December 16, 2006

LEGO fun



Comments:
  • 1-1 differential drive

  • 2 touch sensors used to count every half revolution for accurate movement and collision detection

  • motors driven via PWM to avoid damage during collisions since we are not using the clutch gear

  • tray and RCX2 is on a hinge, somewhat like a hatch back, for easy access to battry compartment

  • funny looking antenna thing is used to indicate the tray has been loaded. Light sensor repurposed as a touch sensor


Cheers,
Steve

December 10, 2006

500 member VIGILANTE POSSES with nuclear weapons....

"Yeah, but suppose the metaphor ran in the OTHER direction. Suppose the HIGHWAYS were like the NET. All right! Severe craziness. A highway HUNDREDS of lanes wide. Most with potholes. Privately operated bridges and overpasses. No highway patrol. A couple of rent-a-cops on bicycles with broken whistles. 500 member VIGILANTE POSSES with nuclear weapons. 237 ON RAMPS at every intersection. NO SIGNS. Wanna get to Ensenada? Holler out the window at a passing truck to ask directions. AD HOC traffic laws. Some lanes would VOTE to make use by a single-occupant- vehicle a CAPITAL OFFENSE on Monday through Friday between 7:00 and 9:00. Other lanes would just SHOOT you without a trial for talking on a car phone.

AOL would be a giant diesel-smoking BUS with hundreds of EBOLA victims and a TOILET spewing out on the road behind it. Throwing DEAD WOMBATS and rotten cabbage at the other cars most of which have been ASSEMBLED AT HOME from kits. Some are 2.5 horsepower LAWNMOWER ENGINES with a top speed of nine miles an hour. Others burn NITROGLYCERINE and IDLE at 120.

No license tags. World War II BOMBER NOSE ART instead. Terrifying paintings of huge teeth or VAMPIRE EAGLES. Bumper mounted MACHINE GUNS. Flip somebody the finger on this highway and get a WHITE PHOSPHORUS GRENADE up your tailpipe. Flatbed trucks with ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE BATTERIES to shoot down the KRUD Traffic Watch helicopter. A little kid on a tricycle with a squirtgun filled with HYDROCHLORIC ACID. "


Cheers,
Steve

November 24, 2006

Look what I got davy...

This promises to be fun!

Cheers,
Steve

November 23, 2006

evidence of nonexistance

Believer: Worship the invisible pink unicorn.
Atheist: Sorry, I don't believe he exists.
Believer: Prove it.
Atheist: Huh?? Why should *I* come up with proof? Ok, I can try: I don't see him.
Believer: That is because he is invisible. Also he is pink. That is one of his divine properties.
Atheist: I don't hear him.
Believer: He only speak to believers. I hear him answer when I pray to him, I'm convinced of that.
Atheist: Ok, here I have an infrared camera. I don't see anything.
Believer: He doesn't emit heat.
Atheist: Ok, I throw around flour and see if anything stick to him, or if we see any footprints appearing.
Believer: Sorry, he is immaterial.
Atheist: Ok, what is the difference between a totally undetectable creature and one that doesn't exist?
Believer: When rain falls, the invisible pink unicorn caused it, whenever a child laughs, the IPU caused it. Also 6000 years of belief shows I am right.
Atheist: ...whatever.

November 19, 2006

... and the man was parallelised

[0019] <   freespace> | help, i got concurrency issues
[0020] < freespace> | help, dead lock
[0020] < Ycros> | i concurrency issue help got


Cheers,
Steve

November 16, 2006

Thrice Blessed Day

  1. Centrelink people were nice and helpful.

  2. ADSL2+ migration happened today.

  3. TPG helpdesk was nice and helpful, helped me fix my internet connection settings. For the record, LLC multiplex mode, VCI 8 and VPI 35.



Cheers,
Steve

November 12, 2006

A somewhat useful bash script

I am one of those weird people who like to run a full screen X11 in OS X - its just me. This means of course I run into certain problems when I need to copy-n-paste between Aqua and X11.

Copying from Aqua into X11 works fine, but not the other way around. This means its extremely trouble some when I need to open a URL from IRC since I use irssi for IRC, running inside screen over ssh.

And thus the following bash script was born to let me select some text, press a key combination in fluxbox and open up safari with the selection, or to perform a search on wikipedia or google.

#!/bin/bash
MAX_LEN=32;
NON_URL_BUTTONS="google:1,wiki:2,define:3,cancel:99";
URL_BUTTONS="safari:0,cancel:99";

sel=`/Users/steve/usr/bin/xsel`;

if [ ${#sel} -eq 0 ]; then
xmessage -buttons ok -default ok -nearmouse "Empty selection!";
exit;
fi

hasurl=`expr "$sel" : '.*http://.*'`;
if [ $hasurl -gt 0 ]; then
sel=${sel#*http://};
sel=${sel%% *};
sel="http://$sel";
buttons=$URL_BUTTONS;
else
buttons=$NON_URL_BUTTONS;
fi

if [ ${#sel} -gt $MAX_LEN ]; then
label="${sel:0:$MAX_LEN}...";
else
label=$sel;
fi

xmessage -buttons $buttons -default `expr "$buttons" : '\(^[a-z]*\)'` -nearmouse "$label";

case $? in
0)
url="${sel}";
;;
1)
url="http://www.google.com/search?q=${sel}";
;;
2)
url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/${sel}";
;;
3)
url="http://www.google.com/search?q=define:${sel}";
;;
99)
exit
;;
esac

url=${url// /%20};

echo "$url"
open /Applications/Safari.app/ "$url"


xsel used here is by Conrad Parker, and you may change xmessage to gmessage if that is more appealing to you.

Cheers,
Steve

October 27, 2006

October 26, 2006

Improving Unwired Connections

Since I am in hospital again, I have to used unwired to get online.

Now at the best of times, unwired is pretty dodgy in terms of reception where RPA is located, so I am constantly doing the unwired-dance of trying to locate the mystical "sweet spot" in and around my ward, whatever it happens to be.

I have discovered recently a little trick to improving a otherwise bad reception (say, 2-3 red bars of signal quality in Navini Diagnostics) - a low grade constant data stream!

I stumbled up on this when I was downloading a large'ish file using wget at a whopping 1Kb/s, and have managed to duplicate it by pinging www.unwired.com.au with an interval of 0.2 seconds.

As long as the ping is running the background, my signal quality is in the yellow mostly and ssh is fairly responsive. Other online activities such as IM and normal www do not seem to be any slower than usual.

Cheers,
Steve

October 24, 2006

Back in hospital again

*sigh* Ah well, guess it can't be smooth sailing all the way.

At least this time I have unwired, though the reception could be better :-)

On the plus side, Scott owes me beers :-)

Cheers,
Steve

October 20, 2006

The (LEGO) Claw

Fear the claw!





Part of an ongoing project to make a robotic beer serving wench... well maybe not the wench part :-)

Cheers,
Steve

October 04, 2006

A rare victory

Chess to me is about not making the Fatal First Mistake and capitalising on the mistakes of others.

For once I managed not to screw up :-)


Cheers,
Steve

October 03, 2006

Pfft, no ADSL2+for 2 more month

Still on contract for my old plan, and TPG wants me to first cancel my existing contract, then sign up for their ADSL2+ plan. However they won't waiver the early cancellation fee for the 2 month remaining on my contract which means if I want ADSL2+ now I have to pay $120 in cancellation fees.

Pffffttttt

Otherwise I am physically fine, staying out of hospital. Everything else isn't so kosher though.

Cheers,
Steve

September 25, 2006

Back at home

They finally got sick of me in hospital and let me go :-)

Time to play with my new toys and see if I can get ADSL2 @ home.

Cheers,
Steve

September 18, 2006

Fever

Time to go back. >:(

September 14, 2006

www.shuningbian.net

Thats us now! A proper domain name for this blog :-)

Got another domain too, check out www.dailydiscovery.org too!

Cheers,
Steve

September 13, 2006

Setting up proxy.pac with apache2

Introduction

This guide will briefly take you through the process of setting up a automatic proxy configuration file hosted on debian server running apache2 so your client machines can configure themselves to use whatever proxies you might have.

Writing a proxy.pac

proxy.pac is the de-facto name for the proxy configuration file and is essentially a file containing the function definition for FindProxyForURL. This function is called by the browser when it attempts to connect to a URL in order to determine how it should do so.

At the very least the file must contain:
function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
{
return "PROXY <your.proxy.server>:<port>";
}
Naturally you can do a lot more with this function, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Setting up apache2

Now that you have a proxy.pac, you need to put it somewhere where clients can access it, and it must have a mime-type of application/x-ns-proxy-autoconfig otherwise it won't work. One way to do this is to create a .htaccess file in the same directory and place in it the following line:
AddType application/x-ns-proxy-autoconfig .pac
In order for apache2 to read .htaccess you need the AllowOverride option in the proper <directory></directory> directive to be All or sufficiently permissive, for example:
<Directory />
Options +FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
</Directory>
And we are done

Once all that is setup, just point your clients to http://where.proxy.pac.is.hosted/proxy.pac and tell them to use that for automatic proxy configuration. And viola!

Well it worked for me anyways...

Cheers,
Steve

September 12, 2006

Home again

Can't say how good it is to be home again. It really rocks, internet connection not withstanding :P

September 11, 2006

Why the NDS is a better than PSP

Nintendo DS is better than a PSP for gamers. The reason is simple really, the NDS offers developers much more game-space due to its unique hardware combination of dual screens and a random access control in the form of a touch screen.

Let me explain what I mean by game-space: fundamentally any human-computer interaction is limited by the interface available to the user. In this regard the PSP offers very traditional combination of interfaces - a few buttons, an analogue joy stick and a microphone. This means that games for the PSP will have to work with these limitations, the corollary of which is that developers will only have so much room to work with when it comes to making games. Thus the range of games possible on the PSP is restricted by its controls, and this is what I mean by game-space.

