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It's Alright, This Happened Once Before

Monday December 20, 2021 - Day +4
[and my (real) brother's (real) birthday]

Blogging Tunes: Grateful Dead - 12/10/1989

First things first.  I'm ok.  Everything's going pretty much as planned according to the doc.  No major problems or complications.  That doesn't mean it's pleasant by any stretch, but the docs are pleased.

Also... highlight of the weekend?  I got to play some music with Eric (of Chum) yesterday -- more on that and vids below -- and my body cooperated with a couple hours of feeling "pretty good."

Today is Day +4... the 4th day after my stem-cell marrow transplant and we're settling into the nadir.  As of this morning -- and as totally expected -- I'm officially neutropenic... i.e. WBC below 1.0.  As my counts continue to decrease this week, I will likely feel a bit worse until the counts start to rebound somewhere between Day +14 and Day +18.  I'm still hoping it's sooner -- how about Day +12??  Then I could go home on NYE just like 11 years ago -- but whatever.

Day +4 counts

What does worse mean?  Severely reduced energy, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, mouth pain, and more.

Despite the low energy, I've been forcing myself to get exercise every day.  Even if it's just a few laps around 12 Long.  I think Day 0 was the only day I didn't walk.  Perfect time to discover this cool exercise bike in the 12th floor Solarium: very comfortable bike with an incredible view.

Below is a little video of my experience riding.  Unless I am physically unable to do so, my goal is to ride this bike every single day I'm here.  Even if it's just 5 minutes.

And if I can't ride, I'm hoping to just sit in that room a bit every day.  The view is unreal.

It's hard to explain what the isolation does (to an extrovert like me) after being here for almost two weeks.  There's nothing more to *do*.  Sure I'm getting IV magnesium every day and a low dose of chemo every few days, oh and I have choke down 10-12 pills each morning and each evening.  And yes, they take your vitals every 4-5 hours so it's impossible to get a long contiguous block of sleep.  But it's just a couple weeks of waiting.

You'd think I could just read, blog, watch shows, play iPhone games -- yes, I'm addicted to Golf Rival -- or play a little music.  But all of those things are hard at times because of everything that's going on.  

Even figuring out what to eat is hard.  For the past few days, I've probably had the equivalent of one small meal total per day.  A banana here, a pop-tart there, and yes, pureed peaches & cottage cheese is the absolute go-to.  Maybe a Cup-o-noodles if I'm feeling up to it.

We literally just have to get through these next couple weeks.  If I could sleep for two weeks straight and just wake up on the other side, I'd do it in a second. 

I've definitely had some night-time restlessness and anxiety too, so I'm doing melatonin and Ativan as needed.  Those combined with the "waffle" bed booster I got really helped last night.

Seeing people really helps too.  That's not an open invitation for visits, though.  Let me explain.

As mentioned above, Eric visited yesterday.  The plan was to play music for as long as I had the energy. We actually planned this for my last in-patient stay but they sprung me before we could make it happen.  Eric stayed for couple hours with about half actual playing time.  Some dude poked his head in after we finished Touch of Grey and gave the thumbs up and said, "We will survive!"

I recorded 4 songs, here are two:

Lonely Trip

If I Could

For the people interaction... just a little bit here and there -- sometimes it's just a Chaplain coming by, or a nurse who has some extra time -- goes a long way.  A 10-15 minute conversation with a real person fills me up.  A few standout nurses in that regard are: Gabby; Caitlin; Jenner; and Chad.  Y'all are absolutely great.  Also, major shoutout to Doria the Chaplain. 

OK, before I wrap-up, here are a couple more pics from the transplant.  Thank you again, Martin.  You are forever a part of our family.  I will forever have two brothers: Dave (who turned 56 today) and Martin.

Maybe Martin is Lisa.  Whaddya think, ma?



  1. I think about you every day. Now we only going to stare at the table to wait for the numbers to go up.
    I envy your eyebrows :> mine went away right after the first chemo and i had what i called my "robot look" for like 6 months. Hope they stay, hope this is all we have to worry about :>

  2. JG, I'm so glad to see you continuing along this path, and to see the bright spots you find along the way. You're right - that view is incredible, and the chance to make some music is surely a great gift. Thank you for keeping us virtually nearby as we all cheer you on.

  3. Loved listening to you playing music!! One step in front of the other. You will get there. Can’t wait to see you on the other side. With you all the way!!

  4. Wonderful tunes!! 🕺✨

    That bed booster looks waffle comfy!

    Stay strong through the next couple of weeks! You got this!!!

  5. I hate the places in life when we just have to exist, and endure time passing painfully slowly, and I wish you didn't have to endure this way-to-slow time now.

    But I'm glad you're able to find the little things, and the big things - you and Eric sound great together. I see your JG spirit poking through it all, and know I'm thinking of you. ❤️


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