This was expected

Hey all, I just wanted to fill y’all in on a secret. No stem cell transplant patient has smooth sailing. Everyone has some setbacks. We knew I’d have one eventually, and it’s come as no surprise.

Of course we don’t want it, and it’s inconvenient. But, it’s happening. There is no crisis, and no one is panicking about it. I received IV antibiotics yesterday, and just finished an other for today. Once I have my room, I’ll get even more, over the next few days.

They expect that I’ll spend the weekend “upstairs” as they treat my infection/fever. They’re pretty sure the infection is from my central line, which is installed in my chest. So they’re gonna pull it, once I get upstairs. Then once my fever and infection clears they’ll install a PICC line, which is another kind of semi-permanent line, so that I don’t have to be poked all the time for an IV.

Today my fever was the biggest concern, but I also had a low blood pressure, that was concerning. It made me light headed and loopy.

I’m doing ok. It was a super bummer to accept the news that I’m being readmitted. But it didn’t take long to get over. It’s more frustrating logistically than anything else. We don’t have any supplies. Deanna had to buy an iPhone charger last night, and I don’t even have any underwear, other than the pair I’m wearing.

But seriously, that’s such a minor issue that can easily be overcome. If Deanna and my VC family can’t work out some sort of handoff of important stuffs, I’m sure I could get a package of chonies from the local Target.

God is good! We continue to be cared for so well, by UCLA, family, and Element family! Our community is just so fantastic!

“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” – Hebrews‬ ‭9‬:‭14‬ ESV

This verse has encouraged and comforted Deanna and I both, separately and at different times this past week. I hope it comforts you too.

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2014 Challenge, Week 32: “Tilt Shift” Quasi-Landscape

2014 Challenge, Week 32: “Tilt Shift” Quasi-Landscape


My submission to this week’s theme.

This shot is from one of my favorite cycling routes near my home. It’s a beautiful view that I get to see, near the end of this ride. I miss cycling so much, and so today I drove this path, to be inspired!

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Moving back to the Book.


For quite some time I’ve been partaking my daily reading in the Bible with an app. The reading plans are cool. They even remind me when I’ve missed. But honestly, it’s turned into a guilt trip. It may seem weird to some of you, me being such a nerd and techie, that I’d want to switch back to a printed book. And with all my novel reading and whatnot, I still prefer my iPad w/ the Kindle app.

But, reading the Word, I miss the printed book. I miss the thin pages. I miss being able to underline and turn back and forth. I also miss the Study Bible notes that accompany the scripture!

I saw this post in my Facebook feed today, and it got me thinking…I miss writing in my Bible. I miss turning to older notes and underlines, and being inspired again.

So today I’m switching back!

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Take a ride, Northbound 405.

Fujifilm X-T1
1/56 @ f/3.2
ISO 100
2 sec. timer.

Transferred from X-T1 to iPad mini. Processed with Snapseed and Camera+. Uploaded with Pressgram.

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Fill the void

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)

As I reflect on the loss we experience in life, I’m interested in the generational loss. If the Lord had taken me, or still wills it sooner than later, there will be an unavoidable void. It cannot be overlooked. Yet, I praise the Lord that He will provide.

With all the activity happening in our community and around the world, I’m seeking to engage where it matters. I’m passionate about it all, but can’t let myself jump into every issue. I will fail, and get distracted. Forgive me.

I DO however, really want to engage the issues that matter. Those issues that have eternal impact. My filters must depend on the Holy Spirit for that to happen. It’s only then that I believe I can fulfill my role right now.

“Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.” Galatians 6:6 (ESV)

You see, as the mature veterans in our communities move on, some retiring away, but most passing on from this life, we’re faced with the reality that they create a void. We miss them. We need them.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” James 3:1 (ESV)

We could choose to turn into ourselves, become depressed, and make it about “me”. That is failure. That is selfish. Yet the maturing, those aware of the void, and aware of the need, will embrace the truth that those voids are meant to be filled! They’re meant to be filled by us! We grow into those roles, to care for the next generation. It’s our responsibility to let the Lord mature us into that new generation of elders.

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:1-4 (ESV)

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I am home.

My journey has not been as long as we expected. I was back at UCLA for my transplant on June 23rd. That week I had experienced a few pre-treatments, to prepare me for the upcoming work. Then, my first week in I did some more. All of it was designed to get me ready for the transplant.

