For all you that wanted to help out Blitzo


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Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
May 14, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
Get well soon Blitzo, sending good vibes... I will definitely drink a beer or 3 for ya! We gotta sport climb again at the Woo sushifest this summer! ~Catherine.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 14, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
The poor brother is STILL waiting for a room. They have him hanging out in the ER, waiting. Seven Mary Three and Four, WTF, over?

Anyway, he's laid up at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center
400 N Pepper Ave, Colton, CA, Has his cell phone with him AFAIK.

You could probably call him and get today's lowdown on Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil...everything but a real doctor, Oprah (did she retire?), Star Trek reruns, Jerry Springer...and whatever else they play on the Teevee machines.

Gonna try to get over there after work today.

Northern Mexico
May 14, 2013 - 09:42pm PT

Thinking of you Billy.

Social climber
May 14, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
hey there all, say, just checking in to see how blitzo is doing...

prayers and best wishes sent,
god bless...
susan peplow

Joshua Tree, CA
May 14, 2013 - 10:56pm PT
Okay update time on Blitzo's situation....

Blitzo was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma September 2012 and over the course of a month went through several (4) chemotherapy treatments. He was sick, lethargic, anemic and extremely thin before taking him to the ER last fall. He responded wonderfully to chemo and had the best of care during his treatment in Palm Springs. After discharge is where things started to suffer.

For a variety of reasons management care was set aside. If you ask me, I'lll tell you straight up it's because 1) he's a man & 2) Blitzo has poor judgement . With insurance coverage changes brought in a new primary care physician that did little to research his history or stay on top of management. At some point Blitzo claimed that the Dr actually asked him "who told you, you had cancer". As at the time his blood count good and overall fairly healthy in the scheme of things but this was after a month in the hospital with 24/7 care. Ultimately, Blitzo considered this a state of "remission" and talked of ongoing care using homeopathic methods. It was Steelmonkey who commented on how well that worked out for Steve Jobs. As it is, Blitzo basically elected to stop treatment and going to the doctor regardless of encouragement from Locker, Russ, Will, Leigh-Ann and myself. Probably a dozen other people like Flouride and others in there too.

Fast forward..............months of nagging.......................complaints of back hurting................tummy hurting....................and multiple instructions to CALL THE DR! He finally did and went last Monday, labs and such were taken over a course of a few days with another appointment set for the following Monday (yesterday). During the course of this past week he lost the ability to walk, had severe tummy aches, gas and other issues surrounding extreme pain. By the time Monday morning rolled around he was unable to make it to the Dr and needed to be picked up and delivered to the ER for assessment.

High Desert Med Center as per usual performs excellent care and assessment with CT scans and blood work. The results was not that wonderful as multiple masses have been found with the two largest (by concern and proximity) are at L4 & L5 2.3 x 4.2 x 1.2cm & 5.4, 4.6 x 3.3cm. Toss in some compression at T11 & T12 to boot.

HDMC does not have an oncology department - we learned this the last time. With the CT results on disk we packed him up and brought him to Arrowhead Medical Center for treatment.

Amazingly the waiting room although packed was triaged with great speed from the staff. We were assessed and placed in a bed within 1.5 hours. Neurology consult included in less than 3 hours. He was admitted, provided a bed and continuous care throughout the evening. Full CT scan from waist up, head and MRI completed over the course of the day plus who knows what else.

There are several concerns but first and foremost is the mass that's living in his spinal cord and making him unable to walk. With much discussion amongst the Neuro Team they vacillated between radiation and surgery. Ultimately, around 5pm today the final call was for surgery. I have not heard how things have gone at this point.

It's clear that he has a long road ahead that will likely result in both isolated radiation and chemotherapy. Blitzo truly appreciates everyone's well wishes, FaceBook posts, happy thoughts and maybe a few prayers as he sets forth on this next chapter.

Thank you to those who read this thread, have helped him in the past and those who care about his survival and health. He's a crazy cat but he's ours and we love him.

My apologies for the long update, it wasn't my intention but once I began to write I figured I might as well start from the beginning.

