Tell the Bees

Archive for April 10th, 2008

I Know You, You Know Me. One Thing I Can Tell You is You Got To Be Free. Come Together, Right Now….

Happy Birthday, Lina! Today is the first day of life with my new stem cells from my brother, and therefore new blood made by the merger of my stem cells with his, and therefore – from some perspectives- a new person. It’s kind of wild to think about…my DNA will now be xy, I’ll get his allergies, and who knows what else? I can’t wait to find out. We’re coming together, right now.

The transplant went smoothly yesterday afternoon – no vomiting, no cramps, no convulsions, no problems breathing. So far, I’d say my blood stream is happily accepting these new brothers and looking forward to the work they are going to do battling against cancerous cells. As a refresher, let me explain again the kind of transplant I just went through. It’s called a “mini allo” because it uses a lower dose of chemotherapy, followed by an infusion of disease-fighting stem cells from a donor (my brother) whose white cell antigens closely match mine (allogeneic transplant.) The low initial dose of chemo “stuns” cancerous cells into not growing, while the infusions of donated stem cells then battle against the cancerous cells.

Of course the chemo also wipes out good cells in my body, including my immune system. My blood counts and therewith my immune system will continue to drop for the coming two weeks or so. This means I will pretty much be hibernating in my clean (thanks to all who helped!) house, eating a restricted diet of food that must be cooked by us. While I can’t go out into the public arena, visitors are welcome at our house, or outside if it’s warm enough. You won’t even have to wear a mask or gloves. This will go on for around 90 days. Then we will see how I am doing.

Enough for today. I’m going home this afternoon. I just wanted all of you to know that I am doing really fine, and that I know it is because of all of your support and positive thoughts, images, prayers, hugs, good food, and just plain love. I figure the best way to thank you is to get well and live a long time. I’ll do my best.