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Almost Thanksgiving 2013

November 17, 2013

Claire and I went to Cleveland in early November for a GvHD (Graft vs Host Disease) meeting and then we drove to Indianapolis to visit our oldest son Sam and his wife Meg.  The meeting was fantastic!  I went to the physician’s track and Claire went to the caregiver’s track.  At lunch, everybody got together for a panel question and answer.  For me, the talks were research and basic science centered with clinical applications.  They included professors and doctors from the NIH, John Hopkins, Seattle Cancer Center, and Cleveland Clinic.  Very high-end.  I know this is going to sound weird but I was spell-bound, it was so exciting.  The progress in understanding and treating GvHD is increasing at a logarithmic pace.  I feel so fortunate to be involved with an endeavor that has limitless opportunity for learning and intellectual enrichment.  I love learning new things, it’s a blast!

My efforts to start a BMT support group is progressing but slowly.  None the less, tomorrow night I’m going to meet with 4 other local allogeneic transplant recipients and brainstorm a bit.  In April, I’m giving a talk open to the public on bone marrow transplantation which will include my perspective as a physician and patient at the Dominican’s Katz’s Cancer Center.  The most frustrating thing is trying to find out who in Santa Cruz is a BMT recipient.  The privacy laws make it very difficult to get that information.  If anyone has ideas on how to find and reah out to people, let me know.

So we left Cleveland and drove to Indianapolis.  The change of colors was spectacular.  A feast for the eyes!  Visiting Sam was sweet but not long enough.  Our grandchild, ( sex to be learned the old fashioned way) is due to make his/her entrance in the end of December.  Our daughter Naomi is working in SF and thrives on city life and Joe, our younger son, is pushing his limits in bicycle jumping and acrobatics.  I like the adrenaline rush aspect of the sport but not the potential for crashing.

I’m playing my flute daily and doing fall home and garden maintenance.  I feel good.  I don’t take this good fortune for granted and every night I achnowledge it.  It’s still unclear if and when I’ll be able to go back to work.  Possibly next summer or fall but the hitch will be in finding an appropriate part time position locally.  As I’ve learned from my transplant experience; be patient, be fearless, be open and …

Best wishes to everyone



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  1. alexis permalink

    you sound like you are doing fabulous on your recovery 🙂

  2. Van Tunstall permalink

    You are an inspiration for us all. Hope you get back to your practice soon- I can’t wait until you “needle” me (pun intended) about losing another 15 pounds or so…

    Van Tunstall

  3. Laura Maslon permalink

    you write so beautifully! surely there are local blog newspapers for areas around you and you could post a report on your experience and say you are reaching out to others. laura

    Laura S Maslon 310-913-5746 cell 310-822-9575 home

  4. Chip Goldeen permalink


    It is great to hear about your super progress! Keep it up and stay strong.


  5. bob engelman permalink

    all sounds good. Listening to some nice live music, drinking wine outside of Fort Desoto. A spectacular park on the ocean and intercostal where we will film for 6 days. It will be a tough crazy week with filming in and out of the water with mechanical dolphins. Sarah is loving working with the dolphins. She is taking blood, urine samples and working behaviors. She could not be happier.

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Robin Engelman permalink

    So much to be grateful for! Happy Days! xxoo

  7. susan garfield permalink

    Hope to see you some time this holiday time. Looking forward to new baby. And thanks for not calling during Mah Jong. Now if your OTHER brother would just get with the program. xoxoxo

  8. Holly Bengtson permalink

    OMG I LOVE YOUR POST!!!!! Would LOVE to hear your talk and would love to hear more details on thr GVHD meeting. Miss u so much. VAD Rm has moved…’s bigger (10 chairs, 7 RNs) but we draw EVERYONE….it may sound wierd, but I miss all the BMTs…now it’s all the oncology, etc and not as intimate, more “corporate” for lack of a better word. I wish u were here to help me put it all in perspective…. Now I’m just “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!”. Thanks for listening. Love, your BMT buddy, Holly. PS. love to Claire & the fam Happy Thanksgiving!

    Sent from my iPad

  9. marc yellin permalink

    Eat More Turkey!
    Keep up the great work

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