The NDS on the other hand expands the traditional console game-space significantly by introducing not only an extra screen but also a random access control in terms of a touch screen. A random access control is one where there is no analogue movement from point A to point B such as that seen when controlling a cursor with a joystick for example. The advantage of this should be immediate to any PC gamer - its the console version of a mouse. Many games require the use of a random access control to be enjoyable, most noticeably first person shooters and real time strategy games.

Whilst the PSP can do some pretty funky things out of the box, like play UMD video, NDS offers gamers the chance to play games that well, has never been seen before while PSP will offer the same formula of games over and over because it can never be free of the shackles of its limited controls. Those games might be great, but they won't be new and great - there is only so much you can do with buttons and joysticks!

Now if the next iteration of NDS came with motion sensors, then boy are we talking whole new realm of gaming experience!

Cheers,
Steve

September 10, 2006

Rise of the white cells

3.4 wcc count today with a neutrophil count of 2.8 yesterday. It means I am engrafted and the new bone marrow is working away at producing a working immune system for me, yay!

Still no platelets though, which is keeping me in hospital. But hopefully they will pick up soon and I can go home!

Everything otherwise is going well. I am enjoying my NDS Lite and consider it an excellent purchase. Will write up an article later on why it is better than the PSP ;-)

Cheers,
Steve

September 02, 2006

Mr 0.7

White cell count is 0.7, horrah! Lets hope things keep looking up so I can go home and possibly head to ruxcon06.

All is rather well, still a bit crooked, but much improved now.

Cheers,
Steve

August 26, 2006

Bugs

They finally figured out which bug I have, so hopefully my temperature will be fine tomorrow. Today was a pretty tough day - nil by mouth, then temperature of up to 40.8c

Cheers,
Steve

August 19, 2006

Still good, still good

Getting some problems in my mouth, lips are peeling again, skin is cracking, but still good, still good...

Days kinda have a routine now. Wake up, eat, sleep, eat, go online, eat, play pool with uncle/friends, exercise some, go online, sleep.

Wonder how long I can keep that up. The side effects are just kicking in, so we will see.

Its still good, its still good... /Simpson

Cheers,
Steve

August 17, 2006

D0 Transplant day

Got my cord blood transplant today between 9:30 - 10:30am. All went well, not much of an reaction except for a bit of fever. Though I do smell now due to the preservatives used.

There is an occupational therapist here called Lucy who specialises in making young people's stay in adult hospital easier - they have recently opened up a room with internet access and board game etc to keep us youngling entertained. Hospitals get boring!

So now its the waiting game, waiting for my white cell count to drop to 0, then waiting for it to come back up which is an indication the engraftment is working. If all goes supersmoothly well, I will be out of here in 14 days - just in time for ruxcon06 :-)

Anyways, still ok for now, hopefully I remain ok :-)

Cheers,
Steve

August 16, 2006

phps handlers

Cool trick to avoid making duplicates or symlinks to .php files in order for people to view your crappy php source. Also nice when your webhosting doesn't provide a handler for .phps. Go go more .htaccess fu and php'ness.

In summary place the following in a .php file somewhere, like viewsource.php or phpsrc.php:
<?php

  $file = preg_replace("/\\.phps$\", ".php", $_SERVER[\'PATH_TRANSLATED\']);
  $file = realpath($file);
  if (!file_exists($file)) {
   print("Error: No such file!!");
  } else {
   highlight_file($file);
  }

?>
Then add the following 2 lines to .htaccess:
AddType php-source .phps
Action php-source /viewsource.php
replace viewsource.php with your file name of choice, and viola!

For example, see the AAWC Formatter and its source.

Cheers,
Steve

Michael Jackson works here (acting)


So there you have it! Still in the show business too, and now a doctor! :-P

Here is also a better shot of the radiotherapy machinary, it is apparently part of an linear accelerator in Sydney according to James.


D0 tomorrow, transplant ETA 9:30-10:00am.

Cheers,
Steve

Site wide gzip compression

After some googling and .htaccess magic all .html files on this site are handled as php files and through the use of the following bit of code in the blogger template all files are gzip encoded for faster delivery!
<?php
ob_start( 'ob_gzhandler' );
?>
Above code is present at the top of all pages.

Following is the .htaccess hack, required because I moved the extension of the pages from .html to .php and some pages stayed in .html land
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .html
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .htm
Cheers,
Steve

August 15, 2006

We are now XHTML 1.0 Transitional

The document located at <http://freespace.atomicscript.com/> was checked and found to be valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional. This means that the resource in question identified itself as "XHTML 1.0 Transitional" and that we successfully performed a formal validation using an SGML or XML Parser (depending on the markup language used).
CSS is also valid, yay! Check out the new badges of honour at in the footer! :-)

Cheers,
Steve

The Ray-o-death

[thanks to the seal for some touch up!]

Actually it is just the machinary to make X-Rays that shoots into me as part of procedure for a transplant. Enjoy!

August 12, 2006

gDisk working

Spent the day hacking around libgmail 0.1.5 so it works with gDisk. Now I can upload/delete files and also deleting labels, so yay!

Haven't got around to contacting the authors of either gDisk or libgmail, but I will eventually. For now it will just be for my own personal use.

If you want a copy, let me know :-)

Cheers,
Steve

August 11, 2006

That stuff packs a punch

ATG really knocked me around last night. Felt like I had the worst flu ever: a headach like some one squeezing my head in a vice, achy joints and at temperatre of 38.5. Took about 7 blankets to keep me warm.

And then it was too hot!

The ATG started again today, don't feel that sick yet, so maybe the body is tolerating it well. Other than that nothing much of importance happened. Wait, there is one thing....

WE HAVE NO POWER!!!!

Due to constructions my ward has lost power from 7am - 7pm, so we have a torch in the toliet so we can do our business, but no showers and definitly no hot showers!

Still, could be worst...

Cheers,
Steve

August 03, 2006

STOP THE PRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well actually stop the protocol. The protocol has been put on hold for a week at least due to my drainage tube which is getting examined tomorrow.

Cheers,
Steve

So it begins...

About to get ATG, an immunosuppressive agent with nasty side effects. Preparing to feel pretty shitty...

Cheers,
Steve

August 02, 2006

Radioactive man!

Had a gated pool heart scan yesterday, where they took 4ml of my blood, infused it with a radioactive isotope called Tc-99m and re-injected it into me. Tc-99m as it decays releases gamma radiation which easily passes through living tissue.

It takes a few days for Tc-99m to decay to its ground state of Tc-99 so for the next few days I am radioactive! So far no sign of super powers....

Nothing much today, just going to be hooked up on IV drips and have good stuff infused into me in preparation for chemotherapy.

Cheers,
Steve

July 31, 2006

Back in hospital

Checked in today into RPA, starting the whole transplant procedure. Not sure when I will be well enough to post again once they start the chemotherapy and total body irradiation.

Unwired is evidently working since I am posting here. The reception is not great, but its better than dial up at least.

I am in ward 7W1 bed 8 for those of you who are interested in paying me a visit :-) This might change come 10/8 when I might move to a single room.

Cheers,
Steve

July 28, 2006

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Happy sysadmin day!

Every one be nice to their sysadmins today... remember, they read your emails ;)

Cheers,
Steve

July 18, 2006

MM-7b finished and done

Finished my modified MM-7 so it uses proximity detection to avoid walls etc. Here are some pictures before I take it apart and build something else:



Here is a video that shows it off :D



The MM-7's controlling logic is done in NQC.

Cheers,
Steve

July 16, 2006

MacNQC, RCX2 and Lego Mindstorm

Been playing around with my LEGO RIS2.0 kit I got for my birthday. Its great!

Some tips for getting it to all work under OS X Tiger:
  1. Read the README file and download the firmware for the RCX as it will be needed before any programs can be loaded.
  2. Turn off "Fast Firmware Download" in the Communication tab in preferences.
  3. Powerup the RCX, and upload the firmware to it using RCX->Download Firmware from the menu bar.
  4. Viola!
Been doing OK these last few days. I am being mobilised to collect my own stemcells in preparation for my bone marrow transplant in August. Keep getting hiccups though :-P

Cheers,
Steve

June 26, 2006

26.06.2006 - nice high blood counts

White cells: 44. Red blood cells: 101. Platlets: 380. My blood is almost normal, except I don't really feel it :P

The 16 injections of GCSF is starting to give me bone pains and such. But I would rather that than an infection. Feeling alright though, no too bad.

Staying up late tonight to watch the Italy vs Australia match, go Australia!!!

Cheers,
Steve

June 23, 2006

23.06.2006 - a series of events

1. Australia draws with Croatia!!!
2. Bone marrow biopsy
3. Blood transfusion - zZzZz
4. ARA-C - jab!

A full on day due to the blood transfusion, got home @ 5:30pm to lovely chicken wings which I cleaned up.

The bone marrow biopsy shows I am still in remission, though quantitative molecular tests aren't done yet. My bone marrow transplant is being negotiated still. Apparently the bone marrow transplant will make me extremely sick - something I am prepared to face, or so I hope.

Have a good weekend every one!

Cheers,
Steve

June 19, 2006

19.06.2006

Back at home now that my blood counts are recovering. No more chemotherapy this week I think.

Thinking about getting wireless internet working... it would make my time in hospital more enjoyable.

Cheers,
Steve

June 18, 2006

18.06.2006 - ow my back!

Back in hospital for observations. No temperatures but now I got a killer lower-back pain which is killing me. Constant and none stop, the pain killers aren't really working. No idea how I am going to be able to sleep.

Oh well, should be no trouble then staying up for the game.

Cheers,
Steve

June 13, 2006

13.06.2006 - low counts

Didn't get my usual injection of ARA-C today - my blood counts are too low. Skipping chemo tomorrow, and going back on Thursday to see if my bone marrow has recovered enough for me to endure more chemotherapy.

