have A/C (except for the operating rooms, etc.) -- this is San Francisco, there's no such thing as air conditioning here.

So when am I out?  We still don't know, but it could be as early as Friday, but more likely on Saturday or Sunday.  It all depends when my counts start to come back.  So far I've had two neupogen shots, but no positive movement in the counts yet.  We'll get the results from today's labs a bit later this morning.  The good news is that I'm past the nadir and I still feel pretty good.  If they do spring me early, I may have to give myself neupogen shots at home for a couple days.  Oy vey.

The other bit of good news is that, at my request, they let me disconnect from my TRANS PAL, the hardware that holds the IV machine. All they were giving me was about 3oz of water/saline per hour.  Um, I can drink water myself... and, I'm taking in more salt that I probably should, so what's the point?  My PICC is still in place, so the nurses can draw the daily labs, so this seemed like a no-brainer.  Now I can walk without being tethered to the friggin thing.  Makes it so much easier to just move around in general.  e.g. from my desk to the keyboard Rob brought, not to mention doing laps or riding the spinning bike.

One thing I didn't write about in my last entry is that Heather and Floyd came to visit on Saturday.  Since the 14th floor is a combination of Hem/Onc and General Medicine, kids are actually allowed on the floor -- wish I had known that earlier.  When I'm back in for the BMT, I'll be on 11 -- no kids -- no big screen.  Poop.  So Floyd, Heather, and I hung out in the Solarium, which is a lounge on the Northwest corner of the floor.  The view is absolutely spectacular.  Here are a couple pictures:



But pictures just don't cut it, so Heather made a little movie of the view.  Click below to play.


Just found out that my platelets are still down, so I'll be getting some more of those today.  That's fine, it's the WBC we're really needing to come up.  I guess I'll be hooked up to my PAL once again.

Other points of interest:

  • I'm learning My Friend My Friend (Phish) on the piano -- thanks to Nate for the chord chart.  The intro to this song is crazy with all these minMaj7 chords.  If you want the chart, lemme know, and I'll fwd it.
  • ejsphilly is boarding a plane tomorrow to come visit (and help with the kids) for a few days.  Hopefully, I'll get outta here Friday so I can spend some time with him.
  • Check out the making of the Chatter Super Bowl ad -- pretty cool!
  • I'm on Repulsor Level 9 in Osmos and haven't been able to complete it -- I'll try again tonight
Time to VPN in and get some work done.

Oh! I almost forgot... you know that project I was working on?  It's done and it's on its way (via snailmail) to a very special blog reader.  When it's delivered, I'll post about it here and include some pictures.  Stay tuned.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rob brings keyboard!

Boredom solved :)

Sent from my mobile device

Sunday platelet Sunday

Blogging Tunes: NHL: PIT@WAS

This is just very, very weird.  It's absolutely gorgeous in San Francisco today (Sunny, high 71) but I'm stuck at UCSF.  It's Super Sunday, but I'm stuck at UCSF.  Tripp is having yet another blowout SB party, but I'm at UCSF.  No beer, no apps, no wings, no out-back hangin' with my boys and stuffing my face with whatever's around... did I mention no beer?  Did I mention that it's 71???


Don't get me wrong, I know I need to be here, and I'm thankful that this round of chemo is going so well (more on that in a moment), but it's Super Sunday, and that evokes so many thoughts, memories, and emotions.  Other than 2005, when we watched the Eagles lose at the Kezar Pub, I can't remember a year of my life where I didn't go to some kind of party for Super Sunday.  For the last 5 years, I've been going to Tripp's.  This year, Heather and kids are going without me -- take some pics, honey!

Even when I was a kid, we always had Super Sunday at our house.  My dad would get a big ol' deli spread, the men would watch downstairs, and the women would gab upstairs.


It was as classic of a scene as you can imagine. We think these pics are from 1986.  That means Super Bowl XX - Bears blowout. Twenty-five years ago.  Wow.


