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Day Zero, Happy Birthday

July 7, 2012

Day zero is the day I get my brother’s stem cells and that day is today.  Every day before transplant is a negative and every day henceforth is a positive number.  That means tomorrow is day 1.  I’ll be here in the hospital till about day 30 and then I’ll be at one of their bungalows at the COH till about day 100.  The last 2 days, -2 and -1 have been miserable.  The Melphalan really kicked my butt.  My energy is totally shot, appetite gone, not sleeping well, I’m nauseated most of the time and throwing up and I have a headache which is a side effect of high dose Zofran (anti nausea drug).  Not fun!  I’m confined to isolation in my room till the white cells return.  Currently they’re about 0.6.  The normal range is between 5 and 10.  White cells fight infection so I’m an open target right now and must stay in my room.  My IV poll looks like a Christmas tree with 5 different pumps and multiple bags.  I’m getting prophylaxis antibiotics, anti fungals, Hyper Alimentation, Acyclovir for Herpes, etc… But there is one thing I haven’t gotten; diarrhea.  Thank heavens because I hate diarrhea!   I’ve been told by everyone that about day 7 is a low point and then things improve.  

I  just finished the first bag of stem cells from my brother and as the stem cells were entering me, I welcomed each and every one of them and told that there’s a party in my bone marrow and they’re invited, no cover charge.  We’re celebrating my new birthday!

Claire has been an angel.  She has stayed at the hospital with me, helping with all my needs.  I couldn’t have made it this far without her and the added support of my mother and family and all the encouragement “from people like you”.  I got that phrase from PBS.

Bye for now



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  1. alexis permalink

    that sounds wonderful what you’re going through …. not. the best you can do is keep your spirits and hopes up. miss you lots-alexis

  2. Mike Leslie permalink

    Jimmy, you are such a trooper! We’re so sorry you haver to go through this, but can’t wait to see you after you are done and healthy again! Dante and I send our best wishes and good vibrations to you and Claire.

    Mike and Dante

  3. Rene L. Eris permalink

    Happy Birthday, Jim !!! I know the new stem cells are happy in their new home and couldn’t have found a more deserving home. My best wishes for you, Jim on your new birthday. It also happens to be my birthday today too. I made it for 76 years and I expect you to do even better. God bless you Jim.
    Rene L. Eris

  4. Ann S. permalink

    Happy New Birthday! Keep whispering sweet things to those new cells. My best to you and Claire and a warm welcome to all those healthy new cells. Ann

  5. Linda Bobbitt permalink

    I have to agree with Rene, they couldn’t have found a better home. Our best for you Jim and try to keep your spirits up. So sorry you have to go through this but if it’s the only way we can keep you with us then it will all be worth it. I bet Claire feels the same way. When you said kicked my butt that totally reminds me of you. All our prayers are with you and can’t wait until you start feeling better. Seven days hopfully will go by fast for you.
    All our love, Dennis and Linda
    If there is anything we can do for you please let us know. You know that Dennis and I are very good with gardening.

  6. Esther Levandoski permalink

    So sorry that you had that bad spell. Hope that each day on the “plus” side gets better and better. We will call soon.
    Love to you and Claire, Esther and Gerry

  7. Charlie Young permalink

    Hi, Jim.
    We were driving to eat Ramen the other day. Charlie started to crack up all of a sudden – saying “Indu the Hidu!” This was apparently your nickname for an intern named Indu while in your training. So, yeah, we are thinking of you and your absolutely fabulous wife, Claire.

  8. Doc,

    What you’re going through sounds horrible. Yet you’re still telling jokes. That’s amazing. We hope in the days going forward you begin to feel better and better.

    Love Kathy, Mark, and Nicki

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