Oh, and go the Socceroos!!! 3-1 w00t!

Cheers,
Steve

June 09, 2006

9.06.2006 - good friday

Managed not to get myself admitted into hospital, horrah! Today was quick, just bloods and ARA-C. Going to need to start on my GCSF booster shots because my immune system is crap again.

Yesterday was a long day because I had to have blood transfusions which lasted for 6 hours so I was there until 5:20pm. The same day Chris came and visited, and it was a good evening.

Hopefully today will prove to be another Good Day. At least I have the long weekend off!

Cheers,
Steve

June 06, 2006

6.6.6 - Quick day

Managed to get out of clinic in just under 3 hours. Went over to my old post-office to see Silvia and Nargie, and to collect my $200 cash order :-P Had a 1/4 chicken for lunch, yum.

Nothing much else happening tonight, other than helping Emma with a bit of soldering. Hope it will also be this quick because I have to go back every day this week :-/

Also got a nice card from my teachers at MCE - yay! Put a smile on my face it did! Have to visit there sometime when I am able.

Cheers,
Steve

June 05, 2006

05.06.2006 - electronics day

Got back from clinic at about 3pm. Watched X-Men 3, pretty sad how many people died in it. After dinner I helped Emma out with her electronics project, I can still be useful! Now I have no idea where my pda is though...

Cheers,
Steve

June 04, 2006

4.06.2006 - a day of rest

Finished Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow an hour or so ago - excellent book with plenty of surprises!

Got my excercise rubber bands setup around my room now, so now I can do my excercises and hopefully get stronger quickly!

Maybe it is time for some darwinia playing...

Cheers,
Steve

June 03, 2006

3.06.2006 - lazy day

Yesterday was a tiring day - early get up, trip to RPA Medical Centre, back to Concord, injections, examinations, the works. Out of there by 2pm pretty tired by then.

Slept till 10am today to make up for it. Watched Pirates of the Caribbean with Emma - that turned out to be a taxing experience too. I really need more energy.

Going to take a break now and just read quietly, tired again :-/

Cheers,
Steve

June 01, 2006

01.06.2005 - false alarm

I was awoken from my deep slumber by my Dad who insisted my bone marrow transplant meeting with A/Prof. Gibson of U.Syd was today at 9am. However a small piece of paper from the Appointment Centre at Concord Hospital said the same appointment is tomorrow at 9:30am. Just to be on the safe side, every one got ready and off we went.

About 15 minutes later at 5 past 8, I made a call to RPAH to see if I have an appointment today - the answer was no!!! We all got up and dressed and everything in vain! However we did confirm that I do have an appointment with A/Prof. Gibson tomorrow, at 9:30am as it was written.

So now its barely 9:44am and I have already been out of bed for an hour. Shocking.

Cheers,
Steve

May 31, 2006

31.05.2006 - in and out

Today was a quick day. Got there at 8:30am, got into clinc at 9am or so. No bloods, just my injection and dressing change for my hickmans and I was off home at 10:35am or so.

Got home, played some darwinia and read more Discworld novels. A fast day is a good day! Tomorrow is my day off, and hopefully Friday won't take too long either, even though I have a meeting at RPA.

Cheers,
Steve

May 30, 2006

30.05.2006 - what missing entries?

Always a believer in non-linear time... :P

Anyways, today was LP day down at radiology. The procedure itself was unpleasant but nothing compared to the reaction I got after. The whole hyper sensitive skin/raw nerve/muscle spasm thing kicked in and I was thrashing in my bed like a fish out of water barely able to breath.

They did offer me morphine at one stage down at the clinic, though I declined the offer. Neurology came down to see me and I finally had that hammer-to-the-knee test! Was kinda cool having all my reflexes tested. It was eventually decided that chemically the only difference between a normal LP and X-Ray assisted LP is that they add a contrast in to make sure they are "in the spot". So next time they are going to do it with out the contrast if they do it again and see if it helps. I sure hope it does because it is not a comfortable thing to go through again, and I got 4 more LPs in this cycle!

Looking forward to Thursday, my day off again. No idea what June will be like for me chemotherapy wise. But it says a 9 week cycle on my protocol, so probably more of the same. Then eventually, my bone marrow transplant I believe, something for which I have a meeting booked for this Friday to discuss the options etc.

The "Missing May Entries" will find their way here eventually, until then just ignore the jump in my diary entries :P

Cheers,
Steve

May 21, 2006

01.05.06-04.05.06

1/05/06

Time 12:02pm

First day of consolidation chemotherapy. Thought it would be quick - but it turns out I will be here all day. Thankfully I got my PDA with me. Though not sure how long the batteries will last.



Dr Trotman introduced Dr Daniel who specialises in young adult ALL. He will be looking after me when Dr Trotman is away. Dr Nicole will also be dropping by.



Every one here keep giving me looks - its because I have hair! :-P It seems nearly all out-patients start with no hair.I got lucky in that my hair actually grew longer after I had it cut.



12.44pm

Just got up to go to the bathroom - an exercise in itself. Damn I am weak. Thing is I don't know why I am so weak: is it not enough exercise? Is it the chemotherapy? Is it my body responding to less steriods? Is it the some 5kg of muscle I lost? Why did I lose them? I did excercises because everyone keep saying I wasn't excercisesing enough, all the way till last week when I could barely stand. Could it be something simple like not enough liquid? Or just not eating enough?



1.01pm

About to get my first consolidation chemotherapy. About to get very sleepy...



1.20pm

Dr Daniel came and saw me just then. He said the weakness is most likely due to chemotherapy and my body responding to the tapering steriods.



1.54pm

Only getting part chemotherapy, my liver function is a little worst than before.



Wcc 6.8

Hb 108

Plt 88



3.51pm

Fell asleep for a bit. Such an unexpectedly long day. Tomorrow I got a LP, in fact I get one every Tuesday. Now to figure out something to do for 4 hours on my back. Looks like SASSy is going to be completely written in pocket word. Just got to bring the charger tomorrow.



Dr Chapman came and saw me. My blood test for my liver functions are abnormal - but that might be due to all the drugs. The more important signs are my appetite, any vomiting or runs.



For this week they will carefully monitor my liver function while selectively stopping certain antibiotics which do affect my liver.



2/05/06

Got to CRGH on time despite a nosebleed, depending on my blood results I might not get a LP today. Dr Trotman wants to push on of course, and so do I!



Feeling better today, prepared to spend all day at hospital. Got books and mirrored bash.org. :-p



There are many volunteer services here for cancer patients and their carers - must donate to them.



10.11am

Dr Daniel came and saw me for a bit. Edna wants more liquid in me again! I am drinking! Bah!



Note to self - never argue with Edna. Though tomorrow Edna might be happy for me to drink 5 bottles of water (3.5L) instead of having 3L of fluids pumped into me.



Going to try and improve my input speed too. Its almost 11am, LP soon I hope, cause with LP I have be on my back for 4 hours!



There seems to be lots of Cantonese speakers to the point the English speakers are trying to learn it :-p



1124am

Spinal tap time! Dr Daniel is doing it. This means my clotting is fine. My liver tests are also holding which is good. Things aren't getting worst - sign its the drugs making them abnormal perhaps. Still no gleevec yet, or the other drug though. A liver specialist will see me eventually.



1135am

Edna is getting impatient for Dr Daniel to get started on the LP :-P



Here we go!



117pm

Dr Nick and Dr Daniel did my LP - the painless operation so far - in fact I don't think its possible to have an operation with less discomfort.



Got KFC lunch out of my LP :P



Wcc 7.2

Hb 101

Plt 105



3:53pm

Woke up to my ara-c injection, Edna said tomorrow if all goes well then its just taking blood, wait for results and then my injection and done! But I suspect my liver tests will cause delays again, but it would be nice to find out more about it. Should ask about whether this is normal - having liver problem like this.



1 more hour to go until I can go. Classic English novels are quite a change from what I normally read.



4:47pm

Apparently my ALT level is sky high. My liver's other functions are working fine though. I wonder if there is a correlation between me coming off steriods and my ALP levels. Though one must remember: Correlation is not cause!



3/05/06

9:25am



Dr Alice Came and saw me and said that if my ALT level continues to be high they would like to do a liver biopsy with ultrasound aid - it will give them a better idea of what might be wrong. Though the liver is a very forgiving organ. Also some drugs can cause my ALT level to be elevated too.



10:56am

Dr Alice came again to see me. My clotting factor is good which means my liver is still working fine. I saw the graph of my ALT level - they started going up on the 26.04 even before my dex started going down. Something caused it go skyrocketing over the last few days.



Edna came with good news! My ALT level went down! Edna won't give numbers yet but I will get them! Also got some tips for fluid intake - drink 2L before 4pm then taper off so I can get a good night sleep.



11:28am



Just had my injection of Ara-C. Once Dr Daniel sees me I can go home. Yay! Getting blood tomorrow, my red blood cells are a little low. But thats tomorrow. Today won't be another 5pm day.



12:51pm



Still waiting to see Dr Daniel, apparently another ultrasound is being arranged for Friday.



1:22pm



Still waiting for my perscriptions and my blood numbers...



Wcc 3

Hb 94

Plt 92

Alt 505 down from 705!



As long as long as it keeps coming down doctors are happy! I might even get Gleevec today! Dr Trotman is currently being consulted. Hope things continue to improve! More fluids seems to be the key. Or grapes...



1:44pm



I get Gleevec today! Just got to wait for pharmacy to open at 2pm.



4/05/06



9:25am

Dr Daniel just came and got me to sign a form to check for HIV - they are systematically eliminating possible causes even though I am a registered blood donor.



Nurse Maryane is looking after me today and Dad is with me. My preliminary blood test results are back quickly today



Wcc 1.1

Hb 88

Plt 89



Its nice to see some out-patients who can come in themselves - they look vital and strong. I will be like them, not having to always have some one with me.



