Approaching Day -5

Dear Friends,

My check-in day for the stem-call transplant is rapidly approaching — it’s next Friday, April 12. So it’s time for me to warm up this blog for my first entries. The doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering have given me a calendar with the sequence of events displayed clearly — if somewhat melodramatically. April 12 is Day -5. Then five days later, after intensive chemotherapy, Wednesday April 17 becomes Day Zero, when I receive the actual transplant itself. It’s a transfusion, not a surgery. The idea is that they have blasted my immune system totally in the five preceding days. It’s like leveling a battlefield with bombs before an invasion. My WBC count will be zero. The stem cells then arrive and, we hope, proceed to engraft themselves and thrive and multiply.

Fingers crossed. My friends and family been wonderful to me, the real reward of this experience thus far. I will be in the hospital for about 28 days, followed by 8-10 weeks of house arrest with Sarah in an apartment owned by MSK in New York. I can’t leave unless I wear a mask and gloves, like some kind of highwayman.

I also will find out whether “chemo brain” is the real thing, or just what people say when they forget something.

As we used to say at People, MORE TK …