This word I like... We architect our life...
A song, a sigh... developing words that linger...
Through fields of green, through open eyes... It's for us to see.
Interanimate: To animate or inspire mutually

Friday, January 25, 2008

Day +16

More positive news today. My WBCs have come up to 3.0. A WBC count of 3.0 or above is one of the qualifying factors for being discharged as an outpatient. 2 of the other factors I know about are that you have to be eating and you have to be able to swallow pills. I'm a 'go' on these things too. There was another very pleasant surprise on my blood count sheet. The past 10 days have seen me get at least 1 unit of donor blood. My hemoglobin (Hgb) levels kept diving. I learned that this is typical. I dont know why this happens because red blood cells (RBCs) are supposed to live for around 15 weeks. It could be that the RBCs I had during chemo came to an early death due to the chemo. One day my Hgb was at 6.8. This made me very tired. Yesterday I didnt need a transfusion because my Hgb was 8.6. I thought no big deal. Today my Hgb was 8.8! I'm really stoked about this cuz the main symptom for my MDS over the last 2 years was low RBC/Hgb levels. By last summer, my marrow stem cells had become incapable of producing red blood cells. Suddenly I am now looking at increasing numbers of RBCs/Hgb! This stem cell transplant thing really works!
When I am discharged as an outpatient within the next 3 days, phase 1 of the transplant will be complete. When each of the 3 phases is complete I can 'erase' the poor outcomes statistically associated with that phase. At least thats the way I look at it. A little more peace of mind every new phase. Phase 2 will end on day +100. Phase 3 ends on day +365.
Cathie and Dad hung with me today. I love them very much for their daily onsite support and ability to sit with me for hours without getting bored. On top of everything else in his life, Dad's only sister who lives in Connecticut now has serious medical problems. I pray for aunt Peg's health to improve.
Cathie has been preparing our home for my special needs. The carpets have been cleaned and everything bleached down. I guess we'll all have to learn to improve our hygiene habits for a few months until my immune system has been rebuilt. Everything takes time. Sigh.
As I've drifted through these last 3 weeks in various states of nausea, pain, and mental fogs, I've kept my thoughts focused on the people who were inspiring me to succeed. All of you. Each of your inspirations has been unique and came from your heart. I am convinced that much of the success I've had so far in my journey is due to your spoken, written, and even silently sent messages. I have felt many messages of good will and positive energy from you. This is all I've hoped for. So again, I thank your from the bottom of my heart and the deepest recesses of my newly populated marrow, for your hope; for your inspirations and support.


Anonymous said...

Hearing all this puts a smile on my face and tears in my eyes... I am so proud of you for being so strong!! Without your strength we all of us would not be able to keep our own strength up. I am so happy to hear of the good news!! Take care and keep getting your rest!! Love you lots

Mike B said...


This is fantastic news! I am so happy for you.

You have been such an inspiration for me. Going thorugh what you are--I can't even imagine. It has sure helped me keep my problems in perspective.

My love and prayers go out to you, Cathie, and the family.

Mike B

David and Cassandra said...

Hi Jim,

I'm so happy to hear things are coming along in a positive way. I can't wait to hear about the day you get to go home.

Keep us posted.

Love and miss you all

Anonymous said...

jim, i havent even started praying and i just read your day 16 post. wow, within 1 day, you are showing so much progress. this is so awesome!
those rbc's.... those are my dad's biggest problems too. of course, transfusion ever two weeks, at 1-2 pints each time. his ferritin is increasing, but the exjade is helping a big; keeping him at 2000; we have a doctor's visit on friday and i think we will be starting vidaza on monday. i am scared for the unknown. but YOU and your family give me inspiration. just to keep the faith and to continue praying. if you could send some positive thoughts , silent messages, prayers, whatever it is, this way too, i will greaty appreciate it!

Tami said...

Hi Jim!
You are so incredible! I am so happy that you are getting better and better. My heart and prayers have been with you, Cathie, Dylan and Maddie. Keep smiling, I'm so proud of you. Lots of love to you and Cathie,