My hair is finally starting to fall out too. Delayed reaction to chemotherapy.



11:03am



Getting second set of blood transfusion - only getting red blood cells, so I will perky today. Getting my injection of Ara-C soon. Hopefully then I can go home!



11:40am



Got 2 panadole cause my temperature is up from the blood.



12:16pm



Edna is going to check my backside! Eeep! Strangely no one is worried about my ALT levels today... Also just had my last Dex! No more steriods!



12:25pm



My ALT levels are holding which is good. Time for my injection. Then Edna will check my backside to see if anything is wrong.



12:55pm



Edna examined my backside. She informed me I am keeping my backside very clean, and told me to be very careful now - my wcc is very low. Any infections will delay my chemotherapy, which is bad! Also told to cut down on my fluids because my salt levels are bit low. Just drink normally.



Once the blood finishes and Dr Daniel is happy I can go home. That will be good. Judging by the fact Dr Alice didn't drop by everyone is happy about my liver.



1:23pm



Take panadole with dinner if I need it. The red blood cells will make my temperature go high - not a fever.



Almost time to go home!



2:07pm



Home. Feeling all alert and stuff from extra red cells. Bah! Out-patient business ruins my entire meal plan - bleh at sandwiches. Now the dex is all gone I will be less hungry. Oh well it means I get to eat more food that I like.



2:16pm



Dr Daniel called, cut Gleevec down to 400mg until liver tests improve more.



3:24pm



ADSL just dropped out. Not even an active line. Blah!

May 13, 2006

A quick hello

Just a quick entry to let every one that I am still around. Not feeling great at the moment, but well enough to get online and post now that Emma has bought my laptop.

The doctors are happy with the way everything is going even though sometimes I don't feel so great all the time - some times I just feel plain wretched. My temperature which has been sky high the last few days is better now, swing about 37.

Cheers,
Steve.

May 04, 2006

04.05.2006 - No drama day

9:25am
Dr Daniel just came and got me to sign a form to check for HIV - they are systematically eliminating possible causes even though I am a registered blood donor.

Nurse Maryane is looking after me today and Dad is with me. My preliminary blood test results are back quickly today

Wcc 1.1
Hb 88
Plt 89

Its nice to see some out-patients who can come in themselves - they look vital and strong. I will be like them, not having to always have some one with me.

My hair is finally starting to fall out too. Delayed reaction to chemotherapy.

11:03am

Getting second set of blood transfusion - only getting red blood cells, so I will perky today. Getting my injection of Ara-C soon. Hopefully then I can go home!

11:40am

Got 2 panadole cause my temperature is up from the blood.

12:16pm

Edna is going to check my backside! Eeep! Strangely no one is worried about my ALT levels today... Also just had my last Dex! No more steriods!

12:25pm

My ALT levels are holding which is good. Time for my injection. Then Edna will check my backside to see if anything is wrong.

12:55pm

Edna examined my backside. She informed me I am keeping my backside very clean, and told me to be very careful now - my wcc is very low. Any infections will delay my chemotherapy, which is bad! Also told to cut down on my fluids because my salt levels are bit low. Just drink normally.

Once the blood finishes and Dr Daniel is happy I can go home. That will be good. Judging by the fact Dr Alice didn't drop by everyone is happy about my liver.

1:23pm

Take panadole with dinner if I need it. The red blood cells will make my temperature go high - not a fever.

Almost time to go home!

2:07pm

Home. Feeling all alert and stuff from extra red cells. Bah! Out-patient business ruins my entire meal plan - bleh at sandwiches. Now the dex is all gone I will be less hungry. Oh well it means I get to eat more food that I like.

2:16pm

Dr Daniel called, cut Gleevec down to 400mg until liver tests improve more.

May 03, 2006

Consolidation diary spam

Sorry about lack of recent updates. Still hard to use my laptop so I am confined to using my pda.

Here some 3 days worth of entries -

1/05/06
Time 12:02pm
First day of consolidation chemotherapy. Thought it would be quick - but it turns out I will be here all day. Thankfully I got my PDA with me. Though not sure how long the batteries will last.

Dr Trotman introduced Dr Daniel who specialises in young adult ALL. He will be looking after me when Dr Trotman is away. Dr Nicole will also be dropping by.

Every one here keep giving me looks - its because I have hair! :-P It seems nearly all out-patients start with no hair.I got lucky in that my hair actually grew longer after I had it cut.

12.44pm
Just got up to go to the bathroom - an exercise in itself. Damn I am weak. Thing is I don't know why I am so weak: is it not enough exercise? Is it the chemotherapy? Is it my body responding to less steriods? Is it the some 5kg of muscle I lost? Why did I lose them? I did excercises because everyone keep saying I wasn't excercisesing enough, all the way till last week when I could barely stand. Could it be something simple like not enough liquid? Or just not eating enough?

1.01pm
About to get my first consolidation chemotherapy. About to get very sleepy...

1.20pm
Dr Daniel came and saw me just then. He said the weakness is most likely due to chemotherapy and my body responding to the tapering steriods.

1.54pm
Only getting part chemotherapy, my liver function is a little worst than before.

Wcc 6.8
Hb 108
Plt 88

3.51pm
Fell asleep for a bit. Such an unexpectedly long day. Tomorrow I got a LP, in fact I get one every Tuesday. Now to figure out something to do for 4 hours on my back. Looks like SASSy is going to be completely written in pocket word. Just got to bring the charger tomorrow.

Dr Chapman came and saw me. My blood test for my liver functions are abnormal - but that might be due to all the drugs. The more important signs are my appetite, any vomiting or runs.

For this week they will carefully monitor my liver function while selectively stopping certain antibiotics which do affect my liver.

2/05/06
Got to CRGH on time despite a nosebleed, depending on my blood results I might not get a LP today. Dr Trotman wants to push on of course, and so do I!

Feeling better today, prepared to spend all day at hospital. Got books and mirrored bash.org. :-p

There are many volunteer services here for cancer patients and their carers - must donate to them.

10.11am
Dr Daniel came and saw me for a bit. Edna wants more liquid in me again! I am drinking! Bah!

Note to self - never argue with Edna. Though tomorrow Edna might be happy for me to drink 5 bottles of water (3.5L) instead of having 3L of fluids pumped into me.

Going to try and improve my input speed too. Its almost 11am, LP soon I hope, cause with LP I have be on my back for 4 hours!

There seems to be lots of Cantonese speakers to the point the English speakers are trying to learn it :-p

1124am
Spinal tap time! Dr Daniel is doing it. This means my clotting is fine. My liver tests are also holding which is good. Things aren't getting worst - sign its the drugs making them abnormal perhaps. Still no gleevec yet, or the other drug though. A liver specialist will see me eventually.

1135am
Edna is getting impatient for Dr Daniel to get started on the LP :-P

Here we go!

117pm
Dr Nick and Dr Daniel did my LP - the painless operation so far - in fact I don't think its possible to have an operation with less discomfort.

Got KFC lunch out of my LP :P

Wcc 7.2
Hb 101
Plt 105

3:53pm
Woke up to my ara-c injection, Edna said tomorrow if all goes well then its just taking blood, wait for results and then my injection and done! But I suspect my liver tests will cause delays again, but it would be nice to find out more about it. Should ask about whether this is normal - having liver problem like this.

1 more hour to go until I can go. Classic English novels are quite a change from what I normally read.

4:47pm
Apparently my ALT level is sky high. My liver's other functions are working fine though. I wonder if there is a correlation between me coming off steriods and my ALP levels. Though one must remember: Correlation is not cause!

3/05/06
9:25am

Dr Alice Came and saw me and said that if my ALT level continues to be high they would like to do a liver biopsy with ultrasound aid - it will give them a better idea of what might be wrong. Though the liver is a very forgiving organ. Also some drugs can cause my ALT level to be elevated too.

10:56am
Dr Alice came again to see me. My clotting factor is good which means my liver is still working fine. I saw the graph of my ALT level - they started going up on the 26.04 even before my dex started going down. Something caused it go skyrocketing over the last few days.

Edna came with good news! My ALT level went down! Edna won't give numbers yet but I will get them! Also got some tips for fluid intake - drink 2L before 4pm then taper off so I can get a good night sleep.

11:28am

Just had my injection of Ara-C. Once Dr Daniel sees me I can go home. Yay! Getting blood tomorrow, my red blood cells are a little low. But thats tomorrow. Today won't be another 5pm day.

12:51pm

Still waiting to see Dr Daniel, apparently another ultrasound is being arranged for Friday.

1:22pm

Still waiting for my perscriptions and my blood numbers...

Wcc 3
Hb 94
Plt 92
Alt 505 down from 705!

As long as long as it keeps coming down doctors are happy! I might even get Gleevec today! Dr Trotman is currently being consulted. Hope things continue to improve! More fluids seems to be the key. Or grapes...

1:44pm

I get Gleevec today! Just got to wait for pharmacy to open at 2pm.

April 29, 2006

REMISSION!

My deepest thanks to my wonderful team of doctors!

(I know you are all reading this! :-P)

Entries Spam

25.04.2006

Bad recounts

Feeling better this morning, not so mentally tired. Actually hungry for breakfast. I get bacon apparently though I have to be careful what I eat and not get indigestion! I would hate to have that right now :-/

26.04.2006

Bad recounts

Had to fast for CT scan which in itself is fine... except the chemicals they give you to make your inside opaque and stuff gave me the runs :-/ That was an unpleasant. The rest of the night past in a vague blur of sleeping.

27.04.2006

Bad recounts

Bone marrow day today. Had it done about 12pm and by 3:28pm Dr Trotman came up running and said "Good marrow!" before running off again to a meeting.

YAY!!

28.04.2006

OUT PATIENT DAY!!!