Those of you interested in his survival.... it's too early to tell. The disease is generally one that can be managed but lack of attention for so many months may have changed some things. At this point, we can hope he responds as well to Chemo as the last time and is pain free and functioning soon. Arrowhead Med Center has been giving him excellent care so far, I can only assume they will continue to get him back on his feet. I hope to receive a more updated report later this evening or tomorrow during a visit and consult with his Internal Meds Doc, Neuro Team, Hematologist & Oncologist.

Thanks everyone. Pics of Blitzo in the hospital tagged on FB - it was a busy day for him today with labs and now surgery but providing he keeps his damn phone charged I know he'll be checking in on the Taco & FB time permitting.


p.s. I have not proofed this posting and likely will not. I"m exhausted and figure you all can decipher any typos, spelling errors, etc. Oh, and I'm not a licensed physician in the state of CA.. I have more info but that's the gist of things.
Security Checkpoint for ER!
Security Checkpoint for ER!
Credit: susan peplow
Leigh-Ann Sullivan aka "Blitzo's Agent" & Bloot in the waiting room
Leigh-Ann Sullivan aka "Blitzo's Agent" & Bloot in the waiting room
Credit: susan peplow
Me & Bloot......true love :&#41;
Me & Bloot......true love :)
Credit: Leigh-Ann Sullivan
The rest of the AHMC waiting room.......
The rest of the AHMC waiting room.......
Credit: susan peplow

Trad climber
The state of confusion
May 14, 2013 - 10:58pm PT

Thanks for the update, Suz.

Get better Bloot, we're pullin' for you. HARD!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
May 14, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
thanks very much susan!

blitzo - pulling for you!

Social climber
May 14, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
hey there sooze... oh my... i did not know how much worse it had got...

i thought he was there for some needed 'usual dosage' of 'whatever' :(

let blitzo know i am praying for him... and will get my friend to, tonight, too...

i will give him all the mornings of my week this week, as well... up 'til 3:00, each day...

he was there to help me wayyyyyy back, when jello first posted a his 'help neebee back', for all the times i tried to be helpful to folks, back when i was NEW here--lots of folks did, and i remember

blitzo and russ sent a joint help and a card... :)

i JUST NOW WENT OVER AND picked it up to read it...

blitzo, my prayers are in your corner...
god bless with some new and special help, and some
new smiles, along this hard trail... get well soon as you can!!!!

*sooze, you were NOT too long...
laying all the cards on the table, just show how the ol' game is going, so
there will be no confusion or lack of understanding...

thank you! for caring to do so...
wish i could do more-- i have something to help with the finance, by way of artwork, if you can put it somewhere to sell...
will send it in a few weeks...
god bless...

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
May 14, 2013 - 11:48pm PT
I've been holding off on longer comments in this thread...but with Sooze's report the cat's out of the bag so here I go....

Thanks for the write up for everyone Sooze. I know that took a lot of time and effort and you've been through the ringer this week. And yes, we spoke to him like you thought.

I saw Billy in March and April. Both times he looked good physically but mentally he kept saying how much he didn't want to do any more chemo, how badly he hated it and wrecked him. We urged him that he needed to keep it up to keep the cancer at bay but I was worried that he really didn't want to undergo it and would rather see what the future held.

I took this photo of Steve L, Locker and Billy in mid March in Joshua Tree. Billy couldn't climb per doctors orders but could still hike and carry a pack strongly. And shoot the sh#t like the best of them. We spent the morning/mid-afternoon climbing in Echo. He really missed the thought of not being able to climb. I took a pic at the end of the day and I noticed his thumbs down as I took the picture and I realized how sad he was.

Echo Cove in Joshua Tree.  With SteveL, locker and Blitzo.  3/13
Echo Cove in Joshua Tree. With SteveL, locker and Blitzo. 3/13
Credit: Fluoride

I love Billy. I met him on my first Yosemite trip 6 months into my climbing life in 2003. He's been a fixture in it ever since and is one of my longest and strongest climbing friendships. Billy and I have seen each other through a lot of ups and downs.

In early April we hung out at Seth's bash. He was the Billy I've known all along. Made smart, snide comments on things, watched the ladder contest, he even pointed out "hey that guy over there is the one on the cover of the Miramontes (JT) guidebook (on Firewater Chimney). I asked him if he knew for sure cause the guy had a hat on and was wearing glasses but he said no, he just recognized him. He just knows JT and the people there that well. And when I got home I looked up the cover photo and sure enough it was the same guy. It's Billy's photographer's eye. He sees things that many of us don't. He's so skilled at that.

