Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mick McKellar Update — Day +1900

Time Really Flies

As a child, I remember how slowly time seemed to move when I was waiting for something fun to happen, like a holiday or a birthday to arrive. Time also crawled by when I was bored, such as waiting in a car for Mom or Dad to take care of business at a store or doctor's office. This was especially true if I didn't have a book with me, and we were stuck with Dad, who instructed us to be silent and to sit still. Both of these instructions were, of course, immediately violated. Five kids could not sit quietly any more than we could do a time-step or sing in harmony. Time dragged as pressure built towards a fatal flare up. Just as screams of "He's touching me!" and "Mick was looking at me!" were about to ring out, Mom would come back to the car and my Dad would relent as the noise level returned to something near cacophony levels.

Time began speeding up for me earlier than it did for my siblings, because I was nearly always buried in a book. Reading time was never long enough and books were always over too soon (unless they were terrible). Time flew by or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when time sped up yet again — with the arrival of our children. It seems they were born on one day and saying goodbye the next day.

Still Faster

I have learned that time moves even more quickly than I could imagine. Today is the 1,900th day since my blood and marrow stem cell transplant! 1900 days have sped by since my re-birthday in February 2011, and although I've endeavored to live every minute of my gift of life to the maximum — even to the extremes of writing updates and daily journal entries to codify and remember my experiences — the days are a blur. It is difficult to savor a draft one is chugging at full speed!

I note the passage of the day, and I celebrate the grand gift and God's grace which permit me to even be here. So much has changed in so short a time.

It is what it is.

Yesterday, as a young doctor was pushing a needle and catheter between my ribs to relieve my labored breathing, he was apologizing for the pain I must be feeling. Yes, I told him that there was some pain, but how could it be avoided? "it is what it is." I said. And then I thanked him for the relief I knew was coming at the end of the pain. He was silent for awhile, and began asking about my life. There was no more talk about pain or apologies. It is what it is.

Another pulmonologist, Dr. S, was explaining my CT scan to me. He showed me the areas where fluid was built up and we talked about relieving some of my breathing difficulties. But then, he shifted gears and talked about my disease. "You have severe bronchiolitis obliterans, and there is nothing can return the lost tissue." He seemed uncertain how to say it, so I said it myself: "Bronchiolitis obliterans is a terminal illness that will likely kill me." He explained that we need to keep infections from activating the GvHD that causes my disease. "It is what it is." I said.

Imagine: I could die from terminal B.O. (giggle)

He wasn't done. "There is also a shadow on the CT scan of your left lung. It could just be some infection left from the February coronavirus episode." We are going to wait and see if it is still there in six months, and not go exploring for the moment. As before: It is what it is.


Today has been a beautiful day! The temperature is near 60 degrees, the sun is shining, and I have hardly used oxygen at all today — even while having breakfast in a restaurant and walking around with Marian in Target. Mostly, though I have spent today resting for tomorrow's journey home. No additional bleeding, infection, or lung collapse has been noted. So it seems my repairs were successful and it's time for this errant home boy to return home. The day is, of course, speeding by — even as I write this short update. After all, it is what it is.

Special thanks to everyone who prayed and sent good thoughts. I swear I could sense your uplifting spirits supporting me while I was repaired once again. Thank you all!

Good afternoon and God bless,


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