I would be in charge of running the pool, which is really a glorified over/under bet.  Either my folks didn't know about squares or they couldn't be bothered.  For our pool, each guest would tell me their guess for the total points.  If no one got it exactly, the closest person(s) would win.  The catch was that once a number was taken, it couldn't be used by anyone else.  Looking back, I think this was simply a ploy to get people to come early so they could get a good number.

At halftime, my dad and one of his friends would play a piano/violin duet.  In the moment, I didn't appreciate these performances as much as I probably should have.  I was all into Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Duran Duran and really didn't connect with classical.


Here's one more pic that my mom dug up.  It's of me and my Grandmom from the same party.  The only reason I'm posting is to give you readers an "OMG moment."  Enjoy your chuckles at my expense:


While I won't be hitting Tripp's this year, I won't have to watch the game alone -- that would be just too weird.  Rob M. is coming over, I think Brown is gonna pop by for the second half, and Drew is gonna swing by on his way to Tripp's. Speak of the devil, Drew just showed up, so I'll pause for a moment.

OK, Drew just left... lunchtime for me: mac & cheese, fried chicken, and steamed broccoli.  The food's actually OK, but really doesn't cut it for Super Sunday.  Actually, I can't taste the chicken -- taste buds definitely faded a little more today.  Good thing I have some green tobasco. Ugh, do we really have to see another Keith Urban song?

Now, on to the health update.  This is day 13 of 21 (or maybe less)  My counts have dropped pretty far down... pretty much as far as they need to.  WBC down to 0.3 and platelets all the way down to 6.  You know what that means.... yup, transfusion time.  I got two units of blood yesterday and one dose of platelets this morning.  No side effects.  Cool.

If all goes well, these will be the only transfusions I need this time around.  Sounds like we'll start the neupogen shots tomorrow to bring things back up.  If the counts come back quickly, I could be outta here as early as Friday (day 18.)  That would be dope as my oldest homie, ejsphilly is coming to visit (and help H with the kids) this Thursday through Sunday. We had expected that I'd be in the hospital the whole time, but who knows?

Now, I don't wanna jinx it or anything, but I gotta say, this round has been much easier than I expected.  I knew it would easier than the previous two, but other than getting loopy from the chemo/steroids, my taste buds fading, and a couple other mild side-effects, I feel like my body is learning how to allow the chemo to do the right thing, without totally freaking out in the process. Nobody said I had to feel shitty -- my counts just need to go down and come back up.  If that can happen while I still have most of my strength, everyone wins.  In fact, I've been doing at least 20-30 laps (walking) or 20-30 minutes (biking) just about every day.  These spinning bikes rule.


On a lighter note, I recently got into a pretty cool adventure game, Return to Mysterious Island.  They recently released it for the iPad and at a bargain no less ($1.99).  I've always liked the Myst/Riven type games -- The Longest Journey and the sequel, Dreamfall, being the best of the bunch.  I'm a little bummed though.  After being stuck for nearly an hour, I consulted a walkthrough (hey, I'm not supposed to stressing out) and discovered that I accidentally blew up a particular piece of inventory that I need -- not that I would have figured out this particular puzzle anyway.  Anyway, unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's any way for me to get the piece (a large piece of bamboo) back, so I may have to start over. You usually don't have to "save" in these games... I dunno, maybe this is a bug, but either way, I think I'm pretty hosed.  A couple other folks posted the same problem on some forums, but I never saw a solution.  Ah, well.  It's not like I don't have the time.

The other game I've been playing is Osmos for the iPad.  This is one of the coolest games (for any device/console) ever made.  It creates such a mood with its graphics and sounds.  I can't recommend it enough.

Aight, ima do some laps before Rob gets here.  Go Pack.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Thursday, February 3, 2011

South Asians, can you help?

Calling all folks of SOUTH ASIAN ETHNICITY (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc.)   The following is from a co-worker at Salesforce.com:

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
A friend of mine's son Rayan, was diagnosed a few weeks ago with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a form of blood cancer. Only 3, Rayan is now in URGENT need of a bone marrow transplant. He has not been able to find a perfect match which will increase his chances of survival.

