Sunday, May 25, 2008

One Month Since the Transplant

Okay, it's been a long arduous process but enough about the Democratic primaries - how's James doing? I noted this morning that it's been 16 days since he returned home. One month ago tomorrow the transplant happened. That's a lot of little healthy cells growing and dividing. James came up with a good line about the entire process: A crazy balance between help and harm. Or was it "A crazy balance between harm and help"? The point is there is still a lot of finessing going on. Good things have to happen but not too fast.
So nobody is declaring victory here yet but the anxiety level has dropped from 2,000 miles up to around 100 feet. I've even begun wondering about the emotional toll, not just on James but on Stacey, his family and his friends. At times like this, you tend to bury emotions just to get through the ordeal, especially if you were scared by it. That's what this was: Courage versus fear and to get our courage up, we definitely suppressed some scary thoughts. Now that things have brightened again considerably, I'm turning to healing the spirit. Or at least recognizing that there could be issues here.
I even have a new suggestion for universal healthcare. First, do you realize what an opportunity the government has to win over the People during these problems? I mean I used to be very critical of OHSU for South Waterfront, etc... but after this I'll never badmouth them again. I am now an OHSU fan.
The politicians should provide universal healthcare, not just for us, but for their own job security and popularity. This should be an area where the normal dog-eat-dog rules don't apply and we take care of each other: "Oh, you're sick. Relax and get better and don't worry about a thing financially. We've got you covered."
Not only should that be automatic, but it would be less expensive than the sicko system we have now. That's the crazy part.
So what's my new idea? After all of the medical expenses are covered, there should be free counseling. Nothing out of hand. Just a few sessions where anyone who experienced the fear we just experienced can talk to someone and get the information needed to help put this behind us. That would be good government in action. It's not enough to beat these problems, if we're emotionally dinged by them going forward. Not only would you have citizens grateful for how they were treated but they would be healthier mentally to go out and be productive again. It could pay for itself although they said that about Iraq, too. Oh well. Just a thought on a rainy morning in May, 2008. ---Bill McDonald

Friday, May 9, 2008

Homeward Bound

According to our friend Troy Wagner in Florida, James called saying he was just getting ready to leave the hospital.---Bill McDonald
P.S. The record for release after this procedure is 12 days and James did it in 13, so that's cool.
Welcome Home, James!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

James’ New Stem Cells have Engrafted!

Hello Everyone,

The stem cells James received during his transplant have engrafted into his marrow and his body has begun to produce blood. This is wonderful news, the last of the major milestones as far as the transplant is concerned.

Once the body begins to produce cells it takes only a couple of days to produce enough blood to be at acceptable levels. Because of this, the doctors expect James to be discharged from the hospital this Friday or Saturday.

Overall James’ transplant and recovery have gone as well as possible. He experienced minimal side effects from the chemo, handled his low blood counts well, and has been able to keep active and nourished. It has by no means been a cake-walk, but he has moved through each stage like a trooper.

We hope you all are happy and healthy.


Shibley Makes the Portland Tribune

Newspaper columnist Phil Stanford included an item about the cable access show James has been a part of for 4-plus years. It's actually about a political candidate named Will Hobbs who's running for Congress against David Wu. Will took Shibley's place on the couch this week.

Phil Stanford writes:

Forget Barack Obama and Steve Novick. Biggest surprise of the political season has got to be Will Hobbs, the country rock guitarist turned Intel engineer who’s running for Congress in the district that includes west Portland and Beaverton. … Two weeks ago, probably no one besides fans of the popular ’70s band Wheatfield had ever heard of him. As of this week, he has the endorsement of both The Oregonian and Willamette Week, both of which picked him over incumbent David Wu. … One thing for sure, this guy’s no ordinary politician. Sunday evening he’ll be appearing on my pal Bill McDonald’s cable-access show, “Born to Slack,” raising money for McDonald’s co-host James Shibley, who just underwent a stem cell transplant. Who says good guys have to finish last?