Yesterday: The VA and Vidaza

Yesterday Beth and I spent much of the day down at the VA office in Oakland, before heading out to Dr. Jalil’s for a consultation and to begin her sixth cycle of Vidaza. We honestly didn’t know what to expect – it was her first “doctor’s visit” there. Her primary care physician is a young female doctor who has a great deal of respect for veterans, and she did a pretty thorough “history” on Beth. I appreciated her concern.

We also filed a claim for disability benefits through the VA. We heard from another individual who was standing in line that it can take up to a year simply to process the application. The actual VA benefits counselor we spoke with told us it would be six or seven months – within two months, we should receive acknowledgement that they have received it.

Beth also began her 6th Vidaza cycle. Dr. Jalil was generally encouraged by how she was doing. Note that her white blood cells were at their lowest point that I’ve seen them (1.1) – but also that her hemoglobin, which was raised into the nine-point-something range with four transfusions, actually increased a bit last week (to 9.5). That was a very rare “increase” in her hemoglobin level.

  11/1 11/3 11/10 11/14
White Cells (4.4)  1.48 1.51 1.31 1.1
Hemoglobin (12.5)  9.2 9.1 9.5 9.1
Platelets (145)  59 86 116 88

(Numbers in parentheses represent the minimum “normal” figure. For previous blood counts, see this chart.)

Finally, I’ve put up a new theological blog post, which I’ve entitled “The Roman Catholic Hermeneutic”.  When Catholics and Protestants approach a given topic in Scripture or in history, they approach it in different ways. And it’s this difference, often unspoken, that often renders the subsequent discussions so difficult, if not maddening. You’ll hear things like “You have your interpretation, I have mine”. But what are these “interpretations” based upon? I briefly cite a Protestant scholar and a number of Roman Catholic scholars, and some popes, on how Roman Catholics use the Scriptures. It’s eye opening.

6 thoughts on “Yesterday: The VA and Vidaza

  1. I have been transplanted – also had a cmml – had a vidaza treatment before.
    everything was good for 4 months – then the ciclosporn was worn out, and
    the disease came back. have had to day my first blood transfusion, since
    no doctor seems to know what to do now. the donor from america refused
    to give a few more lymphocytes for the graft-versus – lymph. effect.
    does anyone is in the same situation. i had not graft versus host effects
    etc. all along.
    many thanks

  2. Hi Doris — I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Where are you located? There may be other medical facilities in the US who could look at you.

  3. I am living in Geneva in Switzerland and was transplanted in Basel.
    I have a CMML-2, was treated with Vidaza for 4 months before, then decided
    that all this was just cosmetics and a transplantation would help. We found a
    donor in the US, the transplantation was carried out on the 16th Oct. 2012.
    The X-ray treatment was not done. Everything went like a miracle until 16th March 2013, then the ciclosporin was slowly
    decreased and stopped and since that day problems started. the donor inthe US
    refuses now to give some lymphozytes, and right now I developed a panzytopenie (all values
    down). Apparently the doctors don’t know what to do. But I had never any sign of a
    GVHD reaction. Went through so s moothly as it was nothing. Now the disease is
    coming back and I Wonder if there is any institute or person who had similar problems.
    my daughter lives in Boston and I am used to travel to the US. Many thanks for any advice

  4. Doris — can you provide me with your email address? I will forward your comments here to Dr. James Rossetti — he is the doctor who saw my wife. He is a good friend of ours now and he may have some answers for you.

  5. Mr. Bugay
    Whereabout in the US are you living. My daughter lives in Boston.
    With kind regards
    Mrs. D. Holy

  6. Hi Doris, we are in Pittsburgh, PA. West Penn Hospital has one of the best programs in the world.

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