Friday, March 1, 2002

RE: Doug's message.

Hi Doug,

Thanks for the message. Yeah, having Kathy's surgery during this time isn't the best timing, but it was planned long ago. Kathy has mentioned cancelling/postponing it, but I don't see why we need to do that. Nothing's going to change with me in the next couple of weeks. So we're going to go through with it next Wednesday. It'll keep my mind off other things.

I'm to see the Heme/Onc doc on the 14th. We'll see what he thinks we ought to do. Though a bone marrow biopsy would be, I think, definitive, it would also be, I know, pretty uncomfortable, as they drill through a bone (hip, sternum, etc) to get at the marrow. I've seen it done; I don't want it done unless we need to. If I am lucky enough to dodge this bullet and, in fact, have just a leukemoid reaction, the white cell levels should slowly return to normal over time. I'm getting another blood count Tuesday to see if there is any major change. I also want to see if my liver is healing.

Yeah, I too, think that Dad's other medical problems probably had a lot to do with his demise, but CLL apparently progresses slowly, but variably. It can get you in just a few years, but if you're lucky, you might get decades. Not knowing what the final answer is going to be in terms of longevity could be a bit worrisome though, 'cause you don't know if you'll be around in a couple of years or not until a couple of years have passed. Kinda hard to plan your life out in any long term way when you can really only plan for a couple of years or so at a time.

Presuming I have leukemia, it puts a real damper on all our plans. I can't get health insurance anywhere else, so I'm going to be here for the duration. We likely can't plan a home for our land in New Mexico, as I might not be able to get care, unless I can figure out how to get hooked up with the TriCare system, which is the new name for the military health plan for retirees. That might be transportable anywhere I might want to move. We'll see.

Anyway, thanks again for your messages. We'll be in touch if anything changes or if there is any news. We'll let everyone know how Kathy does with her surgery next week.