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9-9-9

Posted Oct 16 2009 10:04pm
I see patterns in numbers. I can't help it. It appears to be some kind of innate reflex. In second grade my principal, Mr. Moulie, would find me walking in the corridor and slip me a piece of paper with a row of numbers and blanks. I would then find the pattern, something like 2x+1 and return it to him. He never told me that I was doing Algebra; it was just a fun game for a seven year old. In every row of numbers I see I will look for arithmetic and symmetric relationships. It helps me to remember them.
Nines are really cool because any number divisible by nine, when the digits composing the number are summed, ultimately result in nine. (each multiple digit answer must also be summed).
So today is an interesting day.
In China, nines are considered lucky, however, in Japan, the opposite is true. Today in surgery I was wearing a cap made by my partner, Dr Takahashi. She made it for me when I was bald after the bone marrow transplant. The Japanese characters in the fabric represent good health and prosperity. However, the number nine in Japan is considered bad luck. Oh, those opposing forces at work on such a day. The number nine in Japanese is a homonym with the word for suffering.
Generally, I am seen as a lucky guy. Today the nurse from the cardiology clinic called to say that my heart biopsy showed moderate rejection. this would be considered unlucky and/or suffering. The pathology report listed me as a 2R/3a. The last time I showed this level of rejection was the last time I took Revlimid in October 2008. What makes this quite troubling is the realization that Revlimid is the only treatment that has actually improved my amyloidosis. Yet with it, I seem to go into heart rejection and, without it, my disease would progress and ultimately damage my heart. I am between a rock and a hard spot without a Holmium laser. Now these concerns may only be theoretical, since originally there was some doubt as to the causality of my previous rejection with respect to Revlimid. The next step will be poorly founded in real science and be based on experience, intuition and educated guessing on the part of my doctors and me. We will aspire to a new homeostasis (my word for the weak).
I am now on solumedrol (the zombie/statue drug) 500 mg.
Let's play with the numbers. Normally I take prednisone 5mg every day. this is equivalent to 25 mg of cortisone, the basic steroid dose.
This morning I took 40 mg of decadron(dexamethasone) equivalent to 267 mg of prednisone or 1333 mg of cortisone. This afternoon I received 500 mg of Solumedrol I.V. This is equivalent to 625 mg of Prednisone or 2500 mg of cortisone. For a grand total today of 892 mg of prednisone today or 178.4 times my usual daily dose. I will be wired tonight. I should see if the San Francisco Giants want to hire me. If anyone has any questions tonight at 3 AM, call me, I'll be up.

We will find a plan and a new homeostasis. That much I am sure of.

Kevin
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