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On this day in history, September 23, 1806, Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis as heroes after journey
by Kerry Byrne
“Lewis and Clark’s journals record for us not only a story of astonishing personal courage but also a powerful parable of trust within the human community,” writes editor Landon Y. Jones in his 2000 account of their diaries, “The Essential Lewis and Clark.”
“On one level, Lewis is the more sophisticated storyteller,” he wrote.
“Clark on the other hand is blunter, earthier and more to the point.”
“Creating a personal myth allows celebrities to create just that—a myth.”
Excerpt from Celebrity Nation
by Landon Jones with permission by Beacon Press
There are dark sides to the celebrity industrial complex.
by Landon Jones
I’m happy to report I am moving foward the second month of the mysterious, baffling, processs known as a stem cell movement. The basic idea is to find out what I need to survive without the systems I arrivded in the world with, since they’re all gone now. For instance, I arrived in life as a blood type A Negative. And did so for 75 years. Now I am an A Positive. Go Figgur. So there is much to be learned.
Today the news was mostly good. More white cells are on the rise, which is a hopeful sign of maybe engraftment. Fingers crossed! More news every day.
In gratitude towards all,
Sarah and my first cousin and oldest friend Christine Jones today at MSKCC
“In a way, today is your first birthday,” That’s how one member of the transplant team gathered in my hospital room put it today during the brief ceremonials around a watershed moment in my treatment. After a presentation of the donor cells, and a few words of thanks on my part to the doctors and nurses and my family, they turned on the switch and the frisky new stem cells started to arrive via a simple IV bag.. May they flourish and multiply.
This is a fascinating display of biomedical science — I hope to use the opportunities it presents wisely.
Here I am in my beautiful room on one of two transplant floors at MSKCC on Day -1 on my transplant journey. So far the story has been preparing me to be a polite host to the bumptious, young stem cells whom I will welcome tomorrow in the form of a simple transfusion. But the whole transplant team will assemble for the occasion, which speaks to their professional sense of shared responsibility.
Today is my single “day of rest” after four days of intense chemotherapies and other medications that are pretty much as predicted — rough. I take inspiration from the many women I know who have undergone similar treatments for their own cancers. We are lucky to have our family nearby, as well as many friends on this road with me.
After the transfusion itself tomorrow, my job is to avoid bacterial and viral infections, of whatever kind, and encourage the new stem-cells to engraft themselves and not to develop the scary graft vs. host disease.
If all goes well, Sarah and I will move into an apartment owned by MSK just a few blocks from here on May 6. We will be able to see friends and family there — but, alas, only there, since restaurants, parties, exhibits, plays, etc. all all verboten because of risk of infections.
Much love to all of your for your expressions of support, which make a diference every day.
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.