Here's Billy at the party:

Steve and Billy at the Sethpool party, 4/13
Steve and Billy at the Sethpool party, 4/13
Credit: Fluoride

Billy is such a big part of Joshua Tree life. Can't wait for him to kick this latest setback and be back home there where he knows so much about everything there. The routes, the wildflowers, the cacti, the snakes, the lizards, he's taught me so much over the years. Just little nuggets of pointing things out that have turned into a vast array of desert knowledge through him.

Stay strong Billy and fight this f*#ker. We're all pulling for you.

I'm sharing this cause I know he has a ton of people out there pulling for him but aren't sure exactly what's going on. I've had e-mails from people about this and have stayed evasive as a very small circle of us really knew what was happening. But after Susan's post you guys know the story. Just wanted to add that Russ and Sooze are friggin heroes and saints. They saw when Billy started going downhill originally, helped get him the best treatment possible, looked after him after his hospitalization. You name it, they are always there for Billy. Billy has always had great taste in friends :)
susan peplow

Joshua Tree, CA
May 15, 2013 - 01:28am PT
Had recovery. Nurse apparently didn't get the memo regarding our access to information...... all she'd say is, "he's fine and still in recovery".

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 15, 2013 - 09:00am PT
Thanks Susan, I'm glad he's got you on his side!!
Beth and everyone else, too!!
susan peplow

Joshua Tree, CA
May 15, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
Thanks Jaybro and others but it's not necessary. Blitzo, he's like our pet and love him dearly.

Surgery removed the largest and most dangerous mass from his spine. They may return to surgery for at least one more. They used the word "oatmeal" with Blitzo while explaining what they found. He's a mess in there.

Multiple masses found throughout his body, so it's looking like Radiation is going to be the next course of action although the exact plan has yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, he's pretty comfortable and getting excellent care. Spirits vary between feeling pretty good in that he's getting great care and amazed in how it's like watching the show "House" on TV but this time it's him. He is a little down in that he knows now that he shouldn't have just skipped out on managing this disease but had no idea how quickly and bad things could get.

More to come, keep the good vibes coming. Those of you who have called & emailed, he's got tons of messages but too busy and exhausted to thumb threw them but a big thanks to everyone who cares. It means a lot to him.

Social climber
May 15, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
hey there say, sooze, whewwwwwww... still praying...

you are soooooo kind... god bless...

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 15, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Just talked to the Bloot. He sounds a little woozy from the pain meds, but sounds pretty good for a dude who just had surgery. Headed over there tonight after work to pay a visit. He also said that docs say his internal organs are in good shape, so that's encouraging.

For all you who know him, this is typical Blitzo...last Saturday he's telling me of his recent maladies, and says his legs are feeling funny and it feels like he's walking on Marshmallows.

"Well, that's weird, you been smoking salvia or something?" I kid him.
"Nah, but I did some reading on the internet and I think I've got anxiety...the marshmallow walk is a common symptom" he says.

And I'm thinking "Anxiety? WTF do you have to be anxious about? You're the least anxious person I know!"

Sounds like he will probably have more surgery in the near future. Keep Billy in your thoughts, this is going to be a rough road.

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
May 15, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
I've been away from the mainstream on S-T, but a friend pointed this out to me to "check it out!" Holy schizzle, Blitzo! Hope you can pull through all this; my thoughts are with you and I'll drink a beer (or several!) while thinking of you!

All the best!


right here, right now
May 15, 2013 - 05:05pm PT
Thanks for the update Susan: all reads fine BTW.
I sent an e-mail to you yesterday concerning Blitzo's history with multiple myeloma, just disregard please. Get some rest.

Hang tough Blitzo!!!

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
May 15, 2013 - 05:43pm PT
You are in my Prayers, My FRIEND.

Trad climber
Black Rock City
May 15, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
I am continuing to send love and healing vibes out to Blitzo. love, love, love
goatboy smellz

May 15, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Heal up soon tiger!

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
May 15, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
Stay strong.

When they let you out, it will be time to party like 1999...

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