Had another quick bone marrow because the one from the day before misbehaved and clotted too quickly for a good proper sample. Dr Fernando was again the quick and sure hand.

Had to fast again for my first ultrasound too, so that whacked me around bit more after Wednesday. Got home though and had a proper meal, though was too tired to do much else.

Had to practice doing a few things at home too cause I am weak as a kitten, simple things like sitting down are now chores :-/

29.04.2006

Remission!

Finally some peace and quiet sleep - no more observations! :-) Still tired, but not as much now - the thing is though now I have to switch from a month of hospital/western diet back into home diet and meal times - really not sure what that will do to me right now.

But it all doesn't matter - I am now in remission and at home :-D

April 25, 2006

25.04.2006

Feeling better this morning, not so mentally tired. Actually hungry for breakfast. I get bacon apparently though I have to be careful what I eat and not get indigestion! I would hate to have that right now :-/

April 24, 2006

24.04.2006 - blah

Blah day! Completely buggered tired as hell. Slept slept slept slept slept and slept... then a fairly harrowing experience going to my bone density scan - *shudder* Next time I am just going to tell them to come back some other time.

Should be discharged on Friday and I can go home proper, yay! :-D

April 23, 2006

23.04.2006 - feeling better

A whole night with out stomach pains, yay for anti-acid pills! Now lets hope the rest of the days is just as pleasant and I don't need any mylanta - then I can go home with out worrying about having really bad stomach pains - something food no longer fixes up :-/

Now I am hungry proper, and it is time for breakfast!

22.04.2006 - a day late

Found out my hunger pains aren't hunger pains after all - its the chemotherapy causing stomach acid problems. Initially just eating anything will make the pain go away so I thought I was hungry - thus my complains about not enough food!

So now the doctors are giving my anti-acid drugs and mylanta to stop the stomach acid problem - hopefully now I will stop eating so much and stop giving myself stomach problems. A good night sleep with out being interrupted by eating is something else I am looking forward to!

April 21, 2006

21.04.2006 - pacing myself

Recount of previous day

Had a good night talk with felipe on freenode, something that took my mind off the usual things. Cindy has convinced me to eat diary products again even though I had reservations about indigestion - she will be monitoring and will switch to soy-based products for my calcium intake if I do demonstrate any symptoms. It is nice to eat some cheese again :-)

Dad bought cooked vegetables for dinner, which is the one thing I really really miss in my diet - good amounts of fiber. The sandwiches for supper were excellent and filling, even though I did feel hungry again at about 3am and had some noodles. Maybe if I slept earlier I can avoid being so hungry!

Also found out my LEGO mind storm kit rocks! The RCX brick can run a proper OS and be programmable in C/Java/Lisp. Can't wait to get home proper and start hacking away at it!

Time 11:09am

Writing my SASSy concept paper is the plan for today, and probably for many more days to come while I am in hospital where my organisational and productivity capabilities is limited still. I tire more easily these days, have to take more breaks.

April 20, 2006

20.04.2006 - IE issue fixed

Recount of previous day

Stomach seem to have settled about 4pm. Hopefully that is it! Dad cooked dinner as suggested in the chemotherapy book which did me a load of good. Slept fitfully for a few hours, always worried about having to make a dash to the bathroom - thankfully nothing like that happened. Eventually I feel asleep proper.

Time 8:58am

Cleaned up breakfast cause I was hungry, still no bad effects which is good! Not entirely sure what the state of my stomach is right now, that will have to wait and see.

Still feeling productive, lets see how it goes today :-)

Time 10:27am

IE issue fixed! Thanks Sneddo!

April 19, 2006

19.04.2006 - feeling productive

Recount of previous day

Yesterday was a lazy kinda day - I was feeling mentally tired so I spent most of the day reading Fallen Dragon. Dad bought me excellent food so I was well fed through all the day. Also met the other blood specialist who will be covering me when Dr Trotman is away. Couldn't quite remember her name.. Dr Mariana? The food lady is Maria I think.. damn it now I am just plain confused! Emma will know. I have a terrible memory when it comes to names.

Cindy, the dietitian did come and see me - instead of potato/rice they will try and give me cooked vegetables like broccoli and stuff. Also going to be given some soy milk which will hopefully provide the calcium minus the indigestion :-) All in all food is being sorted with extra sandwiches/sustagen being delivered for me at supper.

Got my second last "heavy" chemotherapy too - bit of numbness but no nausea this time! Though my toes and fingers are feeling a bit numb - something I am told to expect. Seems to be going away though.

Time 6:32am

Stomach is like a clock - 30minutes past midnight and I was up and hungry. Ate 2 of Mum's sushi, went back to sleep at 1am or so. 5:30am, woke up again due to hunger, ate the other 2 sushi and been up till now playing with xfig. Still a bit peckish, only got 3 slices of Salada left though :-/ Another hour until breakfast! Blah.

Feeling productive today, so lets see what I can do...

Time 9:48am

Spoke to soon - the nausea kicked in about 8am despite all the drugs - seems inevitable regardless :-) Thankfully it is over now.

Dr Trotman, Vincent and Christian came to see me just then. While a preliminary search shows it is unlikely for me to find a fully matched adult donor, there are many 5/6 matches for cord blood for me. Hopefully this will put family's mind at rest a bit. Oh and the other blood specialist is Dr Nicole. I hope I got the spelling right. A physician is also going to come and see me so I can do some light exercise in the gym to keep up my muscle mass. Yay :-) A team of liver and bone people are also going to see me because of the medicine I take could give me liver/bone mass problems.

Had a nice talk with Christian (sp?), a very kind German graduate student. He told me the protocol I am on is in fact developed in the same institute where he studied. He even gave me the names of the professors who developed it! I hope he enjoys his study/holiday here in Australia before he goes back and become a practicing doctor.

Got my HLA type too.. here are some random numbers:

A24, 33
B27, 62
DR4, 14

The damn IE CSS bug is still around. Blah! Need to somehow fix that. Feeling right as rain again, so lets get back to being productive...

Time 3:28pm

Being productive is hard when you can't keep away from the porcelain throne for more than a 15 minutes :-/ Ironic, the day they increase my food is the day I get hit with this side effect. I only hope it doesn't last :-/

Blah!

April 18, 2006

18.04.2006

Recount of previous day

Got day leave again yesterday :-D Yesterday was also the Sydney Atomic Blood Meet[1] where the absolutely wonderful atomicmpc [2] community went and donated blood for me! Many many thanks to all again!

I got home at about 1:30pm, had a big filling lunch and went for a long walk with Mum to exercise my legs - I am weak as a bleeding kitten :-/ Emma came over shortly after at about 3pm and we walked and brainstormed more ideas for the bone marrow drive. Thing are looking a lot more solid now.

Everything was well until I tried some vanilla Ensure - blah! That stuff came right up again and made my feel like crap :-/ Eventually I recovered enough to get in the car and back to hospital where some anti-nausea drugs made me feel well enough to have some dinner. Dad's cooking is still tops.

All in all, it wasn't a bad day - I enjoyed being home and just doing normal'ish things - and it is always nice to see my cat :-D

[1]http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=1&c=5&t=1476&p=0
[2]http://www.atomicmpc.com.au

Thank you atomic!

Big big thank you to the following wonderful atomicans:
  • Demented Freak
  • VannA
  • Felipe
  • Ben
  • Sam
  • Phr33x
  • Estate
  • Faldo
  • Salty
  • death_k
  • fatalerror
  • TDAS
  • Chuck Norris
  • Gir
  • bum
I know these names make little sense to non-atomicans, so a brief introduction is in order - these people are part of an online community centred around the Australian magzine atomic. They are a wonderful bunch of techheads and their compassion and generosity is an asset that has helped many many people over the years. Go a head and have a look, the community isn't only limited to the technologically inclined!

Cheers,
Steve

April 17, 2006

17.04.2006 - hump day

Time 4:33am

Woke up an hour ago, hungry. Ate Mum's susi and felt much better. Couldn't sleep so I went a-googling and found http://www.leukemiasurvivor.com. Started reading then my damn phone card won't work any more - card number no longer valid! Maybe I can get one of the nurses to get me a new card in the morning.

Either way, that website is a good one - Robert K Brown, diagnosed with AML in 1990, 16 years ago - and he is alive and well today. That is one thing I been looking for, people who have survived leukemia long term - not 2 year event-free survival, not 5-year event-free survival, but decade plus event-free survival. Do I feel better now? You bet! I have something now Robert didn't in the 1990s - 16 years of advances in medical sciences.

Can't wait to read the rest of the story.

Time 9:41am

Phone card started working again, didn't need a new one after all. Dad got my a new one anyway, so I am covered good now. Read more of Robert's story and I thought I would share the following:

"Your chances are not 20% or 50% or even 80%. You either survive or you don't. Period. Today you are surviving. Yesterday you did the same thing. Every day that you continue to survive you have a one hundred percent chance of survival. Your odds, your personal chances of survival, are at 100%." [1]

[1] http://www.leukemiasurvivor.com/induction/

April 16, 2006

16.04.2006

HAPPY EASTER!

Recount of yesterday


Well before I even finished writing the last entry Dr Trotman came to see me and I was very quickly taken home for some home leave! First time I missed a daily entry, hehe.

Day leave was fantastic! I had 1/4 chicken and chips for lunch and it was just... amazingly nice to eat something so ordinary! Then I had a proper Chinese dinner with rice and everything!

That my 1.5MB connection, hehe, Finally go around to watching the new Peter Russel video with Emma - I am amazed at his ability to avoid a knife in the back :-P He is still right up there with the funny, but sometimes I do cringe when he makes fun of people.. but somehow, he gets away with it. You will just never catch me telling him my name ;-)

Didn't get much organisational stuff done, other than an idea of atomic's reach in Universities, which is pretty much universal. Go geeks :-) Felt pretty tired when I finally got back to hospital, and with a full stomach I slept well.

