Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Celebrating the Collection

Wednesday July 11-Friday July 13, 2012
Quail Run RV Resort Lot 15
Wesley Chapel, Florida


We decide he’ll go and I’ll stay.  I think he’s buttering me up for the days to come.

Wednesday is the big day where David spends the ENTIRE day-12 hours - in the hospital and most of it in a hospital bed hooked up to a machine which takes blood out through one of his central lines, separates the stem cells out and puts the blood back in through the other line.

We are up at 6:15.  David is getting ready to go to the hospital, getting food to take for the day.  I am going out running before the heat sets in.  We have decided that I won’t be any help in this collection process and it would be a very long day for me to just be sitting in a chair by his hospital bed while he is on the computer or napping.  He is still able to drive for a few more days, and I’ll be spending many days sitting by his hospital bed in the weeks to come.  I also am not sure how much I want to see lines of blood going in and out of his body.


It turns out to be a VERY long day.

He arrives at 8am, they check all his vital signs and take him to his bed where they draw 4 tubes of blood out of the catheter (yea no needles).  It takes nearly an hour to get him all hooked up to the aphaeresis machine.  The machine is adjusted for his height and weight. This is how they calculate his blood volume. That total volume of blood goes through the machine 6 times for filtering. That is considered one collection.

By 9:15 things are working.  It will be 6 hours before this one collection will be finished.  When collection is finished, the bag gets removed and is sent to a central laboratory for a count of stem cells collected.  This process takes two to three more hours in the lab.  Only then do you know how many cells were collected and whether you will have to come back for a 2nd or possibly a 3rd day of collection.

The pharmacist comes by toward the end of the collection to discuss all the drugs David will receive and the expected side effects and when they will occur with each and how long they will take to resolve and what other drugs they have if David can’t handle the side effects.  My eyes would be crossing at all of this information.  He then at least tries to answer all of David’s “what if” questions.

At this point it is now about 4:15, David decides to go out for a walk while he waits to find out if he needs to come back tomorrow for a second collection.  If he does, he will need an infusion of phosphorus and potassium for the second day’s collection.  This is a two hour infusion.  Since he has to wait around for the “verdict” anyway,  he decides to go ahead and get the infusion “just in case”.  He could have come home and they would call him with the results, but if he needed a second day he would have to come back for the infusion anyway.  So he stays.



At 8:15, more than 12 hours since he left home,  he finally calls with the news.   They have collected over 8.5 MILLION stem cells in one day.  They can do one transplant with a minimum of 2 million and had been hoping to collect 4 million.  So this is GREAT news.   They will store and freeze the extra stem cells so that he will not have to do collection again should he need a 2nd or possibly even a 3rd transplant down the road. 

He’s definitely a happy camper when he comes home Wednesday night!!






I wasn’t there to take pictures of him in his collection bed but here is one of him in the bed for the line insert.  For collection, no hat and no gown, just your regular clothing.






And now the binge begins!

Thursday he decides that his prize for such a feat as 8.5 million cells is going to be pizza for lunch.  So we do a little research and end up going to Pizza Mania for their specialty pizza of the same name.  Oh my…..extra cheese.


Since we are down near Brusters I want to check on Jamaica-me-crazy for dessert.  I ask the manager and he says nope but they will have it TOMORROW!   I decide pizza is enough for today if I can have my favorite flavor tomorrow.  I’m feeling pretty lucky that we stopped by to find this out since they do not seem to actually notify you when your favorite flavor is in stock even though you can sign up to be notified on their website and I did.

Being unused to such food over the past 6 months we feel pretty heavy and sleepy by the time we get home and have no real need for any dinner.


If you are losing your taste buds, what the heck.

On Friday, David decides that since they are going to BLAST him full of chemo drugs tomorrow and destroy everything, he might as well go out for a down home breakfast.   I go running, and when I am back and showered, we head out to First Watch.   The place is PACKED at 10:30 am on a Friday.  I think How do all these people do this?   Why aren’t they working?  I sure wish I’d known at their ages whatever it is that they know.

Here’s the patient with his breakfast of choice – eggs over easy, home fries, English muffin and BACON.

Friday breakfast and ice cream 002


The breakfast place decision narrowed down to three spots and since on the way home we are driving right by one of those not chosen, Cafe Fresco and Bakery, we stop in to check it out.  Not nearly as busy but it is now later in the morning.  However the bakery case is showing signs of a sell out.

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So for tomorrow, his last breakfast with these taste buds, we buy cheese danish.

danish 002


What a GREAT idea!

Yes this IS certainly pigging out but that’s not even the end.  Remember yesterday and Brusters?  David says we’ll come back in the afternoon for ice cream but I’m not so sure and want to make certain I get that flavor while they have it.  So we head down there and are the first customers of the day. 

