Tuesday, October 23, 2007

day +63

I was at Sloan yesterday from about 9:30 in the morning until 7 in the evening. I saw Dr. Castro-Malaspina for my weekly check-up. My HGB and platelets were good, but my WBC count dipped a bit to 2.8 so I received Neupogen. Otherwise, the everything looked good. He said he's very pleased at how well I'm doing and at some point I'll begin to see him every 2 weeks.

Thinking recently that my body is in need of a good massage, I asked Dr. Castro-Malaspina about it. He prefers that I wait a bit longer before signing up for one. The risk of infection, he said, outweighs the benefits of massage. He did say, however, that I could go to a movie theater at off-peak hours, say in the early afternoon of a weekday, but I'm not so eager to watch a movie right now that I can't wait. Consequently, it's best I wait until I'm given the green light before going out to watch a movie or have a massage. I did want to catch the documentary, In the Shadow of the Moon, when it came out last month but I soon dropped the idea after my discharge knowing the risks that are involved.

I told Dr. Castro-Malaspina that I received the stationary bike and have been using it for about the past week. He seemed impressed by my 40 minute workouts. He attributed my vigor to youth, but I think it's more the fact that my body was conditioned well-enough as a consequence of exercising more or less regularly several days a week for months prior to transplantation. Wondering if I am well enough to incorporate some strength training into my exercise routine, I asked him about that as well and he said sure as long as the weights are light. After the insertion of my Hickman catheter in March, I did cardiovascular exercise only. Though very important I stayed away from strength training out of concern for damaging the Hickman line. But now that I'm Hickman-free and feeling well overall, I figured that I should ask my doctor about this.

I forgot to ask him about flossing, however. During the transplant I was told to avoid flossing, because of low platelets. After I was discharged, he told me to still not floss. But yes, I've cheated a little. I have flossed on those rare instances when I can't get rid of a piece of food by brushing or rinsing alone, but that's been it. I want to know if I can return to flossing all together.

After the appointment, I received aerolized pentamidine and IVIG as planned but the IVIG is a 3 1/2 hour infusion. When the infusion time is added to the wait time for the drug to be brought up from the pharmacy, there are about 5 hours right there. While receiving IVIG, I was able to catch Kris Carr's appearance on Oprah as well as listen to the story of the man, who came on stage after her. Both were inspiring.

Last night, I took out my dad's 8 x 30 prism binoculars to observe the moon and its many ancient features from my apartment's terrace which faces east. I had just finished reading A Buyer's and User's Guide to Astronomical Telescopes & Binoculars, one of the new books that I bought recently. After reading the book, I was motivated to pick up the binoculars and turn them towards the night sky. Presently, the moon is in the "waxing gibbous" phase at about 92% full. I didn't spend too much time on the terrace, because I had returned home from a long day at the hospital and wanted just to sit back and chill more than anything, but those roughly 15 minutes that I did spend out there was great.

I don't know how long my dad has had this pair of binoculars, but they're old. But it's a start. According to both the book and a recent article in Sky & Telescope, 10 x 50 are ideal for astronomical binoculars. Again, I'm just starting and there's a lot that I need to learn, which is why my dad's old pair is a good fit for a beginner such as myself but at some point when I'm a bit more experienced, I'd like to look for a decent 10 x 50 pair.


Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

Hey Duane. Looks like you had a good day!
My Dad, 87 years old, just took an interest in astonomy and telescopes this year. He retired as a civil engineer almost 30 years ago. After much research he came up with a starter telescope, the Celestron Nextar 6 SE. You can get this scope for under $1000. It has excellent performance. The standard lens provides around 65x magnification. More powerful lenses are only $20-$30 and can let you see the little men on the moon. You can get the 5 inch model for under $500. Check Ebay.
Best regards buddy!

9:19 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Wow. That's sweet, Jim. I just looked at the Celestron Nextar 6 SE and it pretty awesome. Before I upgrade to a telescope, I need to learn the basics with binoculars but at some point, a telescope would be sweet. Have you joined your dad for astronomical observations?

12:55 PM  

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