Friday, November 11, 2005

Neupogen Revisited

Ah, just spent another 2 hours (not 3) at the clinic. Potassium creeping up very slowly. Still have to have IV's although they are giving me less than last week. Also have been given a new drug to help my kidneys retain the potassium. That will resolve in time I'm sure. Platelets continue to rise and are nearly normal. White cell count, on the other hand, fell today from 2.5 on Wed. to 2.1 today. So, I got another neupogen shot and will get another one tomorrow in hopes those shots will kick start my white cell production. So, we're off to the clinic tomorrow morning, Sunday morning and Monday. (Is it time for my sister Kathy to return?--No, my brother Mike will arrive tomorrow so he can accompany me on Sunday and Monday as I still have my driving privileges revoked) I've finally realized there is no normal course of recovery, only individual courses. But, I still continue to feel OK, energy still low but very gradually creeping upwards as well, and no major complications. I was to go off all antibiotics today, but because of the drop in the white count, those prescriptions have been extended a week. Take care everyone, have a nice weekend and I will update you on Monday. Love, Dan


Dorothy said...

Hi Dan! Hang in there remember take each day and I know that is so easy for us not going through your day but please know that we are all in your corner and the good thoughts are still coming!

Hope you could enjoy some of the goodies I sent with Susan the other night! A big hug to you, Susan, Catherine and Julia. Love The Seals

sigunjoe said...

November 12, 2005

Dear Dan,

Reading about blogs for years in the newspapers never prepared us for the experience of yours. The ones we have read up to now are all about political opinion, which is fine. But yours draws us into your life in ways we never imagined possible. Your story, day after day, is a kind of miracle of humanity. Your struggle is full of grace. And the voices of family and friends, the comings and goings, the powerful support are nothing less than inspiring for us, a tonic for the soul. Strange how we think we are helping you in your need, and you are really helping us.

It’s a cold, drizzly Saturday afternoon in Paris, and we are sitting in our apartment listening to occasional police sirens wailing down the boulevard, and wondering if the invasion is coming tonight. The morning papers told us that young Muslim bloggers are calling on youths from the squalid suburbs that surround us to enter the city tonight and maraude on the Champs Elysees. Le Figaro’s lead page one headline reads: RIOTS: PARIS PROTECTS ITSELF FROM THE CONTAGION: THE PREFECT OF POLICE FORBIDS ASSEMBLIES THAT MAY PROVOKE DISORDER. It was inevitable, people here with their heads on straight are saying. It’s a wonder it took so long.
Studying France is so compelling because you know you are watching the smartest culture in the world acting stupider than George Bush could ever do, with or without Cheney. Muslims are 10% of the population and blacks perhaps half again that. Yet there is not one black or Muslim in the national government, not one on national TV as a newscaster or personality, and only a scattering in the police. There are no role models, no upward mobility, no hope. The country is filling up with blacks and Muslims with advanced degrees who can’t get a job. Those who do have to change their name and pretend they are white. So far this year some 30,000 autos have been set fire around France, and nothing is done. The powers have put these people in high rise slums outside the cities and let them rot there, hoping that by putting them on welfare they will keep them quiet. Denial has been rampant.
The riots may be changing that. But then again they may not. There is talk for the first time of affirmative action, which the French call positive discrimination. Chirac is apologizing for the first time and going around shaking the hands of black and Muslim teens. A first too. Meanwhile, though, the mass of French people continue to resist any changes of any kind. We had dinner with our French friend from Normandy the other night and Sigun had to hold the woman’s hands to stop her from banging on the table in the restaurant (La Fontaine de Mars). Her argument: they are scum and they don’t belong here. They should be deported. If you reached into the hearts of a cross section of the French, I am afraid you would find agreement.
What is so especially compelling is how, in its way, this calamity has the flavor of the revolution of 1789. That was an explosion that had been building for centuries, leading to the end of feudalism. It was inevitable, given the instransigence of the aristocracy and the stupidity of the king. Now we have a parallel situation: France resists all change (remember the rejection of the EU constitution in the spring?). It is afraid that the France of blessed memory will soon be gone, swallowed up by globalization of business, homogenization of nations through the European Union, and cultural homicide through the continuing flow of Muslims into the country. The French resist change, and the Muslims increasing on their side resist integration.
We get the feeling that this too will turn out to be a hinge of history, particularly for the French. Some change will come, either violently or through a gradual acceptance and integration. It is easy to say, oh, the French will see the light. But I doubt if there is any people anywhere, certainly in the first world, that resists change as the French do. They have never believed that both sides of an argument can win.

So here we are. Tonight we test the waters. After mass at St. Joseph’s this evening, we plan to dart across the Champs-Elysees, down the length of Avenue George V, past the American Cathedral, and into Bistro Marius for a seafood dinner. If all is well after that, we will walk home across the Pont de l’Alma and check the temper of the streets.

More from your Paris correspondent soon. Sigunjoe.