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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day +104 Graduation, BMB Results

This morning I had my last regular visit to the bone marrow unit at Scripps. It was both sad and wonderful. Wonderful news is that my bone marrow biopsy results indicate a quickly recovering bone marrow. No sign of MDS and related anomalies. The cure is definitely working! On the blood count front, my platelet count continues to recover from the April 8th dip. This morning was my last dose of Maribavir, the study drug to prevent activation of CMV. At the conclusion of this trial today they took the usual few tubes of blood from me, a urine sample, and an EKG exam. I was asked to complete a quality of life survey. Finally, when Dad and I were ready to leave the room, the nurses brought in a graduation diploma, which I have attached to this post. It is signed by many of the nurses and a doctor, I suppose the ones on the unit today.

That brings be around to the sad part. I am sad not to see the nurses anymore, although Cathie and I plan on coming in to deliver a group gift in May. Every nurse was super to work with. They were all upbeat, cheerful, knowledgeable, patient. Cathie and I got to know some of them well. I should say the same of the doctors. They all have been instrumental in bringing me to this new point in my life, one where my prognosis may now be measured in dozens of years rather than a few months. It's hard for me to fathom. Now I'll go to weekly appointments at the clinic nearby where I'll see the 3 nurses who provided 'supportive care' in the form of blood transfusions and Procrit shots in 2006 and 2007. Likewise, they are great nurses. And likewise, when I left their care last December I was very sad because I did not know if I would see them again. So this will be a homecoming of sorts and I think the nurses in the clinic will be glad to see me still kicking and as feisty as ever.

I'm going back to being a normal patient. I will check-in the front desk for the appointment, wait outside the offices like everyone else, wait my turn for a blood test in the lab; like everyone else. At the hospital up until today, I'd just show up, get immediately directed to a single room with a bed, and assigned a nurse. The transition to the clinic is a step towards rejoining life! The special treatment is ending! The progress must be real!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! We are so happy for you and your family.
MN Ladyslipper from the Forum
Bev & Barry

Anonymous said...

WOw Jim !!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! CONGRATULATIONS !!!! THis is the best news I've heard in a long time. Cheers to your great health!!

Anonymous said...

I just love hearing all the good news. We are so proud of you for staying SO SO strong during all of this! You have been an insperation to us all! Thank you for EVERYTHING... KEEP IT UP

Duane said...

Awesome news, Jim! I like the certificate award. You're amazing, man!!

SoftwareEngineer said...

You got an award! Things look good! You're sad about missing nurses! Sounds like progress.
Still praying,

Pat H said...


Tears of joy are flowing down my face......I could not be happier!
God bless the doctors and nurses.
Enjoy the rest of your recovery.
See you this summer.


Mike B said...

Congratulations Jim! Fantastic progress. Here's to your continued path to "normal" life.

Mike B

David and Cassandra said...

We are all so proud of you Jim. I still can't beleive how much you have gone through these past few months. You definetly have not let this get you down. I can't wait to see you guys in August.