Homeward bound

Don’t get too carried away – I’m not getting discharged from the hospital immediately, but soon-ish. We are watching my blood numbers for positive signs of recovery so that I can go home and get more rest – physical, spiritual and emotional.

Key indicators will be the return of my platelets which are progressing nicely on their own; stabilize the hemoglobin – which is coming along, but doesn’t show enough positive trend yet; I need ANCs to leave the hospital – that’s my immune system. Now, on Sunday, we got a count of 420 ANCs which was very encouraging, but then today it came back as 0. 😦 Inevitably, miscounts may happen, which is why we need to watch for trends. For the ANCs, over 500 and I’m no longer neutropenic; closer to 1,000 will give the hospital much more confidence to discharge me. Then there’s the white blood cells. They are starting to inch up but there’s no real trend yet.

This is going to take time – my doctor thinks that we’ll see things start to trend up this week so that hopefully next week there’ll be a point that I can return to my own apartment in Philadelphia and prepare for the next round of chemo.

I have seen a lot of family and friends over the past few days and have received many emails, voice mails, comments on the blog especially about the bone marrow transplant. Thank you everyone for getting the word out and for helping to save lives … I had little appreciation for what something like that truly meant until I was here; and when I get out, it will be my number one priority to continue to help other recover from this illness, whether through supporting bone marrow registry drives, visiting hospitals, or volunteering to help out through the American Cancer Society’s many support programs. (Did you know they have a free service called Road to Recovery? My dad’s friend, Gail, told me about this one. A volunteer will come and pick you up either at your house or when you’ve finished outpatient chemo and drive you home so that you don’t have to battle the side effects of chemo and get home? This is an incredible thing. And it’s meant for all cancer patients.)

More to come soon.

Strength and Love,
Seth

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Seth,
    I have been keeping up with you through this blog program, both your ups and downs. Today seems very positive and I am happy that you will be well enough to possibly go home by next week. I am sure that you will make progress at home, certainly get more rest then you can in a hospital and of course be around familiar surroundings with many of your friends and family with you.
    We are driving up to New York the end of July for my wife’s appointments with her Breast Surgeon and with the Chemo Doctor. I was thinking of possibly stopping in Philidelphia and maybe being able to see you at that time, maybe have lunch together. Let me know what you think of the idea.
    It has been sooooooooooooo long since I have seen you. But fromt he pictures I have seen on here, you still look the same and I would recognize you very quickly even though it has been what, about 18 years since we have seen each other? You probably would not recognize me lol.
    Keep making progress. You will see that things always work out for the best and my prayers are with you for a complete recovery.
    Love,
    Cliff

  2. It is so great to hear you sounding more like yourself today. I look forward to reading your next chapter daily, and it’s almost as good as our late night chats. I think of you often and always send good thoughts and prayers.

    I am making arrangements to be tested – one thing I didn’t quite understand – if I register here – how do my results get to your doctors? Can I request the report sent to them? I will do more research to see if I can find out but if you already know the answer…please post.

    xoxoxo
    M

  3. Got tested this morning but yes if there is a quicker way to get screened for a potential match for you let me know.

    I have my PJ’s packed over a pajama jammy jam for when you get home!

    xoxo
    Brian

  4. I got tested this morning as well. The donor program coordinator here told me that you are in one of the best represented groups and that the odds of a match are very good!!

    FYI, you (and your blog readers) might be interested to know that if you match as a donor, you cannot “designate” who you donate to. In fact, they tell me that it is totally anonymous at the time of the donation and you cannot obtain contact information for donor or donee for a year after the transplant.

    I also learned (because you know I cannot help asking about a bazillion questions) that if your data is in the system as a potential recipient, each potential donor will be compared for a possible match. The national registry handles the matches and notifying each recipient and donor of the existence of a possible match.

    I was impressed to learn that with advances in the technology, there may not even be anesthesia involved in donating to someone who matches. If you do “PBSC donation”, you get injections of a drug that increases stem cell production for five days pre-collection and then you basically give blood. The stem cells are separated out of the blood and then everything except the blood is returned to the donor. Amazing!!

    At any rate, the coordinator was very encouraging and based the quick, painless experience this morning, I definitely recommend that everyone get tested. We will find you a match!

    All the best!!!

    Bonnie

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