After the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Atlanta, I was worried that my scheduled Stem Cell transplant might be postponed or canceled. However, after meeting with my excellent Hematology and Transplant team on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, I was reassured that my transplant was still going forward, and my procedure had been moved up so that I could get the transplant sooner. Of course, my wife and I were elated. We were told that once we entered the hospital, she would not be able to leave and re-enter the facility. So, we prepared for a two-week visit and packed everything we thought we would ever need. Needless to say, we didn't need half of what we packed.
On the morning of Monday, March 30, 2020, I anxiously waited on the nurses to come in and start the procedure. To my surprise, they entered the room with a minuscule IV bag filled with my precious stem cells, which we had harvested two weeks earlier. The entire procedure took all of five minutes, and I was on the way to having my stem cells begin the process of engrafting and building up new healthy bone marrow and blood cells.
After a two-week hospital stay, I was released to continue recovering my health at home. It's been around a month-and-a-half, and I am getting stronger every day. We have been to return to our home in Savannah and have met with a wonderful young oncologist here who will be monitoring my progress and working closely with my team at Emory University Atlanta Winship Cancer Institute.
I am so grateful for all the support, prayers, kind thoughts I have received since my diagnosis in December 2019. This journey continues to strengthen my resolve and my love of life as well as my love for God, my fellow humans, and all of creation.