Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Day - 2 Health Score 83 (despite the hiccups)

I kept waiting for some side effect from the Melphalan. None came. If anything, I feel a little better today (the upside of steroids) and the only side effects that I have noticed have been insomnia (easily corrected with Ativan) and hiccups. For some reason, I always get hiccups the day after taking high dose steroids. Even my sore throat and cough have gone away. (my nasal swab, yuck, was negative for any viruses.) I rode the exercise bike for 15 minutes and walked the hallways for 15 minutes. I have to get out while I can. In a few days I will be confined to my room. My labs are good today and my hematocrit went up to 29%, hence, no transfusion.

I am kind of a mini-celebrity here (very mini - like famous among 15) in that my unique case has generated discussion among multiple departments here at Stanford. I had the pleasure of a visit from both Dr Witteles, Cardiology and Dr Tang, who did my heart transplant. It was wonderful to see them. Also Dr Desai, whom I met as the fellow at Kaiser Santa Clara, stopped by. (As I was writing this the social worker and psychologist fro the Kaiser Transplant Clinic also stopped by for a visit.)
I also spent a good portion of the morning on the phone with my Assistant Chief, Dr Chabra, trying to hammer out departmental issues. The physical therapist comes by to make sure I am out of bed and exercising and the dietitian comes to reinforce the virtues of the low microbial diet, (salt, yes; pepper, no)

I also started writing my autobiography today. I've struggled for some time on the question of who is the audience and what style and structure I should employ. I am not a huge fan of the linear narrative, recording memories in a purely chronological litany. Rather, I see life and time not as completely linear. The decision I make right now is not often based on the experience I had 10 minutes ago or yesterday, but rather from something I learned 15 years ago, or a value I developed when I was nine. The structure, then, necessarily must reflect how I became who I am. The risk of failure in writing such a tome is high. But I will give it a try.



Anonymous said...

you exercised more today than I have in the past two years. Good for you for keeping it up!

Anonymous said...


I am glad to hear "IT" hasn't hit you yet, your spirits sound up, keep it up. I love the number system, and keep up the strong mental attitude. Thinking of you and your family. Susan Hollingsworh

Wendy said...

Well, I know you won't fail. But, even so, what have you got to lose? YOU are a great writer...have lots of fans of this blog, and your wisdom is endless. We'll buy a book. :)

Jean said...

Dear Kevin and Barbie,
My name is Jean and I’m with the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link, an organization dedicated to helping patients and caregivers cope with the social and emotional challenges of transplant by providing vital information and personalized support services. We subscribe to Google blog alerts, where we found your story.
We are thinking of you and we wish you all the best on this difficult journey. If you would like to find out more about our programs and services for patients AND caregivers (peer support,webcasts,booklets, support groups, and more), please visit our website, or call 800-546-5268.