Day +359: Thank you…

“Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

One year ago I was in the hospital undergoing conditioning chemotherapy in preparation for my bone marrow transplant.
In many ways, it’s been a long year but in others, the time has passed as quickly as the blink of an eye. I’m very thankful to be alive and feeling so well on this beautiful day.

A big thank you to all of our family and friends who’ve loved and supported us throughout, with extra special thanks to the brave and generous woman who donated her marrow to save my life. I hope I’ll be able to know her identity soon so that I may thank her personally.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday. To our non-USA readers, we wish a beautiful day as well!

p.s. I saw my hematologist yesterday, just the regular monthly check-up. I also got my stitches out from my salivary gland biopsy. My blood counts continue to look good:

November 23:
WBC: 4700 (norm 3000-11200)
Granulocytes (~ANC): 3100 (norm 1400-9200)
Platelets: 277 (norm 150-450)
RBC: 3.87 (norm 3.90-4.90)
HGB (hemoglobin): 13.6 (norm 11.5-14.3)
HCT (hematocrit): 39.7 (norm 34.0-42.2)
Bilirubin 0.6 (normal 0.0 – 1.2)
AST 40 (normal 0-40)
ALT 37 (normal 0-40)
Alkaline Phosphatase, S  194 (norm 25-150)

I got the salivary gland biopsy results back from the NIH dentist:

“Based on the pathology report and your clinical exam, it looks like you have cGVHD of your salivary glands and, to a much lesser extent, of your mouth in general.  Your salivary glands are chronically inflamed, and they are beginning to become fibrotic and decrease in size.  There are patchy groups of immune cells around the ducts (where saliva exits) and also around the acinar cells, which make the saliva. This biopsy result is very similar to what is seen in early Sjogren’s syndrome, though there are some differences.  You may benefit from using an anti-inflammatory mouth rinse, such as dexamethasone, to control the inflammation in your salivary glands and prevent or slow further fibrosis of the glands.  Unfortunately, once the glands have become fibrotic, they won’t return to function.  I would be happy to call in a prescription for corticosteroid (dexamethasone) mouth rinse for you.  This is something you would use 3 times a day for 2 weeks, and then if your dry mouth improves as the inflammation goes down, you could continue using it every other day.”


  1. Thankfulness is measured in the minute and the large. Thankful for you as part of my family and all our family from “mature” to young. It is a beautiful day, both weather and in my heart. God bless, Linda

  2. Did you try the prescription for the mouthwash? If so, did it help any?

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We spent it with Heather and Nick. Had a good visit. And enjoyed shopping with her for Black Friday. 🙂

  3. Hi Cathy,

    We did have a nice Thanksgiving and are happy that you did also. I haven’t tried the mouth rinse yet. I wanted to wait until I’d talked with my transplant doctor. He gave me a prescription last week but I just picked it up today.

    Hope you’re getting settled and enjoying your new home and your grandkids.


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