2-4-11 Friday Day +100

Yes, today is Day 100!  A milestone.  The main reason is that most of the complications of a bone marrow transplant happen in the first 100 days.  Of course, there’s nothing magical about 100 other than it fits so nicely into our decimal numbering system.  But it is a milestone nonetheless, and we are grateful we’re here to reflect on it.

Status:  I am progressing (for a while there I wondered if I’d ever feel good again).  I know that as time passes on I will.  It’s a great confidence builder.

Events: Going back Monday to Hopkins for my weekly check up.  If things look good, we’ll schedule taking out my Hickman catheter (the tubes tunneled under my chest from the outside world to my superior vena cava).  It allows for easy venous access without the necessity of peripheral needle sticks.  But if I’m only going back weekly or less frequently, it’s good to get it out.  It requires nightly flushes with heparin, weekly sterile changes in the end caps, and weekly sterile bandage changes, as well as wearing Press and Seal in the shower.

Comments:  We’ll enjoy watching the Super Bowl and resting this weekend.  And I’ll think a great deal about the love and support that has allowed me to be where I am.




29 Responses to “”

  1. Art Ulene Says:

    I’m smiling out loud! Congratulations. Please give Lisa a hug for us. I’ll be thinking of you on Sunday. I can’t wait to see you in person. Let’s find a way to do it before the year gets too old. Love, Art

  2. Judy Freedman Says:

    Celebrating 100 days!

  3. Bill Israel Says:

    We could not ask for a better report, and it’s wonderful to hear you feeling it, too, Bruce. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

  4. Catherine O'Brien Says:

    This gives new meaning to TGIF.. Thank God It’s Finished!! (the 100 days). Whew!

  5. joel steinberg Says:

    We are giving you a well-deserved grade of 100 as well. This whole saga has been amazing (to us, not to you. For you just plain misery) Getting the Hickman out is not only medically indicated; it is of symbolic significance. Love, Joel and Margaret S.

  6. Blaine Says:

    An arbitrary milestone, but a milestone nevertheless. Congratulations!

  7. judy moss Says:

    Happy 100th day, Bruce!!!! We are thrilled that you have done so well and are beginning to see that there is a future for you. We hope you continue to do well and we will continue to keep you, Lisa and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Mazel Tov!!!

  8. Andrea Tuttle Says:

    Numbers alone don’t address the fact that this is still a magic moment, a milestone and a transition to a new way of living with a focus on healing alone rather than on the numbers. Relax and enjoy the game.

  9. Blake and Amy Golding Says:

    Inch by inch, Life’s a cinch. Yard by Yard, Life is hard. The inches that you have taken to reach this 100 day milestone is miraculous. Keep up the fight – you are winning – we are convinced. Congratulations to a hell of a fighter –

    Love, Amy and Blake

  10. Henry Miller Says:

    What a great, if symbolic, milestone! Congratulations!

    And it’s so good to hear that you’re feeling better and that the Hickman will soon be out. All terrific news!

  11. Wally Schlech Says:

    Knew you would get there my friend!
    Love from the North

  12. Debbie Blum Says:

    How wonderful that you have reached this important milestone, and even more important, that you are starting to feel more like yourself. It only gets better, so enjoy each day and think about all the wonderful days and years ahead. –Love, Debbie

  13. Judie Davidson Says:

    This day has been a long time in coming. Hugs to you and the family.
    Sent from a very rainy Gainesville, FL

  14. Ed Baker Says:

    Good for you Bruce. We always knew you would pass this milestone. Our greatest wish is that you don’t have anything to talk about in this blog besides regular family stuff and occasional views of the world.

    Stay better and that’s an order! All the best to Lisa and the kids.

  15. Jackie Says:

    Shockingly great news, Bruce! Rites of passage are important and this one (hundred) even more so.

  16. John King Says:

    Happy 100th Day Transplant Birthday! Here’s hoping you continue to heal and are able to celebrate another 100th someday-only in years next time.
    We continue to send healing thoughts, energy, and blessings to you, Lisa, and the kids. Enjoy the Super Bowl, and don’t forget to root for my hometown Steelers. Stay well and enjoy your renewed energy.

