Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

Bill's Status - May 23, 2001

  Bill started chemotherapy last week and has experienced very few side effects. He also began additional physical therapy and was able to stand up for the first time since he was discharged from Walter Reed in February.  A recent CAT scan indicates that the tumor shrunk some from the radiation treatment and we hope that the chemo will continue that trend.

This past weekend he had a major setback.  On Friday he was taken to the emergency room where they determined that he had a baldder infection.  He was admitted to the hospital and administered antibiotics.  His condition did not seem to improve as much as we hoped but they discharged him on Monday anyway.  On Tuesday he seemed to be getting worse until his daughter, Teresa discovered that the Hospital had forgotten to give him his Steroids.  Although Teresa gave the Emergency team and the Hospital a detailed list of all his medications, they somehow dropped the Steroids from his medication list.  The Steroids reduce the swelling in his brain and cannot be just stopped "cold turkey" without the patient experiencing "steroid withdrawal".  They also stopped two other of his medications which did not help his condition any.  His family caught one of these errors when he was still in the hospital, but the nurses take a dim view of family members standing over them when they dispense medications.  This is a long winded way of saying that you should always double-check your medications when in the hopsital.

Today, Wednesday, he is doing much better now that he is back on his proper medications.  Chemotherapy is continuing and he will be also begin regular physical therapy sessions.

Here is a website that has a good summary of the treatment:

Bill has been very touched by the many cards and letters he has gotten from the Flight 800 community and I would like to add my thanks as well. For anyone who wishes to send a card, his address is:

Bill Donaldson
39175 Cobrum's Wharf Road
Avenue, Maryland 20609

Bob Donaldson

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