Sunday, February 23, 2014

AAR February 2014

It has been a long time for this update, but it has been a busy six months.  I will call it the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The one thing that Mary and I have learned is that a plan may be good for 72 hrs if your lucky,

The good.  My cancer is in total remission.  We know it likes to come back in a hurry, but we have been in remission for several months.  The doctors are starting to reduce my immune suppression in hopes that my grafted Tcells can handle the infections.

The bad is that the side effects of the graft and the infections still keep coming.
My walking has been reduced to the old man shuffle with a cane if I am smart.  I have a real chance of tipping over.  My legs and feet totally numb.
I have been readmitted to the hospital several times for pneumonia , but I recently warded off readmission for the flu as I was able to fight that off with take home antibiotics.
Finally, I got GVHD in the mouth and throat.  This caused the removal of all my teeth at the Stanford surgical unit.  It has taken a while to get me squared away with some dentures so now I am learning to eat, drink, and talk (without a whistle).

So what could be Ugly?  Well there were three of us that started this procedure about the same time, Bill, Kevin, and me.  We are all about the same age which was pushing the acceptability for a transplant.  All started in good shape for the fight.  We all have had prolonged effects, and numerous stays in the hospital.  I would classify all three of us as A types, Businessman, Lawyer and Marine, and capable of the roller coaster ride.  Well Bill died the other day of pneumonia.  Kevin is still in the fight, but is having some heavy rolls.  I have nothing to bitch about other than I still cannot get in the grass to take a pitch.  It is kind of like being a fire team leader that gets across the beach and starts counting noses.

All of the above said, the best was that the 11th Marines invited me to their St Barbra's Day celebration.  Mary said she would drag me down there if I remained healthy.  So, I stayed well and off we went.  I really have to thank those Marines.  They made my day.   There were a bunch of us who had served together.  The Captains were now Colonels and Regimental Commanders, Lts were Bn Commanders, Privates were now the senior enlisted of the Corps.  They had their heads on straight and priorities in the right place.  Told old war stories and answered those WHY questions they did not ask a long time ago.  It is this brotherhood that can sustain you when you start counting noses.

Semper Fi
Ed

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AAR for JUNE

Well, The infections keep coming.  This time it was swelling caused by a cellulitis (?) bacteria.  Good  news is that it only took three days to identify the antibiotic that was required.  Also good is that I am a lot more sensitive to changes in my condition and cannot afford to admire the situation.

So there it is.  We are headed to the mountains this weekend.  I like it a lot better at 5000ft just need to get cleared to fish and able to walk across uneven ground.  Started the reclamation on the Corvette so that Mary and I can go play Route 66 once I get a trip ticket from the doctors.

Thank you for prayers

Semper Fi
Ed

Friday, June 7, 2013

AAR for May

You know you are in trouble when the Docs start by discussing your living will.  I didn't make it to Analicia's birthday.  I was in hospital for two weeks while they figured out how to kill (2) bacterial infections, (2) viral infections, (1) fungal infection while not killing my kidneys.  Again I walked out of the hospital, carrying 15 different medications.  I am still not out of the woods, but at least I am home.  Need to start all over on diet, physical therapy, and attitude adjustments.  We also are in Stanford twice a week so lots of road time.  I just need to be careful, a lot more careful than I am accustomed.

Thanks to bicycle team led by the O'Neals at Tahoe for lymphoma.  They raised over 11k.  There is a research requirement, particularly AITL,  as medicine is a science, but when the patient shows up it becomes a art.

So there it is.  

I have a brand new granddaughter born 6/4/13, Julia Marie Lesnowicz.  This makes seven grandkids, so need to stick around to get some fingerprints on them.  

The doctors are a little amazed that I have been able to pull out of these last two infection events.  They say my body is responding like a twenty year old,  just need to get kidneys to come to attention.    It is not the body.  It is what the Corps gave a long time ago.  We just don't know how to lay down and die, on the battlefield or the bed.  

Semper Fi 

Ed








Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Situation Report May 2013

UPDATE!!

Hello Everyone.  I know it has been a long time since our last report.  Dad has been up and down.  Here is the story in a nutshell.

After the stem cell transplant they suppress dad's immunity with drugs.  They do this so that the NEW stem cells can grow.  Unfortunately, every time they try to take dad off these drugs he gets a Graft-Vs-Host Disease.  His body just doesn't want to kindly accept the new stem cells.  Dad has never kindly accepted much so that's no surprise.  So, they keep him on the drugs which allow every single flea bitten virus, bacteria or over all "no thank you" floating around to attack him.



It's a game of chess.  There truly is no other way to put it. 

  Dad unfortunately seems to catch "no thank you's" about as well as he catches fish.  He can catch a fish people.  He was checked into Stanford AGAIN last Friday.  I went to see him yesterday and he was in high spirits.  He seemed to be pulling out pretty well and promised to be home for my birthday on Saturday.  

My mom just called me and told me that dad is being transferred to the ICU at Stanford.  His kidneys are not kidney-ing...oh it's a word.  They need to figure this out.  I will update you as more news comes in.  Thank you for your patience on my blogging.  I can give you a pile of excuses but dad would just say for me to go get the dictionary and look up where sympathy is located.  Right, well if you haven't heard that Ed-ism I will save it for later.

More soon. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Update on Dad

Hello Everyone,

Your prayers, love and support are working!!  Dad has used up another one of his many lives and surprised everyone with his miraculous recovery.  It looks like he is going to kick this thing.  The antibiotics did their magic to the meningitis. He has one more week of the antibiotics to complete the dosage. They detected a gall bladder infection which was addressed last week.  It may come to the removal of his gall bladder, but not until after he has regained some strength. 