It would be great if you or anyone you know would like to take a bone marrow compatibility test - it is free, painless and takes 30 seconds. Gender is not relevant, but SOUTH ASIAN ETHNICITY (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc) is very important, due to the under-representation of South Asians on the national donor registry.

Visit http://curerayan.org/ for more details on how you can help Rayan.

There are 3 events planned in Bay Area later this week.  Please make sure to spread this info around to your friends/networks.

Friday February 4 from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Belmont Sports Complex, 550 Island Parkway Belmont, CA

Saturday February 5 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Mehran Restaurant, 5774 Mowry School Rd  (between Balentine Dr & Cedar Drive) Exit Stevenson Blvd on Highway 880. Newark, CA

Sunday, February 6 · 11:30am - 2:00pm
Bait-ul-Baseer Mosque, 926 Evans Road, Milpitas, CA

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 


I will kick its ass, and so will Rayan.

-jg

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

8 {Mile|Days a Week}

Blogging Tunes: Phish - 10/19/2010 - Augusta, ME; Family Feud (wrastlin' style)

Well, here we are on day 8 of this consolidation chemo and things are moving along accordingly to plan. It basically goes like this: 1 week of chemo and steroids with few side effects; 1 week of low counts where you can feel like ass; 1 week of counts coming back; then go home and be with family.  That's the plan anyway.  YMMV.

The chemo part was actually finished Sunday morning, so now we're in the second week and my counts are finally starting to drop.  That means my energy and appetite are starting to fade a little.  For you oncology buffs, here are my counts for the last 4 days:

     |  1/29  | 1/30  | 1/31  | 2/01
WBC  |   6.4  |  5.5  |  4.3  |  1.8 
ANL  |   6.2  |  5.3  |  4.2  |  1.6 
MET  |  31.0  | 29.1  | 29.7  | 28.9      
PLT  | 100    | 92    | 84    | 58 


The biggie is really the White Blood Count.  Once that goes under 1.0 (tomorrow?) I'll be neutropenic which means I'll have to stop eating at all the yummy outside food people have been bringing me.

What else on the health front?  Oh, yeah hey got the biopsy back from that eye thing.  They don't really know what it is, but they do know that it is not directly related to the fungus infection nor the leukemia, so that's great news.  The hope is that it'll just go away on its own based on the chemo/steriods.

Back to the food thing, I gotta give a shout-out to Sinead (of the Kezar Pub), Gaurav, cj, and Heather for bringing great food over the last few days.  On Saturday Sinead brought more wings than I've ever seen in a single order along with a boatload of carrots and celery.  It had to be a large plus a small.


I stuffed myself for lunch and still had 9 wings left over for lunch the next day.  Good thing she brought a vat of bleu cheese too.  Thanks, Sinead!

On Friday, Gaurav brought yummy Indian food from Roti


I'd never had their food -- Heather and I always ordered from Bombay when we lived the city since they were so close.  The Seekh Kabob and Lamb Saag were awesome as was the Chicken Makhani and Biryani Rice.  Thanks, homie, it was great to see you.


On Sunday night, Heather brought some yummy matzoh-ball soup for dinner (courtesy of Gramma), and we had a little "date night".  What's a date-night in the hospital?  Simple: movie + laptop + headphone splitter.  We wanted something fun so we watched "It's Complicated," which was surprisingly funny.  If you haven't seen it, it's worth it.  Thanks for the recommendation, Mickey.

And finally, last night, one of my co-workers came by with some burritos.  Sometimes it doesn't have to be fancy to be good.  Have a great trip back to Wales, cj, and thanks for a rockin' year at Salesforce.com.

For lunch today, Heather's going to bring a yummy hoagie (as if you can get a real hoagie in SF) and for dinner Brown is gonna bring some Chinese.  I'll take pics.  After that... it's gonna hospital food for the duration.  Ugh.

