Approaching Day -5

The theme for today is Panicky Packing. They want me to check in at MSKCC at 10 am tomorrow, which in their dramatic fashion they call Day -5. The chemo starts tomorrow night — Fludarabine. I get that until Day -2 when they add Melphalan. Then after my immune system is pretty well wiped out by the chemical carpet bombing, with nothing green growing, I get the transplant itself on Day Zero. It is not surgery, as many people think, but a transfusion of stem cells from an anonymous donor. Then the process begins to help these little fellows thrive and multiply — and to prevent the dreaded Graft vs. Host Disease.

I am optimistic, thanks to our very professional Transplant Team and especially to the amazing support I receive from my wife and so many friends and family. I was not ready for that, and it is quite moving. I will miss all of them, and my dog Louie, who is filling out the forms to be admitted as a support animal.

I am loaded up with books and music — thank you for the recommendations! — and my first-ever set of over-the-ear, noise-canceling bluetooth headphones from Bose. Will be tuning in Monty Python as soon as I can.


23 thoughts on “Approaching Day -5

  1. Casey Lambert

    Next time I’ll spell everything correctly to distract you the angst of bad writing. XxxxCasey

  2. Casey Lambert

    Dear Lanny, I am so heartened to see that your blogs – I’m the midst of a hell of a time – are so you! Witty, beautifully written, informative, and charming. Everyone is thinking of you and sending air streams of live and support. I will send another basket of books – humour since you are low on it. We look forward to the day we can visit – just put up the signal the you are ready and we’ll be there. Briefly, I promise. May the Easter Bunny find you at MSK. Xxooxx Casey and Sam

  3. Ann Damsgaard Gladden

    Lanny, Lee and I are thinking of you so much and hoping and praying for a complete recovery. You are showing such courage in making this decision. My first cousin had the same transplant ten years ago, and she is doing fabulously well. We carry you in our hearts, and we will await each new blog with caring and hope. With love from us both, Ann Gladden

  4. Michael Witte

    Know that you are one tough old bird, Lanny. Please know that you have a huge flock of old and ever-growing numbers of new friends who love and support you! Mike and Sally


    Lanny, feel as though I know you through my friend Phyllis Ward. May the force be with you through the next few months. We’ll be thinking of you. Ann Hayden and Dan Lytle

    1. Carolne Seebohm

      Who better to chronicle such a journey. A humnaitarin act to help all those who come after. Go Lanny!

  6. Chuck Jones

    Lanny- As you begin this journey please know that the home town is pushing hard for you! Many, many St. Louis friends and family sending good positive thoughts your way. Love to you, Your Brother, Chuck

  7. Elizabeth Swann

    Lanny, you are surrounded by love from near and far. All the Swanns will be cheering you on and sending much love to you and Sarah —

  8. Nancy Martin

    Dearest Lanny,

    Even though Sandy and I are far away and can’t see you or hear you right now, we nevertheless will be hitched alongside of you and Sarah for this extraordinary ride.

    Here’s to you and all that you are!


  9. Julia Northover

    We’ll be thinking of you and sending lots of love and positive vibes from Chicago! Xoxox

  10. Frank Burgess

    Lanny, Diana and I are and will be thinking of you. Our friend who went through a transplant is doing well after going through all this so I will look at that as a harbinger of a good result for you.


  11. Eliot Daley

    Lanny, you’re nailing it! Hard to imagine anyone any time better equipped—in every conceivable way—to have the most positive possible experience!

    I’m out at Mayo this week dealing with some medical mysteries that, as of 10:00AM today, have occasioned my just now canceling our planned vacation flight to Zurich tomorrow evening in favor of returning here next week instead. (No crisis, not life-threatening, but still non-trivial.).

    How few clues we have about the exigencies of this whole aging game, eh? I’m just slightly guiltily grateful that we have easy access to world-class care. Oh, that this were the case for all God’s children.

    Love you, my man.


  12. Nancy k Grote

    Bob and I are with you by your side, as you progress from one phase to the next. We love you, Nancy

    1. Meredith Von Kohorn

      Can’t wait to hear that those healthy new cells are doing their work. Sending strength and love, Lanny, strength and love. xo Meredith


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