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

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day +120 Dangle Danger, Please be a Donor Volunteer

120 days. Seems like a nice even number. 120 divided by 30 = 4. Four months tomorrow since getting new stem cells transfused into me from my Groshong central line catheter. Man, that catheter saw a lot of action. Unfortunately, it's usefulness has now become very limited. After a search of eBay I could not find a device that could connect a bottle of beer to the catheter cap, enabling a beer transfusion. Hee haw! Truth is, since I received permission to drink 24 oz per week from my doctor a few weeks ago, I've only consumed 1 beer. The one beer kinda wiped me out, had to take a nap. My abstinence will probably continue. Maybe this is a good time to officially quit my 6 bottle-a-week habit? It wasnt much, and I'm sure a study will come out some day proving how a beer a day is great for the heart. But, I've got other things to worry about now.

Yesterday my Groshong catheter was removed. The removal procedure is much less complicated than the installation. Contrast an hour in the operating room on the table with several specialist doctors cutting into large veins while you are zonked out by a demerol-valium drip; to a small closet-sized room where a single physician-assistant with a simple catheter removal kit and a few ccs of lidocaine yanks out the line. I asked the PA how she could pull a 1/8 diameter line around a 160 degree turn out of a jugular vein; without getting a free crimson spray paint job. She really ddidnt have to explain though. It's obvious they've done this a million times and the procedure works, otherwise they'd have a bigger room and more people involved. So I got the lidocaine pricks, numbing the area on my chest around the catheters exit point. The PA said I'd feel some pressure or pulling. The pulling lasted only 15 seconds. I kept my eyes closed. Just after the pulling started the thought went briefly through my mind, "ok. stop! you know, lets just leave the thing in there, I'll just deal with it!". A crazy impulse for sure. But then I heard her say "It's out!". I looked over at her. Dangling from her rubber-gloved hand, glistening in the florescent light, still warm and silent; it hung. My entire Groshong, not just the above ground part. A scene from the movie 'Alien' crossed my mind. Without further adieu the PA threw the face sucker in the toxic waste receptacle that hung on the wall. Why did I ask her if I could keep the thing? I did that. Kinda crazy. I could have made a mobile out of it. In a couple days I'll be able to take a dip in the pool again.

Please help by being a stem cell donor.
From now thru May 20 you can become a registered stem cell donor by registering at marrow.org. This is kind of a unique opportunity. I've been saving my 'become a donor' spiel for the right time. It is now the right time because it is free! You see, normally it would cost you $52 to register to become a donor since that covers the cost of your HLA typing. Until May 20 it is free because the NMDP is doing a Mothers-day drive. Donating your blood may help save a life. But donating your stem cells is almost sure to save a life if your cells are used. The stem cell harvesting procedure is very non-invasive. Read about it at marrow.org. Following is some info I've cut and pasted from marrow.org. Thank You!

Did you know:
- Every day, more than 6,000 people search the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) Registry for a life-saving donor.
- Only 3 in 10 patients get the transplant that could save their lives.
- Seventy percent of patients will not find a match in their family.

You can change that!

From May 5 to May 19, the Thanks Mom awareness and recruitment campaign of the NMDP has an ambitious goal: to add 46,000 new members to the Registry of marrow donors and raise $100,000.
I encourage you to join me in making the Thanks Mom campaign a success. What better way to say "Thanks, Mom" for giving you the gift of life than to share that gift with another.

Please Click here to register!

4 comments:

Kara said...

I must have missed something, but I'm glad your "dangler" is no long in danger! :-)

It is so good to read that things are going well. I'll check out the marrow donation site. I can donate blood, but I don't think they'd want my diabetic "other" cells.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear that everything went well. Take care I am on my way to the site!! LOVE YA

Anonymous said...

Jim,
Thanks for posting the Mother's Day Marrow Drive. I copied it and put it on our Caring Bridge site and then I signed up right away.
I'm so glad your numbers continue to rise and you are doing so well. Hope you have a great Mother's Day weekend and a beautiful week.
Bev
MNladyslipper

Anonymous said...

Jim,
Thanks for posting the Mother's Day Marrow Drive. I copied it and put it on our Caring Bridge site and then I signed up right away.
I'm so glad your numbers continue to rise and you are doing so well. Hope you have a great Mother's Day weekend and a beautiful week.
Bev
MNladyslipper