Stem Cell Transplant- One Year Later

I never thought we were going to get here. My brother Jerry in San Francisco last May lost his job and a week later he was told he had cancer. My older brother convinced him to go to MD Anderson Cancer Center for second opinion, it was a good thing or he would be dead. San Francisco Hospital did not get diagnosis right. It was a rare lymphoma called Waldensroms. Waldenstroms patients end up with another rare disease called Amyloidosis caused by overproduction of proteins. The latter causes ones organs to be disabled and that is what happened to his heart at this point he had 30% capacity and was told he could not return to San Francisco, could not get on a plane. They had to put a difibulator in his heart and build the heart back up as he now had congestive heart failure, before they could consider Chemotherapy. Six months later they took the stem cell from him, harvested his stem cells, froze them ,did major chemo, and then put in the stem cell back in and a lot of other aggravating things that continued to come up.

Someone has to be there around the clock in case he has to be rushed back to hospital. You have to wear masks and gloves around him, he is like a newborn at this point ,all of the vaccines you had when you were a kid are gone. I went down to stay with him for a couple of weeks at Christmas. Wearing the duck mask was difficult, Medical marijauna is a wonderful thing!!!! We watched lots of Groucho Marx movies and Sci fi channel had a great Twilight Zone Marathon Christmas Day., it was fun. We had a great time and laughed a lot . We had a tiny silver Christmas tree . The healing monk told him to sit under a blue light everyday for healing., The blue light was beautiful on the silver tree made it look angelic. We made interesting soup concoctions as he had no taste buds because of the chemo..

He walked a little slower, his hair fell out. he had suddenly aged. He took up Chi Kung and Tai Chi. .I would see him looking at himself trying to figure out whom he had become. or where he had gone. he was like a shadow of his former self. He did not like to talk about the disease but he made a rule that for one day a week it could be discussed. .

One year later, he is back in San Francisco doing so much better, but not in remission , still he is so much better. I created the art work Tranformation in his honor.

Stem Cell Transplant- One Year Later

Susan Grissom

Joined August 2007

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