Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +800

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right."
                                                                          -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

My Life Was a Lie...

Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that I missed a day as I counted forward from Day 0! Right around day 242, I skipped a day, moving day 243 a day ahead. Marian (and others...) were chiding me, insisting I was counting day zero (00) as day one (01); and I kept insisting that I did start the count correctly. Well, I was right...and I screwed up the count anyway. The only thing I can say in my own defense is that it was probably the drugs (Yeah, right...).

... Still, I Reached Day 800 Today -- Wednesday, May 1, 2013!

Spring finally comes to Laurium.
Yesterday was supposed to be day 800 after my blood and marrow stem cell transplant, but I stand corrected, and penitent -- celebrating today instead. A journey of 800 days has brought me to a world of less oxygen (wheeze, cough, gasp!) and more light. I still start each day with from 10 to 12 medications (Prednisone is 5 mg every other day, and Azithromycin on M, W, F).  The afternoon finds me taking 7 medications. There's a pill at 9:00 pm, and 5 more at bedtime. It's always an adventure to discover which side effects will dominate any particular part of my day.

I will go for blood tests on Thursday morning. It's only once a month now, because my CBC numbers have been so stable, at or near what should be normal for me. I still pray for a miracle to heal my lungs and let me breathe again. Oh, I know the science is against it -- what bronchiolitis obliterans and GVHD have taken away, no one shall return -- but, when did I ever blindly follow expert advice on anything?

  • When I was injured at 18 months old, they said I would never walk properly without prosthetics...but I did.
  • When I developed bronchial asthma at age 5, they said I would never be an athlete...but I was on the varsity swimming and tennis teams in high school, and junior varsity tennis at MTU.
  • When I tried out for the high school choir, they said my ears were made of tin and a bucket would not help. However, once I figured out the math for the scale and could arrange anchors (notes I could match) in a song, I was able to sing in choirs, chorales, operas, and stage musicals. 

Becoming Intrepid Again

Now I am learning (and training) to make the most of what I have left (about 27% lung capacity). I can dream, can't I?

At least, I now can see over the banks!
By the way, I walked a half-mile outside Monday, and I just finished another half-mile yesterday afternoon. (Ta Da!) Now that the ice is gone and the temperature is not so cold as to trigger cold air-induced asthma, I can meander a bit -- tottering from shadow to shadow to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible.

Soon, the critical danger of colds and flu should pass, and I can once again emerge from my winter cocoon to attend Mass and visit with friends. I look forward to the freedom. In a few days, it will be three months since I was last in a hospital. Yeah!

To all who continue to pray for us and send us positive thoughts and energy -- Thank You! I'm in uncharted territory here...I did not expect to live this long. I remain surprised and grateful each time I see the sun rise...or at least a bright spot in the overcast.


"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right."
                                                                                            -- Henry Ford

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