Then on July 3rd, my scheduled transplant day, the unrelated donor’s donation arrived. They processed it at UCLA, and brought it up to me in my room. For me it was a little anti-climactic. It was basically a blood transfusion. They started it late that evening and it finished in the early morning hours of the 4th. For a bone-marrow donation/stem cell transplant, that made the 4th like a new birthday. In fact, I’ll be free to celebrate July 4th as a new birthday for the rest of my life! This stems from the idea that I have been made new, through the donation. They tell me that I’m like a new born baby. Especially as it pertains to my immune system. At some point, I’ll even get new immunizations.

My recovery has been kinda quick. They told us a while in the hospital, after the transplant. That went quick. One month. Then they said that I’d spend a week or a month released, but at the Tiverton House across the street. Weekly visits to the clinic, until my numbers grew to support my health and comfort. I spent a week there. So now I’m home.

There’s more, but that should sum up where we’re at now. One last thing, I realized that at UCLA visitors were limited by access to me and the distance from home. But now that I’m home, it will be easier for many to come see me. Overall, I’m good with that! Seeing and hearing the encouragement is uplifting and raises my spirits.

However, my personal limits directly effect my growth and health. I won’t be venturing out a lot, with out a little protection like a mask, etc. I won’t be attending church or eating out or going places where my path will cross with large groups.

So if you want to come see me, please above all, I need to know beforehand. No one should show up unannounced. Message or text or email me, with some notice and expect to be grilled a little before I hand over the approval. :-)

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UCLA Discharge…

Well, I’m discharged, sorta. Not headed home yet though. In case you forgot, I’m tied to this outpatient program, with nearly daily appts in the clinic.

But we’re staying in a special hotel, owned by UCLA Medical, designed exactly for what I need. It’s called the Tiverton House. So far, I’m impressed!

Deanna had to head home this morning, to switch the kids from one caregiver to another. She’s back with me bright and early tomorrow. My mom stepped up and really came through for us today.

This journey is FAR from over. But, we have crossed a major hurdle. Today’s Milestone is a major step towards proof that the graft has worked. It’s a little more complicated than that, but I’ll take it. The fact that my numbers are recovering AND climbing, are great news. It shows that my body is making all the important things; platelets, hemoglobin, white blood cells, and the all important ANCs! Those steps had to be crossed, before we could be right here. So for that I am grateful!

God is good. He sustains.

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It is happening!

As I type, my bone marrow donation is slowly infusing, as if it were a regular old blood transfusion. In one sense, it’s a bit anticlimactic. But it truly is a wonderful gift and a miracle!

The gift is from a 28 yr old girl, who willing endured a yucky procedure, so that I might live.

The miracle is in the science that takes her gift and transforms it into a blood product that my body will use to rebuild itself!

I am most immensely humbled by what’s happening. This gift I do not deserve, will save my earthly body, into prolonged life.

This is not unlike the undeserved gift the Son of God offers us. He willing spilt His blood, unto death, so that others would go on living, into eternity, as Children of God.

“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭9‬:‭22‬ ESV)

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A Mini-Milestone has passed…

This is a short update, yet good news for me. Just a while ago I finished getting my last pre-transplant treatment, some chemotherapy. It won’t be my last chemo forever, but it does usher me into the next phase, which is the actual transplant!

Tonight and tomorrow is dedicated to just chilling.

Then, on Thursday, I get my transplant!

In the mean time, be praying for my donor! He/She is most likely nervous today, as they prepare to be harvested tomorrow. I pray that the procedure is effective and that it is at least tolerable. I also pray for special blessings over them.

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Quick update…chemo time!

OK, so yesterday marked the end of my radiation therapy. Yippy! It made me generally yucky; nausea and headache. My taste started to depart as well.

But this morning, I move on to the next step towards my transplant; chemotherapy. I’ll start a high-dose chemo today, for two days. Then I’ll get another one for two days after that.

Together, the radiation and the chemo are my main pre-treatments before actually receiving the bone-marrow/stem cell transplant. They’re designed to completely wipe out my immune system, so that the donated cells will be utilized to rebuild.

Chemo makes me sick.

So, please continue to pray that I can maintain a comfortable status quo.

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