Time 6:38am

Just had a cup of Sustagen thank to a very very thoughtful family friend! Chemotherapy is finally kicking me about - took it long enough ;-) I am going start eating as per my culture again, which is a lot different to how I have been eating recently with hospital food. Mind I am not saying hospital food is crap or anything - it is pretty good at times and I am immensely grateful for the meals - it is just that at the end of the day my dietary requirements is still best served by Chinese food - it means a lot of rice, cooked vegitables, etc. Basically I can't keep eating like a Westerner! My parents are more than capable of supplying all my meals, the only problem is when they can visit. I still get my midnight/morning hungers, and until I can see the dietrian, a cup of chocolate flavour Sustagen is going to have to do! I am not complaining, it tastes like hot chocolate :-P

Now to make another cup to sate my hunger, and get on with more planning. Hopefully I get home leave today and have more home food. It would be nice to meet Bec at home too and have her meet my family. Mum and Dad are eager to apply their recently learned knowledge of what constitutes a proper Western Meal (from observing my dinner menu and quizzing Emma) :-P

April 15, 2006

15.04.2006

Recount of yesterday

Busy busy planning yesterday. I started off meaning to organise a University of Sydney bone marrow donor drive, but now the idea has expanded with the help of many wonderful people into organising the world's biggest bone marrow donor drive! The target to beat is unknown, but the largest single bone marrow drive is 1724 as organised by the US Navy [1]. I think 1724 is easy target to beat.

Blood stats:

• wcc 2.5
• Hb 110
• Plt 72

[1] http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=14615

April 14, 2006

14.04.2006

Recount of yesterday

I was probably my most alert yesterday since I started chemotherapy, which ironically meant I neglected to update my diary since I spent most of it doing "normal" net stuff :-P Been reading a lot on bone marrow transplants and the associated complications, specifically GVHD since a BMT is in my near future due to me being diagnosed ph+ positive ALL. How Gleevec will help me is still bit of an unknown at this point, but all signs are positive.

It would seem the biggest hurdle to my bone marrow is one of chance - whether or not I can find a suitable bone marrow donor. Unlike the lottery, whether or not I am a winner has already been decided with very little "wiggle" room - either the international bone marrow registries contains a donor who match or they don't, a result which takes a few months to find out.

Now the largest bone marrow registries are understandably in Western Countries where the costs of performing tissue typing is transparent. In Australia for example it costs nothing for some one have their tissue typed and stored through the Red Cross. So the consequence is that a majority of donors are Caucasians. It is a bit ironic, but Asians are the ethic minority for once :-P

Now it is entirely possible for a donor who is a perfect match for me to come from anywhere - but there is a naturally strong correlation between race and compatibility. If the international registries, which includes the Taiwan registry - the largest Asian registry and 3rd largest in the world- doesn't find a match, I still have a little wiggle room in the form of still developing China bone marrow registry. It costs 65USD to tissue type a single person in China. 65USD might not seem like a lot, but it is the equivalent of a month's wage to an average Chinese. The Chinese government provides the bone marrow registry centres with a yearly quota of only 3000 donors - that is, only enough money per year to tissue type 3000 blood samples, even if there is a million people lined up willing to participate. It is planned that if the need arise, my parents will attempt to fund as many additional tissue typing in China as they can, either out of pocket or via donation drives here with in Australia to attempt to find a donor for me.

I am going to try and start a donor drive at University of Sydney, particularly amongst over sea students from Asian countries. Asians are at a sever disadvantage when it comes to registered bone marrow donors and if they are here studying, they can be tissue typed where the only cost to them is a bit of time.

Time 8:58am

Nurse Julie just took my blood sample. Not sure if doctors will let me have day leave today. Talked to acute online, a UNSW student. We are going to try and organise an massive student donor drive, especially amongst the over sea students who can not so easily get tissue typed in their own country.

To this end I will get Emma to scan my best picture, and I shall exercise some of my creativity in a bit of self-promotion :-P The ultimate goal is organise a big bone marrow party between all the major Universities where as a student I have the most influence, where people are rewarded in food or prizes for becoming registered donors. Every new donor makes a difference!

Time 3:35pm

Blood results are in! Been neglecting to post them lately, so here are the last few days' results:

12.4.2006

• wcc 1
• Hb 101
• Plt 52

13.4.2006

• wcc 1.4
• Hb 110
• Plt 60

14.4.2006

• wcc 2
• Hb 116
• Plt 62

The doctor said that those levels are holding, it means my bone marrow are working somewhat which is good because it means leukemia isn't affecting me as much. If treatment wasn't going well. This mean I shave today :-)

Work is progressing on the donor drive front, I am slowly recruiting people. A plan is being formed...

April 13, 2006

13.04.2006

Recount of previous night

Woke up at midnight, feeling hungry as usual. Thankfully Mum got me some Susi earlier so I can eat them :-D That didn't fill me up, but it did give me energy and some degree of alertness... enough so I went to sleep at 2am. I am always going to be a night owl :-P Did have a rather "normal" conversation with Emma though over IRC, just like old times when we stayed up talking. Thank god I can get net access here, otherwise I would be cut off from 90% of the world. Not sure how I can remotely deal with that being a child of the information age.

Time 6:19am

Slept through 4 hours, then hunger hit me again at 5:30am. No point in going back to sleep though I am feeling fine thanks to all the sleep I get in during my not-always-hungry-periods of between breakfast and dinner, hehe. See, breakfast is at 7:30, lunch at 12:30, and dinner at 5:30. So 12 hours between 7:30 and 5:30 is when I rest best because I am mostly not hungry. My hunger seems to work on 3 hour shifts too, which means when I get home I am going to eat like 8 small meals a day. Thats something I am looking forward to! Just give me a sandwich maker and cheese and I will be right.

Speaking of cheese... mmmm cheese... Maybe I can get them pizza from downstairs the nurses talk about... mmm

Another hour and 10 before a meal... might break out my last supply of noodles... or raid the vending machine for some "healthy" food... like smoked tuna! :-D Or some cheese based chips... but that is not strictly healthy either!

*ponders*

Maybe later, just before lunch say. Dad is bring noodles, so I might not be so hungry later. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. This I must keep in mind!

This is also day 10 of chemotherapy, and I still have all my hair, still hungry, still no infections :-P

April 12, 2006

12.04.2006

Recount of previous night

I got told last night at 5, just before dinner, I had to have an injection! In my gut! That was a nasty surprise! But it didn't turn out so bad :-P It did kinda damper down my appetite though, hehe. The injection is suppose to encourage growth of good white cells because it seems my blood chemistry is somewhat recovering and Dr Trotman want my non-infection run to proceed through out my entire time here which would be a God-send.

John called last night too, he is ever so thoughtful trying to keep me in the loop not to be left out of whatever it is happening with our friends. Unfortunately he caught me during my 8-11pm sleep period so he just got a few mutters about me sleeping, hehe.

Also got an email from Nick who wanted to visit, and also from my high school physics teacher Mr Coward, an all round top-bloke. Made me feel all loved and stuff getting messages from my old teachers, all of whom during my formative high school years were there to shape me into the fine young man I am today.. or so they say ;-)

Oh, for the record, please direct all emails to freespace@gmail.com!! I can check that email account much easier, and I also get less spam there :-)

Time 6:08am

Couldn't sleep past 5am, too hungry. Eating some noodles Emma got me. mmmm This hopefully will last me until breakfast when I will be full again. I am always seem to be hungry lately, but that is probably a side effect of the steroids they are giving me.

Going to do some exercises, especially my legs! They will waste away otherwise and I want to be as independent as I can. This means of course raiding the patient fridge myself! It is only like a 10 meter walk, but it gives my calf cramps going that far! Absolute shocking state of affairs!

Time 8:34pm

Normally I would be asleep, but this afternoon proved interesting. Dr Trotman and Allison came to see me today for longish talk about my condition. During this informal session Emma and Mum also arrived, so it turned into bit of an informal family session as well.

After talking to Dr Trotman, I think Mum finally came terms with what leukemia is and what it might mean for me, her only son and off-spring. She felt it was unfair that something so nasty and unlucky can happen to "such a nice boy", a mentality of karma that is rather deeply ingrained in Chinese/Asian culture - be a good person, and bad things don't happen to you.

Saw Mum later though when she came to visit, and she seem to be doing well again after talking to Dad and both of them finding out more about it.

Dr Trotman and Allison are still doing literature review on Gleevec, and have determined that I will start taking it as soon as my body can tolerate the side effects. More than this, like statistics, they can't say because Gleevec really is re-writing all the numbers when it comes to Ph+ leukemia. However they have a 3 prong approach planed:

1. Chemotherapy to get me into remission.
2. Gleevec to keep me in remission while a suitable stem cell donor is found.
3. A stem cell/bone marrow transplant to cure my leukemia.

It is expected step 3 will occur in a few months from now, provided a suitable donor is found. My parents are going to get tissue typed, to see which side of the family is a closer match. Then from there my relatives can get tissue typed at major hospitals in China and if a match is found, they can be flown here to give me stem cells!

Also found out that Concord Hospital is one of the University of Sydney teaching hospitals, and Dr Trotman is a senior lecturer :D It almost seems like I never really left University at all :-)

April 11, 2006

11.04.2006

Recount of last night

Arg! Nausea! It hit last night at about 11pm, approximately 4 hours after my second dose of intensive chemotherapy. Right on cue actually. Thankfully no throwing up this time and the drugs make me feel a lot better too. Had a pie yesterday, sasuage roll and fresh dumplings! Heaven! Just as well because chemotherapy made me miss out on dinner.

I think I feel more "human" about 7 days after my intensive chemotherapy sessions hence my increasing appetite. But then the steriods they give me also have the same effect. Either way I get hungry, hehe.

