Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 1: Pressing On ... With a Little More Effort Required

Well, I didn't get that second blog up yesterday, but it will be worth it. Lorie, my wife, took a video of the transplant process. It was nothing like what you'd expect.

Now I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt!

Rather than try to explain it, let me let you see the short vids, which I uploaded to YouTube :-D. I would have just uploaded them here on my blog, but when I do that, it seems a lot of you can't see them.

Then the next picture is my favorite one from yesterday. Lorie bought a big helium birthday balloon and a dragonfly balloon. She set it up behind me, and we made a party of it, as you may be able to tell from the video, although I'm kind of distracted sending and answering texts back to Rose Creek Village. Jerry was there, too, and you can see him in the first video if you haven't seen him yet. He brought me his favorite Sonic shake, at my request, shortly before the transplant.

Okay, I guess that's two pictures, not one.

After Benadryl
I was a little out of it for a while. Benadryl is part of the pre-transplant preparation, and they gave it to me by injection into my IV line. It took about 3 seconds to hit my brain, and make me half-comatose, though there was enough time between that and the actual transplant for me to be awake enough to enjoy it a bit.

Afterwards, there was really just more sleep to report. The transplant took place from 4:18 to 4:35 or something real close to that. I then basically slept until 5 this morning.

All that sleep let my mouth dry out, and I have a mouth sore now. I did have to get up for vitals and trips to the bathroom, and I rinsed my mouth on every trip with soda and water, often following with a moisturizing gel, but it wasn't enough. The sore's just barely painful, though, so I can't complain. With as many people as are reading this blog, at least one of you is suffering through a much worse mouth sore, I'm sure. I remain a very fortunate, blessed person.

Jerry and Rayetta at the transplant
I got up at 5 am, and I forced myself to have a cup of yogurt. My stomach was really upset, but my experience so far has been that if I keep some food in my stomach, it does okay (assuming it's the right food!). Though I had to force that first bite down, it immediately relieved my stomach. I went and walked, and I found I was still able to do a 17-minute mile. So I biked a little, really slow, but more than a mile, then gently strolled and stretched for about 15 minutes afterward.

I still have more energy than I really ought to. Thank you again for all the prayers!

And for those from Rose Creek Village who sent me soup. I have never gotten so much pleasure out of food in my whole life. They settle my stomach for an hour or two at a time and warm and relax my whole body. They probably drop my blood pressure, they're so relaxing. You have to be mildly sick to appreciate food that way. I can't believe how good those soups have felt.

The transplant cooler

Here's a couple more pictures, just for fun. I'm a very blessed man.

One of the eleven syringes, three from one baby, eight from the other
Katie, the nurse practitioner, with the syringes from one baby
Ellen and Katie getting everything ready


  1. That is awesome and so exciting! We will be donating cord blood with this baby and hope it helps someone one day too!

  2. Can't wait to see how your transplant turns out! I've heard stories of peoples' hair and personality changing after their transplants:-) It is absolutely amazing what God can do with the human body!
    Happy Adventures! Love you:-)

  3. Personality change? Hmm. Let's hope it's for the good!

    Thanks, Rushie. I wish I'd have been able to do that with ours.

  4. Thanks for the pictures. I'll be following behind shortly.... :) Not sure about that personality change. :/

  5. so glad you're enjoying the soups! let us know when you run out, we have more to send.

  6. Well there you are justa lying in the bed;
    Shirt wide open and no hair on your head.
    Nurses all around and making such a fuss;
    Pretty good treatment for an onery ole cuss.
    Hope you feel better and yer make it home real soon;
    And if we come a visitin, give me that thar balloon.
    Greetings from Selmer Love Amma and abba

  7. Thanks, Abba, for the poem! That was hilarious!

    Allison, they've ordered a liquid diet, sips only, as of an hour ago. No soups again for two weeks, probably, maybe three. I guess the ability to digest is not something they expected me to have for the next couple weeks, anyway. IV feeding is typical, apparently, but I didn't realize it was pretty much inevitable.

  8. Tamara, I'll try to describe all this fairly and accurately. Do everything to get ready, but apparently there's some things that just happen. I don't know how thoroughly "ablative" they'll be with you. Jerry had a reduced intensity chemo, and he got through this stage far better.

    They're telling me this morning that having a sensitive GI tract that doesn't want to be touched by food and isn't interested in digesting anything is normal. They're just waiting around for me to ask for a pump that pumps pain meds into me whenever I want, but I'm trying to put that off for sure. Settling into a comatose state for two weeks is not in my plan.

  9. Shammah, okay, just let us know whenever you're feeling up to homemade things again. We can also send food for Hannah if she wants it. I hope this part of your journey is over quickly, but more importantly, that you operate in the grace and power of God all throughout! --which you are definitely doing so far! We love you!