Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day O from Anna

9am Tuesday, Anna here from Houston MD Anderson: Just found today's schedule. John will receive brother Peter's stem cells in a transfusion at 10am. Should take 1-2 hours, no pain or drama, perhaps a funny "cream corn" smell/taste from the preservative (they froze cells 3 weeks ago and thawed them out:)--John'll be sucking on hard candy. Doctors will be monitoring him for a reaction to the cells or to the preservative. He is currently eating an omelette. Last night, we lay together in my Murphy bed in the room watching "Under the Tuscan Sun". All is calm so far. Love you all and feel your presence in our souls.

11am, Transplant completed. The cells in small packages on the IV pole were a beautiful rose wine color or maybe a light pinot noir. There were 3 bags representing many millions of cells. Hope Lipnik, Jewish chaplain and spiritual celebrator of ecstatic traditions from all sources made a ceremony--starting with a medicine circle we made on the blankets around his body; there were stones and shells and gris gris from the windowsill altar--then Hope said a beautiful prayer in Hebrew and blew on the shofar, ram's horn, used in Jewish ceremonies. We then played from music from a Body Choir dance program called Surrender into Love. Included slow Celtic through Maria Raita from Brasil, through Bruce Springsteen doing "Mary Don't You Weep" through Lyle Lovett doing "What I Say." Hope and I were dancing and John did a little dance move with his hands in bed. He had been sedated with Benadryl to prevent an allergic reaction but was able to pray and participate in the ceremony. Hope said a prayer as she and I touched to bless each of the 3 bags of cells and we did energy healing around John's body. John held a beautiful smile the whole time, then Hope and I danced to the New Orleans music mix playing. One of the doctors was from New Orleans and praised the music selection. We felt the love from all of you!!!

We realize this is just the beginning of a long process. White cell count will go to 0 (and red..and platelets go very low as well). John will need transfusions and they will continue to give immunosuppressants so his body doesn't reject the new cells. We don't know what exact form these adventures will take, but we'll continue to take along your healing love and kindness, and we are grateful for this smooth beginning of the voyage.

xoxoxoxoxoxo, Anna and John


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