Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9: I'm in a Movie


My neutrophil count, which went to zero yesterday, is back at 10. They have to be at 500 for me to go home. White blood cell count continues to rise, and is now at 1.4. The doctor tells me that as the stem cells proliferate into white blood cells, there's a hierarchy. Lymphocytes first, monocytes next, and neutrophils are further down the line. Hopefully, that 10 is the beginning of a rise.

On the other hand, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that getting out of here as quickly as possible is not my purpose. I have a road to walk, following the Spirit of God, and if he's not in a hurry to get me out of here, then I don't need to be, either.

Finally remembered to get a picture of Jerry
Also please keep praying for Jerry. His biopsy is in about an hour.

Don, too. He got his stem cell transplant, which is from his own stem cells harvested when he was in remission, is today. There's no danger of rejection because they're his own. I guess you can just pray that it takes, and he'll spend the next year or two waiting to see if it really did as indicated by his lymphoma not returning. His lymphoma manifested as a brain tumor ... twice. He said it was really unpleasant, and he'd like never to have to do that again.

The Fun Stuff

This morning, as I was walking, Dr. Watson stopped me and said he wanted to introduce me to someone. He brought me to a room, and we both performed our obligatory duty of washing our hands in the antibacterial foam. Then he opened the door, and Dr. Watson introduced me to Mr. Darcy.

I guess there's no need to sneak off to a movie; apparently I'm in one!

It seems Mr. Darcy just got here, and Dr. Watson was telling him I'm an old-timer now, and I can "show him the ropes." I'm not as outgoing by nature as I've been acting for about 25 years, so that made me a bit nervous. I introduced myself, told him what room I was in, and told him he could feel free to give me a holler any time.

Don and I; a nurse called us "the toxic twins."
Later this morning, though, Don brought me some Starbucks coffee. He's free to go downstairs to the cafeteria and get some, whereas I'm confined to this floor.

We went for a walk afterwards, and we ran into Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. I had seen Mrs. Darcy this morning riding on the exercise bike, reading a book. She's a little older than me, but she was cruising right along.

As it turns out, Mrs. Darcy is a marathoner who's run in the Boston marathon before. She used to run up to 100 miles per week, but she's down to 30 or 40 now. She still runs 10K's, and likes to hang out at the parties afterward, though she doesn't drink.

She, Don, and I talked for what must have been a half an hour, hanging out in front of one of the nurses stations, which are at every corner of the square set of halls that make up 11 North.

Lunch is about to come, and I don't think I've been in my room at all this morning. In fact ...

I'm typing this update on my first Mac. It's a MacBook Air, courtesy of very dear people who shall go unnamed. My wife arranged for it with other people's money. It was sitting on my bed with a "happy birthday" note from my wife when I came back from talking with Mrs. Darcy.

I opened it, held it with a sense of awe and joy that I'm sure approaches idolatry and I probably need to repent of, and then plugged it in to let it charge. I then resisted the temptation to play with my new toy ... uh, tool ... and left it to go see Jerry so I could catch him before lunch and his biopsy soon afterward.

A chaplain was there, a friend of the pastor of the church that Dump--and I think Jerry, too, though I'm pretty sure Dump (Jerry's brother) is the more faithful one--attends back in their little community of Harman, VA.

This is Dump, Jerry's brother
We had a very enjoyable talk about trusting God versus trusting ourselves, and then the chaplain had to drive out to Bristol, Virginia for something or other. He said he'd be back Thursday evening. Chances are, I'll still be here, so I imagine I'll see him again.

And now, I'm finally back in my room trying out my new, uh, tool. I have to figure out what the equivalent of a "home" and "end" key is on a Mac yet, but I'll figure it out eventually.

I also have to get my fingernails clipped so I don't cut up these new keys with my razor-sharp nails! They won't let me clip my nails while I'm neutropenic. I'm supposed to just file them!

I have to admit I may break that rule this afternoon.

I've never cut myself clipping my nails in my whole life, I think, and I've been on this planet for half a century now.


  1. Thanks for the update brother. I cant tell you how really proud I am of you. I've always been really proud of you brother. So awesome to see you man. Gosh. You really encourage me Paul. Thanks man.

  2. I miss you!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks James. I love you, too, my brother and friend! Best wishes in everything!

    And I miss you, too, Hosanna!

  4. Happy birthday, Paul!! LOL, what a great gift too . . . Stay blessed, love and prayers your way for all of you.

  5. I looked at your blog, Mr. Lonely. You need to find someone who can motivate you and speak into your life. You're young. You should get help from someone who can help you make good use of your life, preferably a godly person excited about following Jesus.