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DAY 52

August 28, 2012

I’m getting dizzy from all the twists and turns on this wiggy ride but there is no getting off now.

Over the weekend I made a concerted effort to improve my nutrition by increasing my daily protein intake by adding a protein powder supplement.  One of my new post transplant friends mentioned that she felt better by getting about 90 g/day.  Up to now, I haven’t thought about it so I called the dietician and asked for her opinion.  She said about 1 g/kg/day in a normal adult is adequate.  I said what about a not so normal adult like moi.  I’ve lost a little less than 20 pounds and I wasn’t a heavy weight to begin with!  The dietician said in that case about 1.5 g/kg which in me is a bit over 90 g/day.  I decided to google and find out how much protein is in an egg (8 g), meats and chicken (6-8g/oz), oatmeal (6 g/serving) etc… I can say that not only am I getting sufficient protein which is necessary for anabolic metabolism and healing, I am eating more in general trying to reverse this weight loss.  Today I went up 0.4 Kg compared to my last clinic evaluation 4 days ago.  I must admit that no olympic records are being shattered by this but it’s the first time that my weight has gone up.  Funny how little things can really make ones day.

I’m exercising with physical therapy twice a week and walking about 1 to 2 miles each day.  Once again, no speed records broken and I’m not quite ready to take on Usain Bolt but like the turtle, I always make it home.  The physical therapy involves conditioning and toning.

So I was a bit apprehensive but hopeful when I saw my doctor today.  She said my WBC went up from 1.8 to 2.5 which I expected since I got 300 mg of Neupogen on Thursday.  Neupogen is a growth hormone for WBC.  There are many types of WBC and I was primarily interested in the absolute neutrophil count (ANC).  That is the fraction of the WBCs that are primarily neutrophils and monocytes.  This was 1500 and I need an ANC of about 500 to fend off bacterial diseases and stay out of the hospital.  My platelets dropped from 53,000 to 49,000.  Most important was a test done from peripheral blood that is able to distinguish what proportion of the blood cells are from the donor and what proportion from the host.  From my bone marrow biopsy at day 30, we new it was about 85% donor and 15% from me.  The good news is that ratio is now 92% donor and 8% me.  We’re headed to 100% donor.  Go team!  My doctor was encouraged to see this and said this lowered her concern for the day to day permutations of my WBC, RBC, and platelet counts.  I’m not out of the woods  yet, but I like the direction I’m going.  We may still need occasional Neupogen in the future to rock the boat and keep my WBC and ANC from dropping .

The other thing that I have been doing is chanting, visualizing, and praying.  When I’m alone or in the shower, I repeat a phrase like “With this transplant, give me a compete and successful healing”.  Sometimes I expand it because I don’t want there to be any miscommunication “With this transplant (not another one) let the donor’s cell propagate and proliferate and eliminate my RBC, WBC, and platelets, and result in a complete and successful healing of my bone marrow”.  Most of the time I keep it short and simple.  I’m also saying the Shemah once to twice a day and occasionally I put on music from a Native American Flutist, R. Carlos Nakai, and just try to meditate.  All of these recommendations have come from comments from you, my friends.  I believe all the well wishes and prayers from you have added to my recovery.  As a friend of mine would say, kind of new Agey.

I’ll try everything and anything (within reason) that will help me obtain the best transplant results.

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6 Comments
  1. Sarah Felstiner permalink

    That’s good news Jim…keep on healing.
    Your positive thinking is powerful, and the shema and the new-agey stuff can’t hurt!
    Just FYI, I’ve always used the music of R. Carlos Nakai for naptime at my preschool – it definitely has magical powers for making a room full of 4-yr-olds fall asleep, and I see no reason why it couldn’t also help your new bone marrow kick ass.
    Huge hugs to you,
    Sarah F.

  2. Ann S. permalink

    If a little new agey stuff helps get us to old age then go kick some cells around.

    Sorry, I meant ‘ooooooommmmmm’

  3. Charlie Young permalink

    That’s awesome news about the ANC and proportions. Meditation is good. WeSun-Ah are doing Taichi now, which is a form of moving meditation with the old ying-yang. It’s sort of fits into the new agey stuff too.

  4. Nina Haedrich permalink

    New Agey?? Dude, this is ancient wisdom being reborn and put to good use keeping dear people like you here for us to enjoy!! Bravo!! Bravo!! A Standing Ovation with big warm hugs (: Nina

  5. Larry Levin permalink

    Jim
    Your current update sounds encouraging. Keep the good news coming.
    Larry

  6. jomobri1231@comcast.net permalink

    Hi, Jim.

    So glad to hear all the great news. 

    Our trip to Alaska was wonderful.  Being close to nature is a wonderfully rejuvenating but also a great humbling experience.

    Denali National Park with its Mckinley mountain was really breathtaking.

    Sadly, for the first time in its history, there was a bear attack resulting in death of a 45 yo man from San Diego.  He was in very close range to the bear for like 10 minutes – a big no no.  Park trooper had to kill the bear.  It was just so avoidable so that much more upsetting for everyone.

    Really looking forward to seeing you soon.  Are you allowed any foods from outside?  Please send us a list if you are.

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