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The Children Play at Home With Needles; Needles and Pins

Blogging Tunes: SomaFM: Groove Salad

Spoiler up front: Martin's cells have arrived in SF!  He donated this past Tuesday.  Here he is after the collection procedure was complete.  Need to lead with this so that this pic shows up on the main blog page.  :)

OK... on with the update.  You'd probably think by the title of this post, I was listening to "The Lamb."  I thought about it, but Big URL has been spinning great tunes all morning, so I'm keeping it locked into Groove Salad.

But yes, for those of you who've been following closely, the needle reference is to the bone marrow biopsy I had on Monday.  According to Dr. Damon, and as we expected, the results are clean.  He emailed, "John, the sensitive test to look for AML came back negative from your BMBx from Monday - congrats!"  Also, the blood counts from that day look great. White cells, neutrophils... all good.  Even my platelets are in the "normal" range which is kinda nuts since even when I was "cured," my platelets were rarely over 100.

But obviously, the big news of this week isn't about me... it's about Martin, my blood brother from Germany.  How appropriate that on "Giving Tuesday," he was donating his stem cells that will be used for transplant number two.  For the entire week prior, he'd been giving himself G-CSF shots to stimulate cell growth.

Then on Tuesday, he sat in clinic in Cologne -- we don't support their futbol team, but we like their clinics! -- like this for 4+ hours so they could collect his cells.

Somehow, this equipment gathers the stem cells and returns the rest of the blood to his body.

Lookin' good, BB!  Thanks for doing this a second time, and huge shout out to DMKS Germany for making this all possible

And here's something pretty cool... this map shows the locations of all the people who have donated in the clinic.  Too many pins in and around Mönchengladbach for Martin to add one!

Oh, and remember at the top I mentioned that Martin's cells arrived in SF?  Imagine my surprise when I saw this in my MyChart.

I didn't really understand what I was looking at, so Dr. Damon explained, "John, these are Martins cells collected and new frozen here – very good collection, 9 million per Kg."

So it's full speed ahead: special family dinner out (and towards-the-end of Hanukkah celebration) tonight; COVID test Monday; two more days of work (Mon/Tue); one day off (Wed); admission to UCSF on Thursday with likely discharge in the first week of January; then months of recovery.

Here's the schedule for the next month.  My plan is to blog much more frequently so y'all know what's happening.  We'll see how that goes.




  1. GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  2. john. you may not remember me from our days at UMASS in pierpont. however i am terribly sorry you are going through this again and the UMASS crew is rooting for you

    best wishes and prayers for a full recovery

    greg prodanaf

    1. darn it spelled my own last name wrong

      greg prodanas

  3. Thank you, once again, Martin!

  4. Thank you, Martin. Goooo Johny boy!!!

  5. Such an amazing gift given to a fellow person (again!), good luck, you will crush it again.

  6. Martin!!! Thank you!!! Modern medicine!!! Thank you!!! Hanukkah Sameach to the Greene family. Let there be light!!!

  7. Great news! Best thoughts for the coming weeks, JG. Sending hugs. -Vanessa

  8. Hey JG- wishing you all the very best as you go into hospital over the holidays! We'll be sending healing thoughts your way, and if you or Heather need anything, let us know!
    Ingrid & Joe

  9. Thinking of you and family and sending positive thoughts, and a can or two of porks and beans. Ethan & family in western Mass.

  10. Martin 🙌🏻

    That MyChart message made me LOL. “Your stem cells have arrived, Mr. Greene!” 🤣

    Hang in there buddy. ❤️


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