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Happy Holiday 2014

December 23, 2013

I was at the City of Hope last Monday and as I was looking at people without hair, wearing masks, and looking weak, I recalled when I was in their shape.  I’d look at people in the state that I am in now and I remember that I didn’t even dream of getting to this condition.  Just living day to day was an accomplishment.  I’m almost 1.5 yrs post transplant now and in general I feel good.  I don’t have any significant GVHD symptoms to speak of, thank heavens!  I wouldn’t mind having a little more energy and clarity of thought but who doesn’t want that.  My blood test looked OK.  My next mile stone is the Holly Grail of 2 years, July 6, 2014.

2 years is a big milestone in the transplant world.  I’m not exactly sure how that came to be but it is.  It includes the competency of the immune system, physical well being, problems of GVHD, medications, and prognosis of survivorship from many of the leukemias and lymphomas.

While I was at the COH, I finished my training to be a volunteer for “Be the Match” which means I can be involved with donor recruitment drives.  I hope to help organize one in Santa Cruz.  Also, our local post transplant support group in Santa Cruz is growing.  A couple weeks ago, 4 of us got together to share our experiences, thoughts, challenges, and aspirations.  I just found out a couple days ago about 2 new Santa Cruzians that are currently getting their transplants at Stanford.  There is no doubt in my mind that it is just a matter of time till we have a critical mass of post transplant people.

Please put April 28th 2014 on your calenders.  I am going to be giving a talk on bone marrow transplants at the Dominican Hospital Katz Cancer Center.  Free and open to the public.  I’d love to see and say hi to all of you.

By the way, I became a grand dad on 12/9/13 to Arielle Mara Engelman 6 lbs 3 oz 19.5 inches.  She came out pink and crying with 2 arms and 2 legs.  Yea!!! Claire and I just returned from Indianapolis where we spent 5 glorious days visiting them.  As you can imagine, it was an incrediable experience for me.

Arielle Mara Engelman  4 days old

Arielle Mara Engelman
4 days old

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season to everyone!

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12 Comments
  1. Howard Eddy permalink

    Congratulations to all. Jealous.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. bzjohnson@comcast.net permalink

    What a beautiful baby! As a grandmother of four, I know how excited you must be. I’m also happy to hear that you are doing well. Our oldest son is coming tomorrow with his family, so I have no time to write, but I wish you continued good health and happiness in 2014!

    By the way, I don’t think I got back to you about Dr. Ochoa. The pacemaker he put in Leon is working well. The office staff is a little dysfunctional, but we are dealing with it. And, as you said, he seems to be a competent doctor.

    Barbara Johnson

  3. linda bergman permalink

    Beautiful grandchild! Grandchildren are the best. So happy that you continue to do well. My best to you.

  4. Van Tunstall permalink

    Jim,
    So glad to know that you are doing better!
    You know, a patient never thinks that their doctor (and you were my doctor for over 25 years) would every get sicker that they are.
    I am so happy that you are doing better- you will never know how much I appreciated your advice and counsel over those years (even though I didn’t always follow them).
    As for me, I am in amazing shape (thanks to your help) considering how much I have abused my body over the past 60+ years .
    I hope that we can meet again…my sailboat is always looking for a new crew member!
    All my best and Happy Holidays!

    Van Tunstall

  5. Alexis permalink

    Congrats on you big milestone. I know you are going to do awesome with your speech.
    Arielle is such a cutie

  6. Chandra, Satish permalink

    Happy Holidays and great coming new year to you and your family. Satish

    ________________________________

  7. Ann S. permalink

    Doc,

    Great to hear from you and happy that you are doing well. Baby is beautiful – good thing you and Claire don’ live closer.

    All well here except for a couple of detours through Dominican’s Infusion Center and Cath Lab this summer. But, life would be so dull otherwise.

    When you figure out that energy and clarity thing . . . well, you know how to reach us all.

    Best wishes for a healthy, happy and milestone-filled 2014.

    A.

  8. Diana Wilson permalink

    Beautiful baby!!! Congratulations, Grandpa! So glad you’re happy and healthy. Happy holidays, Diana

  9. Mike and Dante permalink

    We’re so happy that you are doing so well! And congratulations to you and Claire on beautiful Arielle!!

    Happy Holidays. Here’s to continued good news in 2014.

  10. Chip Goldeen permalink

    Dear Jim,

    Congratulations to all on the new Baby in the family! Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

    Chip

  11. Linda Bobbitt permalink

    So glad to hear that you are doing better. I don’t think you can even imagine how missed you are. There was never a better doctor than you. Your granddaughter is beautiful you will have alot of fun with her as she grows and all the stages of her life. I love all 14 of mine and now I even have our first great granddaughter. There is nothing more precious than that. We miss you and sending our prayers your way. Dennis and Linda

  12. Recently read your blog and we are very happy to hear the positive news and see some of your photos with that great smile. We have always been thinking of you through this journey. All is well with us. We have new doctors but none as good as you. We miss you and hopefully will run into you soon. Still been doing lots of nature photography! http://www.micksnaturepics.smugmug.com Mickey & Elaine Rebecchi

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