One of the nice nurses, Nurse Mavis(sp?) gave me an apple and kiwi fruit for breakfast which was a welcomed break from biscuits and tuna snacks, as nice as they are. Between dinner at 5pm and breakfast at 7pm there is a total of 14 hours with out food! And I am the kind of person who wakes up at 2am and make myself 2 cheese sandwiches normally!

Thankfully I have parents bring me food and snacks. Some of the elder patient are not so lucky :-( They have no one, and they can't say they are hungry. That must suck big time. Wonder if there is anything I can do for them...

Time 6:47am

Just read a lot more about Gleevec, a new and fangled drug which is set to improve my chances of a cure by a lot because I have the Ph+ mutation. Normally this mutation is a bad thing, that is until Gleevec showed up :D It is a specific drug that targets the mutation and stops the abnormal cells from living. A very encouraging piece of news is that in 2004, 23/24 patients with ALL given Gleevec went into complete remission and have stayed that way for 26 months! This is now almost 1/2 way through 2006 so I expect a lot more experience would have been gained in the matter of treating my condition with this new drug. Even better news is that there is a successor to Gleevec which is effective against 15/16 mutations that makes leukemia immune to Gleevec!

Now don't worry about me thinking this is a cure for leukemia, I know it is not (yet!) but it is a bloody good boost to my chances, especially considering before Gleevec my only realistic chance of a cure was bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant - and I have no siblings!

Anyways, I think a shower is in order and such. Still waiting for breakfast, hehe :-P Oh and I weight in at 66.7kg or so this morning.

Time 10:35am

Dr Allison and her cohort of doctors and doctors in training came to visit just then. I am told that the Ph+ mutation is one of the causes in my kind of ALL so the drug Gleevec will be effective for me. Further more they are reviewing the studies in using Gleevec with chemotherapy, so they might even start me on it soon, or wait until maintaince/consolidation/post-BMT. The doctors will know best what to do.

My blood stats are not bad today:

• wcc 0.5
• Hb 110
• Plt 72

Notice the increase in Hb and Plt - these are with out infusions. It is a sign somewhat my body is attempting to return to normal, though my wcc count is being surpressed by the chemotherapy. These are all expected signs and numbers are expected to fluctuate every time I get more intensive chemotherapy. Over all I am doing well, and been told I should eat what ever I want, hehe :-D

Dad is bring noodles for lunch, yum yum! Can't wait naturally.

April 10, 2006

10.04.2006

Time 6:54am

Nurse Lee showed me where the vending machine is so I raided it for the last Sealord Snakit. There shall be no more until my parents get them! To my great dismay there is also no where I can easily get instant noodles :-/ I love them at night, preservatives be damned!

*sigh* Still hungry, this chemotherapy is suppose to make me loses my appetite, it just isn't happening! Breakfast is not for another half an hour either, blah!

Going to catch up on the world some more, then eat breakfast when it is served. Going to ask dad to make me noodles today instead of stew for once. Variety is good!

Oh yeah, I weight in at 65.7kg or something today, and I have one buttock injection scheduled.

Time 11:57am

Dad just got me a plain meat pie. OMG IT WAS FANTASTIC :D :D The taste of pastry and minced meat... *drools* Nurses have told me of this wonderful bakery place down stairs that makes these mini-pizzas.. they have offered to get me one if lunch proves not to be enough :-D

Might take them up on that offer tomorrow.. or today! :-P

I think I have found the cause of my heart rate going up. It is not too much food as I thought, it is not enough food! I can feel my stomach wanting more food, and if I tell it mentally there is no more, my pulsation goes away. So there. Further, I sleep poorly when hungry, just like my mother. Probably explains why I sleep best after meals because that is when I am full.

Feeling pretty energetic at the moment due to food and what not, though I am not full full I am not hungry either :-) I read http://www.cancerguide.org/median_not_msg.html which is an inspirational article on keeping positive, and it helped! Recalling what statistics I can, I can see the argument, and I am going to be one of those people who beat the odds by a factor of 30!

April 09, 2006

09.04.2006

Recount of previous night

After my last entry I went back more or less to sleep again. Though my sleeps are interrupted in roughly 2h intervals to go to the bathroom due to fluids, but I seem to have gotten used to that.

Oh and my blood stats were:

• wcc 0.4
• Hb 109
• Plt 69

Time 6:40am

Woke up to my pills, and did a set of 10 squats/standups... and ouch! My leg muscles are sore :-/ Goes to show much you slowly waste away in hospital. Going to keep doing them until I can push 20 to make sure I am still fairly fit. My arms needs the same kind of exercise, so it is morning iBook lifting time too!

I also finished the entire packet of rice crackers, heheh :-P Still loving them! Not like there is much in them, mostly air anyway...

Breakfast won't be till for another half hour or so.. so more crackers! Nothing painful scheduled for today, something I always like :-)

Body weight this morning was 67.5 or something, back to the same as I checked in according to Nurse Lee.

Time 3:58pm

I know this is sounding like a commercial... but them Sealord Snakkits are great! Cracker + Tuna is something I find very satisfying - I think I know I am missing out on fish in my diet or something. The best thing is that they are light, and having even two doesn't make my heart rate go up or anything. Just absolutely perfect! Going to get parents to get me some, put them in the patient fridge with my name on it so I don't keep having to buy them from the vending machine.

Feeling awake now due to having slept soundly due to some anti-allergy drugs, so I am going to catch up with the world for a bit!

Time 10:46pm

Woke up feeling hungry, and Tom got me some instant noodles! OMG it is fantastic having something hot and soft to eat at night for a change. I am not sure how I can arrange this every night cause too much instant noodles is still bad for me... but damn it is nice!

Best staff here ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now let see how long I can stay awake for before I fall asleep again... :P

April 08, 2006

08.04.2006

Recount of last night

Mum and dad delivered 2 fresh burgers as I requested which made me fairly full in combination with the hospital supplied dinner. Slept through the entire night with out the need for munchies! Emma came to visit at 6pm though I mostly just slept through the entire visit. Digesting food takes a lot out of me. I need to learn to eat in small snack quantities so I can stop being such a sleepy head when people come to see me!

After visiting hours, I just kept on sleeping until now which means of course now I am wide awake and alert while every one else is sleeping and can't visit :-/ Curses! Need to work on that so my alert hours co-incide with visiting hours.

Time 6:38am

I just got weight then too, I am 64.7kg or so, down from my usual 65kg. I will probably be told to eat more food real soon, hehe. I have a single buttock injection scheduled for today, but thats it. That ain't so bad, and it will be 3 out of 6!

I am going to walk around my room a bit, and exercise my legs to stop them from wasting away.

Time 11:50am

Dad delivered some nice home cooking about 30 minutes before which was highly appreciated by me :D I have found some light exercise after I eat, along with a less rigorous fluid consumption level really helps to keep my heart rate down, so let us work with that theory for now.

Feeling alert again, will have a shower after lunch and wait for Emma to visit :-) Feeling good otherwise, not even too anxious about my buttock injection later :-)

Time 2:01pm

Talk about a wake up call! Just had my rear end injection for the day. Doesn't hurt so much after now :P Still not exactly a nice way to wake up mind, but at least now it is over.

Almost had a decent sleep for once too, hehe :-P

Time 8:06pm

Mum and Dad just came to visit, bought some rice crackers for me :D Every one has just left though since visiting hours are over.

I am feeling a little undecided. That is one thing I don't like about chemotherapy. I am not sure what is good any more. I am not sure if I should be eating more, or will it just make me worst. It is hard to get comfortable too. My mouth feels weird and stomach about the same. Sometimes the smell of bread makes me hungry, sometimes it wants to make me throw up. Blah :-/

I am still going pretty well though, still hungry, though my appetite isn't as big as before. I know the rice crackers parents got for me are my favourite, but looking at them gives me no special desire to try one. Maybe later when I am hungry.

Going to try and get some sleep, bit tired.

Time 10:55pm

Woke up just then feeling a little hungry. Had some of them rice crackers. They are as good as I remembered! Had 2 packets in fact, 4 in total! If I was well I would keep eating them, but I am not so I am going to save them for the mornings... unless I get even more hungry! :-P

Them enzyme mouth wash really helps to restore my appetite by restoring some sense of normality of having saliva and stuff. Go go chemical engineering.

April 07, 2006

07.04.2006

Recount of last night

BIG PARTY!!! :-D All in all about ~12 people turned up to celebrate my delayed 21st, much to the dismay of the wardens who at one point had to close my door due to noises :-P

The Marist Boys turned up - Glen, Eflo, Rene, Shaun, Gringo, Luke, Bryan. They chipped together and bought my LEGO MindStorm! :-D :-D Something I have secretly wanted ever since I saw at a science fair in Y12. Not to be out done David, Eddie, Shaillia, Daniel, Victor K and Victor W turned up too. David and Eddie got me a pair of very appropriately Steve books very appropriately wrapped in LEGO :-D Shailli and Daniel got my chocolate which has already been consumed since I woke up with a hunger. Oh and books, I got more books from Daniel.

There was also a cake, which I ate and kept down as I promised to Glen. It was a wonderful vanilla mud cake, which every one had some of and Emma eventually taking ownership of it :-)

It was simply wonderful having all my friends around me, being themselves with the usual banter and talk. Even though I was in hospital I felt like top of the world - well loved and cared for. Can't wait to get home and start on the MindStorm and start reading them books!

Every one thoughtfully left after my dinner, at which point my energy was visibly sapping away. That was when Victor W turned up with two unexpected birthday cards from my Management for Engineer's group! I am still deeply moved by the good will of people I have only just met and got to know! We (Emma, I, Victor) ended up watching 1 episode of Futurama together, then Victor left for home.

Mum and Dad turned up at 7:30pm, and started cleaning the presents and stuff in my room to reduce chances of an infection, which still hasn't happened yet. Though I should clean this keyboard. We talked about me coming home, something I look forward to, and alternative sleeping arrangements at home due to my room being infested with cat hair and associated bugs. Poor Lili, she won't be allowed to sleep in the same bed as me for a long time :-( Hopefully she will forgive me.

