An Important FDA Safety Announcement for my Donor Stem Cell Transplant Brothers and Sisters

FDA warns about increased risk of cancer relapse with long-term use of azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) antibiotic after donor stem cell transplant

The French study which the FDA based a recent safety announcement on had to be discontinued after two years because the rate of the return of cancer and even death was too high in those patients with cancers of the blood or lymph nodes who undergo a donor stem cell transplant and were taking the antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) long term to prevent a certain inflammatory lung condition [LUNG GVHD/BOS].

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Slowing Down the Synapses

Or, Speeding Up the Reviews

Not the primary reason but one of the reasons I decided back in April to take a hiatus from the web was because I wanted to give my brain a break from all the nonsensical chatter that was cluttering it so.

I have been having what I collectively call chemo brain issues for quite some time so I thought it may do me some good to lay off for a while all the hyper-clicking and attention-span deflating skim-reading that the web so sweetly and successfully induces us into doing and which studies have told us is altering our brain and its ability to focus on and process information.

To counter what seemed to me to be my lack of focus and ability to process effectively process information (perhaps less a result from all my web time and more a result from all the chemo and prednisone I used to be strung out on years ago (and, in the case of chemo, which I still take daily dose addiction of)), I decided to turned off the web for a while.

Which, for the most part, I did surprisingly enough.

To fill the time I no longer spent on the web, much of which had been dedicated to this blog, I mobilized the pen and cracked open the books pretty hard.

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Kurt receiving acupuncture treatment for his many ailments

The Purpose of Pain

When it comes to physical pain, it’s purpose is hardly in question: It focuses us to where our immediate attention and action is required.

We accidentally rest our hand on a hot stove top burner and, without our sense of pain, our hand, if it weren’t for our sense of smell, would become cooked well enough to serve up at the next meal.

We could laugh at this, but sadly and horrifically there are some who do not experience the sense of physical pain due to a rare condition known as congenital analgesia.

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BELIEVE IN LEAVE

So, I was thinking (yes, I understand the risks)… But, I was thinking, just imagine if each of the 25,109 and growing followers of this humble site were to donate just $1.00 to help me fund my film LEAVE… Just imagine how much that would be! Keep in mind that I am a product of the United States public school system, and that, by design, my higher level degrees have absolutely nothing to do with math, so my calculations may be a bit suspect… But I believe that if every one of the 25,109 followers were to donate $1.00 to … Continue reading BELIEVE IN LEAVE

If You’re Here You Must Be Sick…

(OR CARE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS) I’d like to think that one or two of my three regular visitors (one of whom is me) come to this site to gain a deeper understanding of my creative writing by exploring my short stories, and poetry, and my insightful and sometimes witty flash fiction, and, most importantly, to buy my books. Yeah, that’s what I’d like to think. However, the reality is far from it. The unfortunate truth is that, by far, most people who visit this site do so because they are seeking out information about my diseases, past and present. … Continue reading If You’re Here You Must Be Sick…

Insurance Insures Ensures My Frustration

Back in February of this year, I posted the following gripe to my personal facebook page (as opposed to my public facebook page): I am fortunate to have a rather decent long-term disability policy with Mutual of Omaha, which I, thankfully, purchased through my former employer prior to the diagnosis of my cancer. One of my frustrations (of several) with the policy is, though, that Mutual of Omaha required/forced me to apply for federal Social Security disability compensation at the onset of my claim. Once approved, Mutual of Omaha then began deducting the amount the federal government pays me from … Continue reading Insurance Insures Ensures My Frustration

Ask the Question, I Dare You

And I don’t know about you, but for me, even sometimes at my old and calloused age, and no matter how times that old, dull saw “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” is drawn back and forth across my grainy, knot-holed brain, if I feel stupid about asking a question before I even ask it, then it is really hard for me to get up the gumption to get the stupid question out. Continue reading Ask the Question, I Dare You

Stimulating News

Ever since mid-December 2010, I have been getting light headed whenever I stand or lean over. A couple of times I have come pretty close to passing out. The last checkup I had the doc took my blood pressure lying down and it was 135 over 70 something. He then had me stand up and took it again. It was 110 over 60 something. A pretty significant drop. One of the many side effects of prednisone, the steroid I take to try to stop the deterioration of my lungs, is that it causes sodium retention. Because of this, the wife … Continue reading Stimulating News