Transplant day 0: Receiving cells

It was an anxiety-ridden day, but all went well. Around 1pm all sorts of people were in the room – the defroster, the nurse practitioner administering the cells, my oncologist’s assistant, two nurses, my mom, my brother, his wife and tons of prayers and spirits of good will — in a tiny tiny room. (Oh … and myself)

All went very well except for a little weariness and discomfort in bed later, and some food issues. It was a long day but a good one.

I’m writing to you now from the beginning of day 1 and I feel fine but the journey ahead will test the binding of the new stem-cells to my body and see what happens from there.

I know my blood type will change – I’m formerly A-positive, my donor is B-positive – and I can’t wait to see what else changes. By far the biggest outwardly change is my name.

It is typical to consider day 0 your new birthday and as such, at events such as this, my rabbi even advised that I can add to my name. So I have decided to add “Yigal Chaim” – liberated/recaptured life – to my Jewish name and my rabbi will name me in services for Yom Kippur.

The whole religious aspect of this adventure still rings out sharply for me. “Hayom harat olam” – today the world is born we declare as part of the Yom Kippur liturgy. I can’t help but feel a whole new me is born too.

May we all be inscribed a happy and healthy new year – gamar chatimah tovah!

Strength and love,

Please remember to support us for the Light the Night Walk:

To make a donation, please visit:

To join the team and walk with us in NYC on October 4th (of in Philadelphia on September 29th) – my mom and Voodoo are team captain (I’ll be in the hospital in the middle of the transplant procedure), please visit my recent blog entry with directions to join:
(it’s not the greatest user experience – my apologies in advance)


12 Responses

  1. Seth, as the say today is the first day of the rest of your life. May it be a long life with good health, peace and lots of love
    To everyone with you wishes for the Best Year Yet!!
    love ,

  2. Gamar chatimah tovah . May 5768 the year of your rebirth bring health, joy and happiness to you and your family.

    Phoebe & Fred

  3. Dave and I will be thinking of you all day today and especially at services tonight.

    Much love and strength!


  4. Seth,

    So happy to hear from you today! I was furiously checking the blog last night. I am glad that you felt the spirit and support from all of us out here while you were packed in the tiny little room. (Is “the defroster” a person? Sounds like a nickname for a Sopranos character. . .)

    I also wanted to let you know that I have been sharing your story with two collegues who are going through chemo, and they are both so inspired by you. It has been tough sledding for both of them, and hearing that you finally had your transplant made them both cheer. So, your strength is helping many other people too. (How is that for a Yom Kippur lesson?)

    I love the symbolism of your new name and will be thinking of you at Yom Kippur services tomorrow.

    All the best,


  5. you are truly and honestly a miracle. everyday i think about how nobel you are, how you are handling this situation with such integrity and grace. i can only hope to live my life with that same spirit. you are teaching us all so many important lessons. i am grateful to know such an amazing person. and of course i love you.

    (mostly because you stuck up for me when the other two were stealing my stuffed animals and dragging me around the house enclosed in sleeping bags.)

  6. Dearest Shmuel Yigal Chaim,
    You are an inspiration to us all!
    Sending love, prayers and strength,

  7. So glad everything went well. I was really happy to see Mom’s e-mail this morning and doubly glad to see your blog. We’ll all be thinking of and praying for you tonight and tomorrow. Stay strong.
    Much Love, Ronnie

  8. best of luck to you and your family. What an amazing journey you have been on so far. My father is newly diagnosed with AML and has finished round 1 of chemo. We are waiting for the biopsy results. Your story gives me hope that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Contact me if you can. much love to you.

  9. We are all so very happy to have read your update. We look forward to hearing of a refuah shlaima (I never get that transliteration stuff right!).

    Lots of love, strengh, etc.

    as state above gamar chatimah tovah!

  10. SEALED in the book of life, please. I said your name when we had a chance to pray for healing. Love.

  11. Happy new life to you, my sweet. Big antimicrobial hugs and kisses.

    The Defroster – I see someone like Jean Reno standing silently by, making sure that the stem cells behave exactly as they should. 🙂

    much love,

  12. You’ve taken something horrible and made it beautiful. Your light shines!

    Blessings and balance.

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