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The Last Few Weeks

So I haven't updated in a while, sorry about that.

Two weeks ago, on Friday the 17th, I measured a fever taking my temperature before bed — I wanted to go to bed so bad, it was 1 in the morning and I had been up at 730 for doctors appointments, things were mostly okay but I kept needing blood transfusions, I had had one that Friday, along with both blood and plasma transfusions both previous Thursdays and that previous Monday. So I had been up pretty early (for me) for a few days, and really wanted to go to bed, but I measured my temperature multiple times and mostly got above 100.4 F, which is where they want me to call and go to the emergency room, in case I have an infection. (Because without an immune system an infection could grow out of control quickly, and without many white blood cells I probably won't even show many signs of infection, no inflammation really.)

So they put me on really strong antibiotics for a while, my fever went away after a few days, but they wanted to keep me until my ANC had returned to at least 400. On Sunday I calculated it to be 504, so they sent me home. I tried plotting all the measurements I could find for how my ANC had changed over previous weeks and treatments, and this one fit pretty well in those ones. Though some of the antibiotics I was on most of the week, I think they said they can actually have a supressive effect on my immune system, so we were kinda tugging in both directions. 

Anyway, I'm all better now. Out of the hospital. Platelets went from like 27 to 50 in the last couple days at the hospital, so I'm not worried about bleeding, but my hemoglobin was still pretty low and I can definitely feel myself getting easily winded by just a little moderate exercise. Because I was in the hospital all week I had to move my appointment in Boston, where I'll start to get to know the doctor doing the transplant. So I'll meet her this Friday instead. Which meant I also pushed back a bunch of appointments for this Friday in Lebanon to next Friday. Last time (two Fridays ago) I met with a doctor I didn't know well, who thought we might do a third round of consolidation chemotherapy in a few weeks. I wasn't expecting that but the previous two rounds have been fairly easy, to I'm not too concerned about it. Apparently the chemotherapy for the bone marrow transplant is more severe, and is more likely to be another month in the hospital, so I'm trying to mentally prepare for that I think.

Now I'm working on another toy I started designing a few years ago, one that will need a few test prints I think, which is what held me up before.

More Transfusions

Another transfusion appointment went well today in Manchester — my hemoglobin was 7.6, platelets were 6, and my ANC was 20, so I had transfusions of the first two, and won't be going out in public much this week, if it can be avoided. I'll find out again, either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. 

It has me wondering how much a platelet (or blood for that matter) boosts those measurements, since I think I was 16 for the platelets on last Thursday, when I had a transfusion last, but it still dropped to 6, just 4 days later. But we can only sample it so often — sampling before and after a transfusion seems wasteful and impractical. If I can remember I'll ask if the doctors know on Friday.

As far as work goes, I'm back to working on another old toy/jewelry design in Blender, this one based on hypocycloids. I got pretty far on it originally but it was never clear I could get it to stay aligned, and I wasn't looking forward to iteratively determining what was feasible, but since Collin has a 3D printer handy it seems more feasible to give it another try.

Back at Home for a Few Weeks

I got back home again last night, and am doing well. Feeling plenty strong still, though sometime this following week my blood counts (ANC, hemoglobin, white blood cells, and platelets), will probably fall pretty far, I might need a few tranfusions at points, but that should be fairly routine. 

The chemotheraphy didn't seem all that bad, I've still got some itching, but my biggest complaint is probably that I need to use these eyedrops for the next day that leave a bad taste in my mouth. I lucked out and had a stuffy nose most of the week which actually prevented the bad taste.

In about four to six weeks (depending on how I recover I think), I'll do another one of these, and then hopefully be able to find a transplant match and move on to that step. One thing at a time though.

This hospital stay was so much easier, I'm sure in part because I knew I was going in in the first place, and I knew I was leaving, so I could prepare for the whole thing. I was labelled a fall risk again (because of my past history of passing out last time), but the doctor gave me an exemption and they let me walk alone all over the place, including outside the ward and the hospital, when accompanied by friends. That was nice, we ended up walking about 3 miles a day that way.

But obviously it's much nicer to be home, sleep in my own bed. No tubes in my arm. 

I guess that's all for now.

Thanks for reading!


Russell’s Teapot Necklace

The Celestial Teapot

The eminent British philosopher Bertrand Russell used an analogy to illustrate the concept of the burden of proof and how it applies to religious claims, now often referred to as Russell's Teapot, (also known as the celestial teapot, and cosmic teapot).

Russell explains that if he were to claim that a china teapot were orbiting the Sun between Earth and Mars, and that this teapot is too small to be detected by our technology (as it would be), then the burden of proof would lie on him to provide evidence of the teapot, not on disbelievers to prove the absence of the teapot.

The meteoroids are generated algorithmically, and since they're 3D printed in stainless steel, each necklace can contain a perfectly unique set of meteoroids. In these photos the teapots were printed in stainless steel with a polished nickel finish, while the meteoroids are the basic stainless steel material.

Coleoidea Hypoxyphilia

This brass octopus pendant was inspired by a friend's recounting of a dream in which an octopus was crawling up her leg — the next day she woke up with a cramp in her calf — in this case the creature is trying to heave it's way up the owner's chain, grasping it and collecting it together in it's many appendages.

Each sucker carefully handcrafted...
It's available for sale on my Shapeways page, where you can also see more pictures and a video of it. I like how much detail it captured, but I think some of the legs are unnatural looking, which irks me a bit.

It was manufactured — 3D printed and then cast — by Shapeways. A chain can be woven through six of the eight legs, with the top and center two legs forming a heart shape.

Working Out the Kinks

Thanks to Collin for helping me get a domain name, some webspace, and for installing WordPress here — and for helping me work out all sorts of other html issues in the past.

I’ve managed to embed a model of a fungus that is growing on a tree stump outside my brother’s house — in the vicinity of 50,000 polygons, this model has been reduced to about a tenth of what the original model was in order save bandwidth. (Expand this post to view it.)

Next up: figuring out how to integrate Etsy listings!