I did get kinda hungry last night at about 9:30pm, and the nice nurse got me a pack of Smiths Original Chips which I ate. I think it is a good sign I am still getting hungry and wanting food, though the amount of farts I made yesterday is probably a sign I should keep off the oily stuff!

Blood stats:

• wcc 0.3
• Hb 92
• Plt 41

Time 6:27am

You can all probably tell mornings is my best time :-) I am going to take advantage of these times and walk around to keep my leg muscles from wasting away, and also writing this entries that would normally consume too much of my energy. Other than the tiredness I am fairly hale as things go.

On the menu today: platelet and full blood infusion, then Lumber Puncture. This is day 5 of 14 of Induction, 2 out of 6 shots have been taken, and the last LP is today (hopefully!). Still no infections :-D

Oh I weight in at 65.2kg this morning, or something like it. Back to my "normal" weight it seems.

Time 4:12pm

Hate LPs mainly because of the 4 hour on-your-back-time. Had the last LP for a while at 12pm, and just got off my backside! Missed lunch completely, I am starving now :-P Dad is bring 2 fresh burgers, mmmmm food. Had a pack of chips thanks to John and his friend who kindly came to visit. Unfortunately I am not able to eat their wonderful home stew because I was stuck on my back.

One of the medical students brought me a nice print out of average adult blood chemistry so I can compare myself to a normal person, as well as to my own "normal". The three I am normally interested in is Hb, wcc, and Plt. In a normal person these are:

• wcc 4.0-11.0 x10^9/L
• Hb 130-180 g/L
• Plt 150-400 x10^9/L

Dr Trotman told me that my wcc of 0.3 might as well be zero for all intends and purposes. Apparently my main defense against infection currently is my healthy skin and good gut bacteria.

April 06, 2006

06.04.2006

Recount of last night

Nothing of great import happened after my last entry. I was too tired to do anything but sleep and sleep and occasionally wake up to use the bathroom.

Time 7:04am

Feeling somewhat more energetic tonight, and I think I will mentioned to the doctors my night sweats too. I weighted 66.7kg this morning, a little less than yesterday, but that might have been due to me passing urine.

Hungry right now actually, hungry enough not to be able to keep sleeping. No idea when breakfast will get here. Hopefully soon :-) This is day 4 of chemotherapy and I still have my appetite :-P Apparently my stitches for my Hickman's line come out today, it would be nice not having that around.

I am also expecting lots of visitors later this evening, so I am going to conserve my strength during the day as much as possible so I can at least be alert when they are around.

The effects of chemotherapy are becoming more readily felt. My mouth feels like it is full of cotton. This probably has something to do with the fact I can't produce saliva so well now due to the drugs. I have found the Biotene mouth wash to be an excellent way to temporarily relieve the discomfort. I believe it has something to do with the fact contains the same enzymes as found in normal saliva. The getting tired bit is something I think every one has noticed about me :-) Bit annoying if you ask me.

Now I shall wait for my breakfast, something I have learn to look forward to... hospital stay is almost making my healthy! :-P

Time 7:36am

Mmm, breakfast! Had 2 toasts because I asked for it, and 2 jam! Love it! This is my favourite combination I think: 2 whole mean toast and jam spread, milk + weebix, orange juice and whatever special they have. Feeling full and energetic now, and my heart rate hasn't gone up. So it is definitely something to do with the chicken soup parents make me.

Not hungry right now, but I expect I will be asking for a sandwich come 11am :-P

Time 12:12pm

Had one hell of a dizzy spell earlier. Got up, went to the bathroom and barely made it back to the bed. Felt really light headed, ears were ringing, couldn't get enough breath.. the works! My heart rate also doubles when I stand up for some reason. Not entirely sure why yet, but it is most likely due to the fact since Toby has been disconnected my fluid level has plummeted since in some ways I have become dependent on Toby for hydration. Now that I am drinking near religiously every hour I feel much better.

I think my appetite is back too, I am hungry for lunch.. and its here! :-D

April 05, 2006

05.04.2006

Time 7:51am
Its my 21st birthday today :-) Many people paid their greetings online, and many more will tomorrow in real life! Yay :-D

Already got some kickass presents from Emma.

I can feel the effects of chemotherapy coming on. My mouth feels like it is stuffed full of cutton as the drugs drastically reduced the rate at which cells turn over in my system. I can also feel my heart rate go up any time I eat as my digestive system requires more and more oxygen to perform its task, again due to the lowered cell turn over rate.

But these are rather minor details. The one I hate the most is when it makes my drowsy and unable to concentrate.

Nothing on the pain charts today, should be a nice peaceful day :-D

Time 11:56am

Got examined by a doctor-in-training and also by Dr Allison and Dr Trotman. They expressed some concern over my higher heart rate when I eat and have told the nurses to pay more attention to my condition when I do eat food. Otherwise I am in good shape, with Hb of 92, wcc of 0.5 and platelet of 50. Something like it, I will get more accurate results off them later.

Since I don't have anything till Friday chemotherapy wise, I might be off Toby tomorrow. I am expected to have another injection into my bottom tomorrow, and a Lumber Puncture Friday. They aren't so bad :-)

Time 8:31pm

Just had a shower, feeling much more energetic than I was earlier. I think it is for certain now that chicken soup as my parents make it is what is increasing my heart rate during meals. To this end I have asked them to stop making it for me until I am better/stronger.

John and his Mother visited today, and bought gifts for my parents! I am constantly been amazed at the generosity and care of the people around me. I never knew I was so well loved! *sniff*

Felipe came to see me at about 6:30pm, bring along his camera. We had a mini-photo shoot so we can chose a picture (or two) to release to the world, in return for 12 great Sydney atomicans donating blood in my name. We also had interesting conversations on the philosophical underpinning of teleportation and replication.

Every one left when visiting hours was over. I tired easily these days from chemotherapy. It is hard to keep alert after meals. My best times seem to be right after I wake up, and about midnight onwards. Speaking of being tired, I think it is time for another nap...

21

Happy birthday to me :-)

April 04, 2006

04.04.2006

Recount of previous night

After my second big dinner, I had a shower then after a nap. I felt fine at the time... until the chemotherapy drugs kicked in at 8:45pm or so. I started feeling really naesaeous then, had problem breathing, extremely high heart rate and almost fainted when I got up to use the bathroom. Then at about 10:00pm my dinner up came my dinner. All of it. Biggest spew I ever did :-P Fortunately this didn't tear my stomach lining or anything, and the nurses having been informed of how I was feeling gave me a bucket. I did however develop a nosebleed from the vomiting, and this lead to transfusion of 8 units of plalelets and some full blood transfusion which is still going at the moment. Because of my earlier allergic reaction to platelets they gave me some pre-medication which knocked me out pretty good. All I really remember is:

• Feeling like crap, can't breath properly, high pulse, head ach, sleepy
• Waking up, felt better, getting on line, getting home wifi router working,manually instructing cousin to be my disc changer.
• Sett up a temporary ssh tunnel to do some remote router adminstration, opening up a new port on the router incase power goes out again, and talking to a few people on IRC shortly.
• Went to bathroom, almost pass out, asking for the bucket. Got given bucket, used bucket, starting to feel somewhat better.
• Seen doctors, trying to stop nosebleed. Fell asleep.
• Woke up to see my blood being taken. Fell asleep.
• Woke up to see platelets, fell asleep.
• Woke up needing to use toilet, given bottle to use because they didn't want me moving around. Fell asleep.
• Woke up to have my meds, nosebleed stopped, feeling good with a dry throat. Fell asleep.
• Woke up to my breakfast, ate breakfast, writing this entry, not sleepy no more.

I wish I can put yesterday down as Pain Free Day Number Four, but that would be lying to myself. However, it wasn't such a bad day :-)

Time 8:13am
Feeling good again, looking forward to the day as I do, even if it has chemotherapy all over it. Tis but a obstacle to get around. I had worst.

Time 10:19am

My remote DVD burning seems to have worked. Going to try and have the disc delivered to me when Dad comes :-) The burn was done using growisofs which is a great program!

Time 10:27am

One of the nice doctors chased my up blood test results from last night, so here they are:

• wcc 0.5
• Hb 74
• Plt 5

This time though we have units! wcc is 10^9/L, Hb is g/L and Plt is 10^9/L. Still no errors though :P My body weight this morning I think was 67.7kg.

Time 3:06pm

Woke up to test shots of L-asparaginase in my arms to test for allergic reactions. This drug hurts a bit when it goes in, sort of like chilli injection under the skin... except not. The inter-dermal shots in my arms weren't so bad, but apparently the inter-muscular shots in my rear end will be somewhat more unpleasant. While I do not look forward to it, nor I do begrudge it - no pain, no gain! :-D

Time 8:10pm

I make a poor patient to visit these days. I simply sleep for hours as soon as my head hits the pillows due to the drugs. Though now I am awake and fairly alert, so I am going to get as many things organised now as possible before the drowsiness hits me again.

The L-asparaginase injections didn't so much hurt as just been weird. The initial injection burns, but then quickly goes away. It is the continued muscle spasm afterwards which is plain strange. Other than that it is not so bad, and it is only 3 times a week :-)

Mum got my a nice balloon too for my birthday, my first! :-D Emma got me some kick ass presents, including LEGO kits which I have always enjoyed despite the age range recommendation of 2-10 :-P Pictures tomorrow when I am more alert.

Time 11:45pm

Finally! The drugs are wearing off and I can stay alert! Currently helping Victor with his programming assignment, a good sign of my alertness returning. How predictable that I become more alert when it approaches midnight :P

Nothing much to report, all is quiet on the Western Front as they say... except for the word clopen!! Some people use it to mean a set that is open and closed. I will ask Emma to explain this one when she has time.