Of course, when you think of Chinese food, you think of Howard -- well I do.  Don ton doup, anyone?  Anyway, the weirdest Howard-esque thing happened the other day.  My hospital land-line phone rings, which is a little odd, since most people don't call me unannounced.  So I answer the phone and it goes something like this:

jg: Hello?
caller: Howdy, son!
jg: Who's this?
caller: This is your dad.  How are you feeling?
jg: I'm fine, but you're not my dad.
caller: [laughs] Well, sure I am. How are you doing, son?

Now at this point, part of me is thinking that Brown or Tripp somehow got in touch with Howard and this was some Richard and Sal thing, so I just play along a bit.

jg: Can I talk to Howard?
caller: Come on son, tell me how you're doing
jg: Who are you trying to reach?
caller: Well, who is this?
jg: You called me, man -- this is my room

It went on for a bit, and I (sadly) realize that it's just some guy who's kid probably had this room before me.  So I stopped being a clown and told him that I've been in this room for about 5 days and I have no clue who was here before me.  Wish I had been able to tape it.

Switching gears a bit, I've been trying to exercise as much as I can while my counts are still up.  On Saturday, I did around 35 laps around 14 Long which is about 3 miles, and yesterday, I rode the spinning bike for 45 minutes or so.  I'm guessing it was the equivalent of about 8 miles of flat riding.  That's not going to happen today, that's for sure -- I just don't have the juice.

OK, more randomness.  Last week I mentioned to my concierge contact that some of the TV channels were fuzzy -- not just on my TV, but in the whole building.  FOX was the worst.  It's just a crappy analog signal so these things can happen, but I was surprised that no one had checked it out.  It was just as bad during my last stay.  So he called maintenance; an engineer came by my room; I told him the deal and showed him some channels; and he said he'd look into it.  This morning, he pops in and tells me to check out FOX, and it's perfect (well, as perfect as a low-def analog signal can be on a big HD flatscreen).  So now, I (and everyone else stuck here this weekend) will be able to watch the Super Bowl in reasonable clarity.  Hooray!

This also means The Feud comes in clearer, and there couldn't be a better week for it since they are doing the Wrastlin edition.  HD would sure be nice :)


And while we're on the Feud, this second guy in the "fast money" duo below got last week's dooshie of the week award.  His partner got 161 points in the first half.  All he needed was 39 points to win $20k... And he only got 27.  His last two answers were the worst in history.  Da da dummy.


Here were the questions:

1. When walking in park, name something you are you likely to get hit with?
2. What night do you get the most sleep?
3. What do you do for back pain?
4. Name a sport where you wear gloves.
5. How many hours a week do you spend cleaning the house?

Note the "hours" in question 5.  If the dude had just said "one", "three", or "five," he would have won.  But he said to say "thirty minutes."  And question 4... badminton?  Seriously?  Wow.

Note: the "fast money" Feud screenshot was before the jg-induced FOX cable fix.  It's much better now.

Heather just showed up for lunch, so we're going to eat, and then I'll post this.

*** Time Passes ***

Wow, I just woke up from a crazy nap with bizarre dreams.  Haven't needed a daytime nap in a while -- I guess it's a sign of the times.  Or maybe it was the sub I ate.  It was no Lee's Hoagie, but it did the job:


My taste buds really deteriorated in the last 24 hours though.  I had to put a whole packet of salt on each half, just to taste it, and my Peach Snapple didn't taste right.  The taste buds going south is probably one of the worst parts of this.  Ah well, small potatoes in the vast scheme of things.

And finally, remember that special project I mentioned for a blog reader?  I've probably spent 15 hours on it and it's really coming together.  Psyched to finish.  I had some laptop issues that were slowing me down, but things seem to have settled down (touch wood.)

Oh yeah, somehow, someway, I've been working about 4 hours a day from here, even with this crappy wireless connection.  Go Salesforce!

Before I sign off, here's a shameless plug.  Get yourself one of these awesome caps from cafepress and walk around supporting jg!  The cap is nice quality, and the patch on the black one is totally old-school gas-station style.  Thanks again to Benji and Carolyn for setting this up.  Here's a close-up of the cap:


I will kick the living sh*t out of this thing.

-jg