10-24-10  Sunday  Day –3  Status:  9.0/10.  Feeling OK and getting my last dose of chemotherapy this evening.  Then two days of rest before my transplant.

Events:  Lisa and Ethan came up today.  Ethan spent his time on homework.  Blood counts are stable.

Comments:   Although my counts are stable now, they will soon start to drop, and I’ll need platelet and red cell transfusions to keep my levels up.

  The myeloablative chemotherapy will destroy stem cells in the marrow, the very ones responsible for producing red cells, white cells, and platelets.  So without any new production, how many I had left depends on the lifespan of each type floating around right now.  Red cells have a life span of about 120 days, platelets about 7-10 days, and white cells about 3-4 days.

  Red cells can be made up for with blood type-matched transfusions, and platelets can be transfused as well, but they have to careful not to have too many transfusions since the body will gradually form antibodies against them, and they will no longer be effective.  White cells can’t be transfused unless they come from a bone narrow-matching donor.  Otherwise they’d be very reactive causing allergic reactions and a lot of other unpleasant stuff.

  I’ll have to wait for my donor marrow to find its home and start making cells of its own – usually takes about 30 days, which is why I’m here in the hospital for the next month.

 Deeply appreciate all the support, which keeps me going.




9 Responses to “”

  1. Ashby Says:

    We missed you on Fathers Visiting Day. You were never far from our thoughts. Ethan was a champ. Full of exuberance during math; lightening fast during “Jeopardy” during reading. A delightful boy!

  2. Lewis Lefkowitz Says:

    We are so glad you had that time at home. Beside the time with your family, you had some time to re-colonize yourself with non-hospital bacteria that are less resistant to antibiotics that the ones in the hospital.

  3. Len and Lisa Says:

    Hi Bruce,
    Good luck on Day “0” and beyond!!! We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and know you will do great!!!
    Len and Lisa

  4. Dave Swedlow Says:


    I’ve been lurking and following your blog for a few weeks now. I wish you and Lisa the best of outcomes with the transplant. I hope that when you get to the other side of the transplant, all is well and that you consider writing a book (or long article) on the experience. Be well.


  5. Lynn Oliver Says:

    Thinking lethal thoughts about your old marrow and blessed thoughts about the new. And remembering that the “downs” of the rollercoaster ride come back up again. With you on the ride….sending love to you and Lisa, Lynn

  6. grassflats Says:

    Thinking bout you, bud…..I’ve canceled my DC trip, but I’ll be there in spirit.

  7. Howard Schoenholtz Says:

    Never mind the “Big 2-oh” and the “Big 3-oh”, what we really care about is the “Big-oh.” Phyllis and Chewy and I send positive throughts, good wishes, and many good-luck barks your way!

  8. Darya Nasr Says:

    We are thinking and cheering for your recovery Bruce. Hang in there!
    Much love,
    Darya and Vali

  9. joel steinberg Says:

    We know you will hang tough as always, and we are with you in spirit. Joel and Margaret S.

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