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Showing posts from August 12, 2007

Admission Day Arrives

The sky is the daily bread
of the eyes.--
Ralph Waldo Emerson

PaperQuote[Daily Wallpapers & Quotes]

Yesterday was nearly a 12-hour day at City of Hope. We started the day with an 8:15 a.m. arrival for outpatient surgery and installation of the Hickman catheter through which I will receive the blood transfusion from my stem cell donor on August 22. This has been placed in the left side of my upper chest and will remain there for at least the next six months or longer.

Finished with the outpatient surgery around noon, so Dee Dee and I enjoyed a quick lunch before reporting to the COHApheresis Center for a blood exchange when they began the conversion of my blood type from A+ to O+. Receiving six units of O+ blood while they removed the same number of units of my blood, this method is a "conditioning" step for the coming SCT. My blood is now about 60% O+ which means that the August 22 infusion of the stem cells will find my blood type about the same as the donor and that is sup…

Q&A: Stem Cells

Photo: Stem cells shown through an electron microscope

One of my readers of MyJournal responded with a question as to why my upcoming stem cell transplant (SCT) did not involve surgery when he asked: "Don't stem cells come from the brain stem?"
Actually, stem cells are in the brain stem and found throughout the body in all tissues and organs. These are the base cells from which all other cells are derived. That's why stem cell research holds such promise for the treatment and cure of so many diseases like cancer and diabetes and major medical disabilities like paralysis.
Scientists around the world are working on techniques to refine stem cell therapy. However, their use is mired in controversy.

What are stem cells?

Most adult cells in the body have a particular purpose which cannot be changed.

For instance, a liver cell is developed to perform specific functions, and cannot be transformed to suddenly take on the role of a heart cell.

Stem cells are diff…

9/01/07: Golfers - Play A Round For This Cause

As all of you know that follow this journal, I am going to be a patient at City of Hope beginning Aug. 18 for the stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor (MUD-SCT). The expectation is for a 6-week hospital stay, perhaps longer, followed by in-home rehabilitation that may take six months or longer.

Unfortunately, this is not a vacation and normal physical activity and recreation are not on the calendar during my recovery. One of the things I will miss is an occasional round of golf with friends, so:
I am now making a plea for my golfing friends to "play a round for me for a good cause" ... by participating in the Sept. 1 PATRIOT DAY. In this truly special fund-raiser, golfers are asked to add $1.00 to their green fees at participating courses that will match that dollar. The funds so raised will be contributed to the FALLEN HEROES FOUNDATION to support the children of fallen veterans. If your golf course is not participating, encourage them to do so by contacting the Falle…

Tips: Talking to a Friend With Cancer

With more than a million new cases of cancer being diagnosed each year in the United States, sooner or later most of us will get the distressing news that a family member or friend has contracted the disease.

We then face the dilemma:
What do we say to a cancer patient?

Here's a short list of advice:

1. Ask how he/she is doing.

2. Ask what the person has.

3. Ask what the treatment is.

4. Talk openly and honestly.

5. Be a sensitive, compassionate and empathetic listener.

6. Be prepared for the person who doesn't want to talk about it then. Tell them, "I just want you to know I care."

7. Look your friend in the eye when talking. Smiling, touching and warm looks all convey affection.

8. Ask how you can help. Be specific: caring for the children, preparing a meal, a ride to the doctor's office, running errands. Ask your friend to make a list of specific things that need to happen and then coordinate with other friends and family members to accomplish those things.

9. Include yo…