Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Stem Cell Transplant Anniversary #1!

One year ago today I received my Stem Cell Transplant at the Duke Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic.   It was special as it was the day I got my 'clean' stem cells thawed out and reinserted back into my marrow.  The prior days and weeks had been difficult with insertion of a Hickman catheter, melphalan chemo treatments and hair loss, but on August 25th, 2010 we started anew with a clean 'reboot' of my bone marrow (a computer term used by us old hardware types describing restarting a PC ).
2nd of two syringes full of stem cells being injected

365 days after my SCT and my numbers continue to look very good and the side effects of my Revlimid chemo are minimal. This past year I have graduated from a four wheeled walker, to a three wheeled Winnie-Walker, to a cane, to an optional trekking pole. From a hospital bed to a regular bed.  From no hair to hair!   I survived a hip pinning operation (to strengthen an area with a 1 inch myeloma lesion), a week long trip to Disney and a Florida wedding for a nephew, multiple trips to Boone and Black mountain, and one trip to Marietta. Whew.  

More importantly, this last year has been a year of looking at what I have vs what I don't have. Of recognizing body parts that don't hurt vs those that do. Of thanking God for what I can do vs what I can't. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife who is a loving and patient caregiver. A family who sacrificially gives of their time and unconditional love. It has been a delightful year of a four year old grandson who thinks that grandpa lying on the floor is a time for wrestling and tickling. Of a four year old granddaughter who loves nothing better than climbing up into grandpa's lap for a book or movie time. Of a 18 month old grandson who loves nothing better than to hold  grandpa's finger and walk and jabber and walk and wave and walk, or an 18 month old granddaughter who likes to climb on grandpa and put her head down and give me lovin'. Of five kids (2 by marriage) who I could not be more proud of, and a little 5 month old granddaughter who is cute as a button. Of a mother-in-law who moved in to help us and who is a wonderful example of giving of one self for others. Of parents who encourage, love and support me every single day. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family!

I am so thankful for family, friends and a church family who continue to lift me up in prayer on a daily basis. Of a very caring staff of doctors and nurses at  the Cancer Center of North Carolina and at the Duke ABMTC who provide me with outstanding advice and treatment for this cancer within.

So this last year has reconfirmed that life is made up of a series of days strung together and with each day we need to focus on what we have, to seek out and enjoy every  moment with loved ones, and to thank our Lord for the day that He gives us.  We all have a choice each morning of what we are going to make of that day. I  choose to celebrate!

EZ - 8-25-2010

EZ 8-25-2011
Have a blessed day celebrating life with your friends and loved ones!


  1. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I am only on Day 2 post-transplant, but your blogs and the one written by Linda have been inspirational. I wish you continued good health, with blessings from the Lord.

    Take good care,

  2. Praise the Lord!! We love you Ernie and are so glad to see how far you have come in the last year!! It truly is amazing and something to praise the Lord about!!

  3. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! What an incredible testimony Mr. B. can share with others. Love you all!

  4. Love this post, love your consistent positive attitude, and love you daddy. Can't believe how fast this last year has flown by!

  5. Happy Rebirth Day, Ernie! You and Linda supply such joy to all of us through your blog. Thank you!

  6. This post brought tears of joy into to my eyes. This is a mother-in-law who is blessed with a wonderful "son" who brings sunshine and love into my life every day. The faith and trust that you and Linda have in the Lord never ceases to amaze me. I love you both so very much!

  7. A very, very happy day indeed! Just comparing those two pictures shows the wonders that God has done in the past year! So thankful for your consistent positive attitude that chooses to celebrate... I know that today and everyday we celebrate you too!!!! Love you Daddy!