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day 13

July 19, 2012

I’ve been waiting patiently for my blood counts to rise.  They do the blood test at midnight and the results are ready first thing in the morning.  Usually the nurse writes on the chalkboard what day it is (today is +13) and the test values.  Mine is moving up but slowly.  Today my wbc is 0.3, yesterday 0.2 and the day before 0.1.   The goal is about 1.6 before I’m allowed to leave my room wearing a mask.  No awards for race to the top for me.  In the meantime, I’ve developed some minor obstacles like swelling of my left parotid gland, little right lung pleuritic pain which they think is due to fluid overload and lying in bed 24/7.  My hair is falling out so I’m going to get a buzz cut today.  The hair should grow back but for a while, I can be known as clean head Jim.

I guess I’m just getting tired of waiting.  It seems like I spend so much time waiting, it’s exhausting.  As Claire reminds me all the time, I’m not the most patient person in the world.   It’s especially hard because this is the period I usually go to Humboldt to play a week of chamber music.  It has become one of the highlights of the year.

Just heard something funny.  A fellow BMT recipient like myself was told he’d get diarrhea but nothing gets you ready for chemotherapy neutropenic diarrhea.  That type of diarrhea is a horse of a different color.  Everything is like that.  Transplants are not for sissys.

I’d like to ask everybody who can to donate blood and platelets and register as bone marrow transplant donors.  It really is the gift of life.


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  1. Jimmie Wood permalink

    Jimmy. The one thing you haven’t lost in this ordeal is your sense of humor brothaman! Bless you n’ yours!


    Jimmie Wood

  2. alexis permalink

    even though you have lost your hair and your WBC count is low you haven’t lost your humor

  3. Harvey Rudman permalink

    JIM, it’s time to start reading the classic’s, the really long ones- War and peace, Brother’s Karamazov, etc. Everyone falls asleep reading them.
    You will no worse off. Be patient – watch Sponge-Bob. I do Love H&K

  4. Dr. E…Don’t forget that the turtle won the race, not the “HAIR”! Hee-hee! Sending possitive thoughts your way! Kris and Bob

  5. Hi Jim, You might think you are going slow but as of today you are going to rise 2 to 3 digets a day. That’s my prayer for you. Can’t wait to see clean headed Jim. I bet you look very cute. You have to post a pic. of you. Patience is so very hard. I prayed for patience once and oh boy, need I say more. Transplants might not be for sissys but nobody can say you are a sissy. We sure miss you and are praying for you every day. Lots of love going your way from us. Dennis and Linda

  6. Uncle Jim – Thinking of you! Stay strong. Taking good care of your beautiful daughter…so proud of her. I’m sure you look great with a buzz cut. 🙂 Love, Melinda

  7. Dante brown permalink

    Jim, congrats on your wbc starting to go up! What good news. You might decide to keep the shaved head look- all lean and mean. Plus once you go outside in this heat, you’ll keep cool and can wear a hat like the true hipster you are! Dante and Mike

  8. Charlie Young permalink

    Hi Jim, going by the math, .1 to .3 is gain by a factor of 3 in just just 2 days. At this rate 1.6 is just days away. Hang in there, you will arrive soon, I am betting. As for the hair, and speaking from personal experience, you get use to it and accept it as you. Charlie.

  9. Lee & Gwynn permalink

    Keep hanging in there! Like there was any doubt! I’ve been a regular blood donor the past few years and I am just over two gallons gifted. I also am regisitered as a donor but at my advanving age of 62 I am limited to giving people a hard time and not much more. I’ll probably buzz my head too. There’s not much hair left but I want to show solidarity with my favorite Doc. All the Best…Lee Thoma

  10. Lorna permalink

    Hi Jim, I think your impatience is a good sign. It means you are alive and kicking and ready to be done with all of this. I am glad to hear your blood counts are rising. You could try virtual flute practice, if it is not too frustrating. I do this when I can’t go to sleep: pick a piece I know really well and focus on hearing, feeling, seeing, and fully experiencing the sensations of playing it while I am lying in bed. It is interesting to notice at which places one or more of my senses checks out. Supposedly, if you have a clear sensory image, this can be as powerful, if not more powerful, as routine practice, and your playing can improve by leaps and bounds during this time when you cannot physically play a note.

    I keep thinking about what you said about the day of the transplant being the beginning of your new life. Seems fitting that you will be growing new hair along with all those wonderful new cells!

    Love to you and Claire, Lorna

  11. Robin permalink

    I sent in my swabs a few weeks ago!! Love you!

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