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

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Day +18 Back Home

I got my doctor to let me start commuting today. I left my room and was driven home around 1pm. As an outpatient now I will be better able to thrive and heal. Even with all the drugs close by and the skilled nurses a buttons press away, nothing beats rapid healing like being in ones own home.
I didnt know what an emotional experience it would be to leave there, that little room on the third floor overlooking the golf course and the ocean. The view was an inspiration in itself. The blue sky, the ocean, the trees, the greens; all calling on me to get better and come back and gain strength. When I walked with my family beyond the door of the BMT unit where I occasionally walked for exercise the last 26 days, I choked up. No one we passed through the lobby on the way to the front door could see my tears because I had my beanie cap and mask on. My eyes delivered a surrealistic scene through that short walk. I shouldnt be leaving my unit, I wasnt supposed to be this far away passing so close to healthy people. Cathie held my hand and I concentrated on that instead of my fears. Maddie walked behind me waiting for me to fall. I didnt. Dylan was in the van immediately outside waiting for us. When I stepped outside it took my breath away; the clear blue sky, the fresh air from the rain. It was life in my face and it filled me with a whole set of emotions quite different than those only a half minute before. I was thankful and grateful to everyone who helped me get this far. Outside, in one piece, breathing Gods fresh air and sporting a new set of working stem cells. I feel oddly not exactly who I was when I came in on the 1st. I feel like a new person with a new identity, yet physically weak and frail.
I've walked a little bent over today. Maybe cuz of the little hospital bed I had to mold into for 4 weeks. I feel shorter than 6'1" but I'm not. I feel like I'm 187 lbs now which I am, having lost approx 15 lbs in 4 weeks under the Busulfex/Cytotoxin diet plan. No exercise required in that plan. Now I can dredge up my old genes (no pun) that I squirreled away in my closet the last 15 years for the day when I lost some weight.
Driving home along the coast next to the beach and big waves was exhilarating. It seemed to take forever to complete the 15 minute ride home. Seeing my street and entering my house was cause for more tears. I still cant believe I'm home. I'm able to eat better than at the hospital. I'll be able to get motivated to ratchet up the exercise now. I can take short walks on my street. Cathie, Maddie, Dylan and my wonderful Dad will be my caregivers for the next 3 months.
Sense of smell changed drastically, heightened. The house smells different. I swear I can smell individual pieces of furniture in the house. Not bad smells, just a mishmash of smells from normal things. Tastes have been deadened and a little changed to boot. Gonna have to find foods that taste good. I'll eat better. This was not really an option at the hospital. But no fresh fruits, salads and a bunch of other items I love. Cooked food, no leftovers. It'll be a couple months like this. Taste is supposed to return in 4-6 months.
My counts continue to rise. It looks like I may not need any more RBC transfusions. Platelets are just now beginning to show some production. I'm going back tomorrow morning for another round of blood test and evaluation. After that I will get either 2 or 3 appts per week to come back for that routine.
Love you all!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim and Cathy,
Such wonderful news!!! Keep strong, Jim...and thank you for sharing your story. Enjoy being at home :)
Katie A.

Anonymous said...

Praise God. I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU . I am thrilled. No more rbc's!!!!!

julie said...

Welcome home Jim!!

The Watlings xx

Mike B said...

What a milestone. I am so happy for you.

Your story and writing is so inspirational.

Keep up the good work.

Mike B

SoftwareEngineer said...

We're very glad to hear about your release from medical prison! And also all the good news from your blood work! Jim, this is fantastic news. God Bless,

Anonymous said...

WOOHOO... I am so happy for all of you. Its gotta feel great! Thank you for sharing such wonderful news with all of us. Now while your home, rest and take care of yourself!! LOVE YOU LOTS

Pat H said...

I cried today when I read your blog and again when I read Cathie's
e-mail....I cried tears of immense
joy....I am still crying. I felt like I was with you every step you took out of that hospital. God bless
that hospital...the staff, your donor...your family...and you !!

Pat H

Katy said...

I read this at school, and I was choked up as well. Congratulations and welcome home! January 27th is a new anniversary for you.

Anonymous said...


I am so thankful for your healing and the new gift of life that you have been given. Rest assured that we will continue to pray for you and your family!

God Bless!
The Duddie's

Anonymous said...

Great news, We are so glad everything has gone so well for you while you were in the hospital. Welcome home!
The O'Callaghans

Pallavi said...

This is wonderful news Jim - Congratulations! Home sweet home.