  17. wendy Says:

    Again- from here forward celebrate each and everyday… i’ts the new you and new life that you are growing into.

    I thought about the ptsd that you mentioned before…..Might I suggest EMDR. Check it out..it’s a wonderful healing tool…. and since that’s your next asignment..it would be another way to move forward.

    And here’s to all those who have joined in to help you get here. A BIG Thanks.. none of us do it alone.

  18. Beth Pitt Says:

    Awesome!! Happy 100th Day Bruce! Continued prayers for you, Lisa and your entire support team!

    Cousin Beth

  19. Sharon McDonnell Says:

    Ah such a long haul but now I have a sense you will look back on this– that it doesn’t define the future. How wonderful to jettison the medical equipment and yet I can imagine I would have ambivalence too. It is hard to tell a story that involves such patience and perseverance. I remember recognizing that the hardest parts of stories to tell were the long long waits through periods of uncertainty. It is grinding. The narrator is left with few tools. But, in your blog I can feel how long it has been — as a reader I realized what a slog it was but now there is a wee spark of something that could rise to vitality. I am not wrong on this– its possible. I shall be fanning the spark from here. AT 100 days lets picture 100 colored balloons rising above our snowy mountains and floating far far up into the blue. Let one or a few go at a time and name them. Goodbye “hickman”, goodbye “frequent visits”. Watch them rise and ride the wind.
    Peace to you all

  20. Cliff Karchmer Says:

    Terrific news! Glad to see your spirits so high!! I am sure it will just keep getting better.

  21. bob price Says:

    Hawaii is getting closer !!! Congratulations on day 100!
    We’re so happy for you, Lisa & kids. We’ll toast tonight to your continued recovery success………with our prayers & love, bob & Karen

  22. Marsha Says:

    Hey Bruce,

    So glad to hear about this wonderful milestone. Your blog helped us all understand what you were going through. The past 100 days seemed painfully slow, but brighter days are ahead. Those better days always fly by so much faster, so enjoy all the love and good wishes that surround you. Looking forward to seeing you soon.


  23. Hopie Says:

    How can I not comment with so many others,You kinow what I wish for on all your birthdays and celebration days.” LOVE”, Mom

  24. Carolyn Hyde Says:

    Congratulations on the 100 day mark….we just know that you’ll continue to improve as you enjoy each of many, many hundreds more; celebrating improved health and vigor, and the love of your many family members and friends.

    Carolyn & Patrick Hyde

  25. Donna Hill Howes Says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday to you, Lisa and the kids….a journey well worth taking….we marvel at your strength, wit and courage….and all the while you took the time to bring us along with you.
    Love and joy!

  26. Laurie Samuels Says:

    It has been a long journey… but I am amazed at your progress, your wonderful outlook, your strong support system of family and fiends…. so much to be thankful for. Continued good wishes for feeling better and gaining a few more pounds from Harry and Laurie…. Love to all.

  27. Bill Schaffner Says:

    It was really great hearing your voice during the NNii conference call. You sounded terrific.

    Your latest comments sound resolutely positive which energizes all of us. You definitely wil celebrate when the Hickman comes out. It has tethered you to the sick role; without the catheter you will once again be a person rather than a patient, validating your newly restored health. It will be akin to getting an inoculation of optimism.



  28. Bill Salt Says:

    Greetings from a former Vanderbilt resident and colleague,

    While researching how to contact you about a new book that I have recently written, I found your blog. Your courage, communication gifts, and generosity in sharing your illness experience from the perspective of doctor as patient are an inspiration for all. Congratulations on passing this 100 day milestone, and please know that this old friend from the Vandy family cares.


  29. Frank Says:

    Bruce — Day 102, the second day of many hundreds. Do you recall our conversation about marathons several years ago? You had mentioned you had run one but long, long ago (possibly explaining your, uhh, ‘not exactly’ runner’s physique). Well, your second marathon is in the books. Iron Man is next …

    Much love,

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