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Friday, September 28, 2007

Decision has been made

I want to thank all of you for your support the last one and a half years since I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).

I've been able to function well during this time. The most noticeable aspect of my condition would have been my color. MDS typically shuts down the bone marrow production of red blood cells so I may have looked kind of pale or seemed out of breath at times. MDS progresses at various rates, but eventually shuts down all red, white and platelete cell production. Until recently my blood counts have been remarkably steady. I've been going in for red blood transfusions every 5 weeks.

My last 2 blood counts have shown a decline in marrow functions. So, while I am still otherwise healthy, I've decided to move ahead with the only viable option, the only known possible cure; a stem cell transplant.

I will be working for another 2 weeks. After that I will be going in for extensive testing. Immediately following that, probably in late October or early November, I will be undergoing a stem cell transplant. 2 donors have been found that have 'near-exact' matches for my own cells. The doctors will destroy my stem cells and inject new ones from the kind donors. The new stem cells will set up shop in mymarrow and hopefully like their new digs. If everything goes well, my blood counts will raise to normal after 2-3 months. Then I'll need to be Mr. Clean, because my new immune system will be unfamiliar with all the nasty germs out there.

My medical disability will last 3 to 12 months, depending on how well my new stem cells like my old body and how rapidly I can gain strength. When I am healthy again I will try to re-enter the workforce.

Cathie, Dylan, Maddie, Bill and Teresa (Dad and Mom) have quite an interesting road ahead and I would be lost without their love and support.

Thank you for you continued support and patience.


Duane said...

Hey Jim,

I really like the crisp layout of your blog. The news ticker at the bottoms is very cool. I've never seen that before.

I'll be checking your blog frequently for updates.

Wishing you continued strength and happiness.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,

Love the photos - they capture your personality perfectly!

Thanks for taking the time to put this together to keep us all in the loop.

Stay strong!


Dave H said...

Hi Jim,

Cool idea (the blog). Looking forward to your recovery. Anything I can do, let me know.

Lots of (manly) love


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of how strong you are. Your strength is giving all of us strength. Keep it up. I will be checking your blog to keep up with all your updates. LOVE YOU TONS...

Laura said...

Happy birtday, JIMBO! I'm thrilled you've decided to move forward with the transplant. It sounds like a good game plan. I know its difficult when you're on the fence (the fence pickets are so sharp and uncomfortable) -- now you're on the progressive side of the fence. love ya -- Laura --

Larry & Katy said...

Hi Jim,

We're with you, Cathie and the kids 1000% in the courageous, pro-active desicion you have made.

It will work, you are strong and brave.

Go get 'em, those new cells are gonna love you.

We do too,
Katy & Larry

Dad said...

Hi Jim, based on what I know, I think you've made the right decision, and you've got the gonads to see it through. You can count on us to be at your side.Looking forward to our next trip to Borrego!

cassandra said...

Hey Jim, well the problem has seemed to clear up. Maybe my computer was having a bad day. :) David and I are both praying for you and the family. We wish the best and can't wait to see you. We will be making many trips back to Cali.

Love you,
Cassie, David, Izzy and the little bun