Health update

So today’s follow up appt at UCLA was for last week’s GVHD scare. Today they found an elevated liver enzyme, so I had more blood drawn and an ultrasound of my liver.

It took a while, but finally they sent me home. No new precautions for now, other than giving beer a rest.

I’m not too worried, because all of my other labs were fine.

I’m back on Friday!

Yeah for our commute-to-UCLA-budget!

So the ultrasound results are normal. Nothing to worry about there. The extra blood labs will come back later this week or early next week.

I should blog more


I used to blog more. But then Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ came along. Now I write all my unnecessary opinions over there.

I still have plenty to say, I just loose the clarity of an idea, by summarizing it for a brief social media post.

So, I guess I’ll start blogging more.

Of what topics do you want me to write?

My first GVHD

A few days ago I got a rash. Thus far, we’ve learned that any change in my status quo, means something. So I contacted my NP at UCLA. Since we had a scheduled appt already and I had no fever, we waited for that appt.

The gist is this. I have my first case of graft vs. host disease, aka GVHD. It sounds horrible. The notion that my grafted cells are being combatted by my immune system seems to be the worst case scenario. Here’s the explanation…

My NP dumbs it down for me with the realization that I actually got some kind of sickness; the flu, bad cold, etc. My grafted cells (the stem cell transplant) have been grafted, and thus are my immune system. So, they went to work killing off the sickness! Yippy! I never even experienced the sickness!

However, as soon as they killed the virus, they went looking for something else to kill, and those “foreign” cells were the next target. Hence, I got GVHD.

This is a sign that my graft has has grafted, and that I’m actually doing well! I even recall being told, so many months ago, that getting a little GVHD is good, and will be a welcome sign. They plan for this, and were quite ready. I’ve returned to a med I once discontinued, and have added a few more. These should do the trick!

Now, on a side note, very few truly understand how hard my wife has worked over the 18 months. There have been months that were basically single-parent months for Deanna. She has done a tremendous job! I cannot fathom doing this without her!

So as I thank God for his provision and care during this long journey, I’m reminded to thank Him for her as well. She has been the active and real Jesus in my day to day.

2015 Challenge, Week 3 Outdoor Photography – TREES

2015 Challenge, Week 3 Outdoor Photography – TREES

2015 Challenge, Week 1: MACRO – KITCHEN

2015 Challenge, Week 1: MACRO – KITCHEN

This is my submission for this week’s theme of I liked that the onion was sprouting new growth. I’m still getting the hang of my dad’s old Canon zoom/macro lens, so this isn’t as sharp as it could be, but I’m happy with it nonetheless.

2014 Challenge, Week 48 Landscape – Cityscapes/Townscapes

This week’s submission to the 2014 PhotoChallenge, week 48 Landscape – Cityscapes/Townscapes.

2014 Challenge, Week 48 Landscape – Cityscapes/TownscapesThis is a slightly elevated shot of Santa Maria and Orcutt, where I live. There are only a few locations that will allow a decent elevated view of our small community, but this one is the closest. The others are farther away, and end up making the town even smaller. (I don’t have a decent zoom, so I chose to remain closer to town but not as hight.)

This image is 4 photos stitched together in PhotoShop. Then processed in HDR Efex Pro 2, for the tone-mapping. The back up, or runner up, image below is identical, except I processed it in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Back to the week 48 submission for