I will tell you that its amazing what a weeks time will hold.  We went from sending Matt home from overseas to be by Dads deathbed to Matt watching the Broncos game with dad in the hospital on Saturday.  I visited Dad in the hospital today and he doesn't appear to have lost much if any of his brain function.  He is slow but eager to get out of the hospital.  The doctors said he needed to be up and walking before they would release him...what do you know? he walked two laps around the ward and up a few steps. He has a long road of rehabilitation to get his strength back up but he is ready for the challenge with a renewed spirit.

He is not completely out of the woods but we are all happy that he is with us keeping up the good fight.

Thanks again for all of your prayers.

Heather

Monday, January 7, 2013

PRAY FOR OUR WARRIOR

We need your prayers!!!

Dad was rushed to the hospital on Saturday with a serious infection.  He has Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterial meningitis.  Dad was transferred to Stanford via life flight from Santa Cruz on Sunday.  Dad really is in the fight now!  Yesterday the concern was that he wake up from his state of confusion and inability to speak.  Today we see an improvement from yesterday.  Dad recognized mom, said "hi" and gave a little wave.  He also said he wanted a Pepsi and gave one of his patented sideways "Ed" glances when we said "no".

He is in the thick of it.  When asked what I should put in the blog he said "holy shit!".  So he is still in there between his in and out of consciousness.

Dad is tough but he needs all the good juju he can get.

Please pray for the strength to fight this most recent battle.

Heather

Monday, November 26, 2012

Every little things gonna be alright - Com From Ed



Friends - Wisdom Jacket kicked me in the butt and said COMMUNICATE.  I finally finished a battery of tests last week that gave us some definitive information (not much is definitive in this fight as it just goes one day at a time).   
Sooooo First, where have I been?? 

Sitrep 21 had me approaching the end of my hospital treatment and the possibility of being able to go home vice living in Palo Alto near the hospital.  They call this moving to clinic.  That is when we found out that we were in two fire fights.  I walked into a L-shaped ambush.  I found out that I had to survive the transplant as well as the cancer.  Most of August was spent in and out of the hospital with graft versus host disease (GVHD) in transplant talk. 

Then the last trip had me in the Stanford emergency room and ICU with a staff infection and a viral infection.  Heather and Analicia drove me to the hospital and were doing paper/rock/scissors to see which one was going to call Mary to tell her I was dead.  It was a close one.   After several weeks they let me out of the hospital, but strapped a couple of IV machines to me for 24/7 antibiotics.  I got to come home, but it required in-home nursing care for a while.  So now we hit October/November.  Still a few flair ups but I have been able to stay out of the hospital and I finally got to go to clinic. This means I only have to go to Stanford once a week as long as there are no further “complications”. 

We also got the definitive test (bone marrow biopsy and PET/CT Scan).  I am in total remission.  No sign of any cancer.  The transplant fight will continue, but that is getting better as long as I follow directions.  It looks like lots of restrictions until the Spring of 2013.  So looking at the stats of AITL Lymphoma, I just joined the 60% that survive past 5 years.  So, all is in harmony.  I have to get off my butt and start getting some strength back.  My biggest problem is sleeping too much.  

Heather and Analicia are much more entertaining than I am.  Hopefully, we can get  them back them on the blog.  Heather’s sitrep 22 captures the situation.  They have  been on their cousin’s campaign staff for a seat on the Santa Cruz City Council and she just won.

I usually like to leave you with something learned or observed. 
So who and what is Wisdom Jacket??
Wisdom Jacket is a call sign originally used by Major General “Dutch” Schultz as a battalion commander in Viet Nam.  Colonel Shultz was my CO at the Basic School.   Several years later he was the inspector general of the Marine Corps, and I was on I&I duty in Denver, Colorado.  We had the case of a young Lt. gone missing.  His car was still in the parking lot and none of his belongings touched.  The Marine Corps had handled it by the book, he was AWOL.  Turns out his body was found over a year later just several hundred yards from Barrett Hall, a suicide.  He was a missing person, a Marine we should of looked for.  Bottom line, we screwed it up for the family.  Major General Shultz was there at the memorial service in Colorado Springs to take responsibility for the Corps.  He taught me that a families’ grief is nothing like the grief we feel for lost friends and fallen warriors.  His empathy and demeanor showed me there are many sides of a warrior.  Wisdom Jacket was a true poet warrior.
Several years later, I was the Executive Officer of 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines in Hawaii.  My CO was LtCol Chuck Krulak.  His Commander in Viet Nam was Dutch Schultz in the 3rd Bn 3rd Marines.  He adopted Wisdom Jacket as his call sign.  I learned from him that there are no simple anserws, take the bigger picture.  You might see something undiscovered with a smaller lens.
When I was the battalion commander of 3rd Bn 11th Marines.  I adopted Wisdom Jacket as my call sign in honor of these men. We were in Somalia and we had a patrol ambushed.  One Marine was dead.   My on scene commander of the reaction force was asking for guidance.  He was calling for Wisdom Jacket.  I had blood in my eye and wanted to start a fight for the sake of revenge.  All of a sudden the question was, what would Dutch do?!  The enemy had already melted away.  To start the fight now would be with innocent bystandards.  We retrieved our patrol and our fallen Marine.  And left peacefully into the night.
What this talks to is the value of having mentors and calling on them when you are facing tough decisions.  I call them my ghosts. 
However, it is more important for mentors to remember that what they teach and the values they reflect in their leadership may haunt the battle decades later.
Semper Fi
Ed Lesnowicz
PS: My birth day is 12/12/12.  Happens once every century, and 8 months ago it was doubtful I would make it.  I guess that is why my Marines dubbed me “Fast Eddie” because of the unexpected.