Leukemia. Certainly not one of the words you expect to hear from your doctor when he’s calling about blood test results and telling you to get to the ER.
I hadn’t been feeling great since about October 10th — no appetite, a light fever of about 100F, and was easily getting out of breathe due to light physical exertion. But I also wasn’t stuck in bed or on the couch the whole time, so I figured I was just fighting some cold or flu.
After over a week of not feeling great though, I decided to see my regular doctor this past Tuesday the 18th. He had bloodwork done that morning and called me late that evening with the results, telling me to get to the ER immediately. I believe he said a normal white blood cell count while fighting an infection might be something like 12,000 while mine was 94,000 — the highest he had ever seen in a patient. There were also immature white blood cells in my blood stream and other signs of serious trouble.
Now, after having had lots of tests done, including a fairly painful bone marrow biopsy, it’s confirmed that it’s leukemia, specifically acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I start chemo today and I’ll be stuck in the hospital for 4-6 weeks. They say most people actually start to feel better despite the drugs although I will eventually be losing all of my hair. It’ll grow back, but that’s going to be quite the experience.
My understanding is once I get out of the hospital, I’ll still be coming here a few times a week for about 6 months for further care and it’ll be possible that I’m feeling well enough to both drive myself and go back to work. Even after that it’ll be another 3 years of treatment.
The details are of course still a bit fuzzy since it’s early on and more tests still need to come back, but they seem very optimistic about my long term chances.
It’s been pretty surreal to go from feeling perfectly normal to starting chemo in a period of less than 2 weeks.
I’m officially discontinuing my Viper’s Video Quicktags WordPress plugin. It was one of the first plugins I ever wrote over 10 years ago. Back then embedding videos into WordPress posts was a chore and so I wrote the plugin to make the life of authors much easier.
Unfortunately users of my Video Quicktags plugin have been forced to keep the plugin activated so that embeds in old posts continue to work. Without the plugin, the shortcodes that the plugin created would cease working. So recently I wrote and released a tiny replacement plugin that creates those same shortcodes but has the native WordPress embed functionality handle the actual embedding of content.
If you are a Viper’s Video Quicktags plugin user, then I strongly recommend that you install my new plugin and then delete Viper’s Video Quicktags.
Besides switching away from a plugin I no longer support, advantages of the replacement plugin are modern, HTML5 embeds instead of Adobe Flash as well as automatic width to fit most themes, rather than fixed width independent of what theme you’re using.
One of my favorite casual racing games, Forza Horizon, will be coming to Windows! I’m so excited! It was one of the very few games that I played on a console and I was never able to play the second one as I don’t own an Xbox One and it was an ugly port for the Xbox 360.
Over the weekend I installed new exhaust on my Viper. I’ve been wanting to do it for years but I had to wait until I finished paying off the car to be able to afford it. After making the last car payment in January, I splurged and went for it.
It’s hard to capture the sound and especially how loud it is, but here’s a video that my friend made to give you an idea:
The old exhaust had 4 catalytic converters, 2 per side. I replaced them with a pair of higher flowing ones and that had 3″ pipes instead of 2.5″. They’re made by Random Technology.
My friend Jim was kind enough to offer both his lift and a helping hand to get it installed. Installation wasn’t too terrible but there were a pair of hard to reach bolts to remove the side sills and one of the cats was a pain to get on due to fitment issues, but overall it went fairly smoothly!
It all fit in my trunk!
Side sill removed with stock exahust in place
Stock catalytic converter
Access to the catalytic converters is easy!
The catalytic converters bolt directly onto the stock manifolds
New exhaust in place
New exhaust tips (I need to go back in and adjust placement)