Friday breakfast and ice cream 012



We actually have to tap on the window.  The manager opens the sliding window and says “Jamaica-me-crazy right?”.   I tell him we’ll have a cone now and then come back later and have another since we are on a pre stem cell transplant binge.  He suggests we just get a quart or a half gallon now.  What a great idea.  For the price of two waffle cones we can get a half gallon of our favorite flavor.  





So we DO!

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We get home and have to have a taste of course.

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OK now it’s time for some chores. 

I take my little red stroller down to the Laundromat to get all of David’s clothing washed for packing tonight to go to the hospital for admission tomorrow.

I get everything together – I think – and take my little red laundry stroller down the lane to the laundromat which is at the opposite end of the park from us.

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The lane may be scenic but the laundromat not so much.

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It is very nice inside with plenty of washers and dryers.  I’m the only one doing laundry today but when I get the clothing in the machine I realize I have left the quarters back at the coach.  L 





Another walk up and down the lane.

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Ok so now get those clothes in there.

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I take a chair and wait the 30 minutes for the wash to finish.  I put the clothing in the dryer and sit to wait the 45 minutes.   The washer has a timer on it so you can see how much time remains, the dryer does not.  After what seems like a LONG time, I open the dryer to find that my clothes are not in the one I put the money in.  They are in the one next door.  Even I’m laughing.  

I put the clothes in, got everything set, turned around to get the money, turned back to the wall of dryers and picked the wrong one.   Ok so I move the clothes to the now very hot dryer and put in another dollar.

But I’m not sitting here for another 45 minutes. 


Episode 3 of the laptop saga is in full swing back at the coach.

I go back to the coach and David is working on his laptop again.  This time he’s got the entire thing apart and has found some serious dirt on the “radiator” for cooling the processor heat sink.  YUCK!  Look at that dirt.  Really clogged up.  (notice this man is STILL smiling)

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We have leftover pizza for lunch, only one piece each this time.  I go back and get the laundry and as I come up to the coach up drive Karen and Al.  They come bearing gifts.
I recognize that bag.  OH BOY!!   This IS my LUCKY day!!


Eat your Heart Out Bill Mills.

I find out the reason that Brusters has Jamaica-me-crazy is that Karen called yesterday and asked them to make it.  Why didn’t I think of that?   These are THE most thoughtful people.  What a great surprise.  What great friends!  I am awash in J-M-C and couldn’t be happier. Thanks you two.  Glad you got some for yourselves too.  Hope you like coconut.  

Friday breakfast and ice cream 040 

David is still working on the laptop when they leave.  He works through another big thunderstorm muttering “the trouble I won’t go through to save a few bucks.”  Me thinks it would be more than a FEW bucks to get someone to diagnose and fix this problem.

But he doesn’t look like he’s minding it much does he?

Computer and beer 001

Finally he gets everything cleaned up, checked out and back together.  Turns it on and………OH DEAR those same lights and a black screen.
Do you think it was the beer?   LOL – no but it will have to be partly taken back apart to redo a step or two.

Can you see the little green lights??Oooppps 002 

At the time of the posting of this blog it appears that everything is working well on the laptop with only a 5 hour investment of what David calls “cheap labor”.  It is connected to the internet and has downloaded his email.  What more can a guy want??   He’s still marveling at the amount of crud in the cooling system after only a year since he’d cleaned it previously.

Wish we’d been so lucky with the toilet problem.  Anyone know why the toilet won’t hold water?  We’ve replaced both the ball seal and the main seal, the vacuum breaker valve, the ball return spring cartridge.  We’ve cleaned the seals and the ball and retensioned the band clamp all several times.  We’ve talked to the company who claims the toilet should last indefinitely.   So now what?    PLEASE share your toilet wisdom. 

We’re batting pretty well here with our food binge, an ice cream windfall and the laptop fix.  Now if we could just get the water to stay in that bowl…..

Ice cream can make you happy about almost anything!

ice cream 002_thumb[1]


  1. OH.MY.GOSH!!! What great news! I am so happy at this moment that I can't think of anything to say--that's weird coming from the gabby one, huh???

    I just know that David, with you at his side, will beat this and we'll be reading about your travels, again.

    I'm so glad he got to have pizza and MY favorite breakfast and Ice Cream. Karen and Al are like your onsite Secret Santas!

    I hope today is an indication of how this whole transplant thing is going to go. I think your strict attention to eating healthy has paid off.

    That you could make this day a joyful day, makes David a hero in my eyes and you a heroine.

    You'll be in my thoughts, as always.

  2. Note that was the royal "we" working on all those toilet repairs ... ;)

  3. This is the HAPPIEST post we've read in a LONG time:o))

    Today is the start of a happy ending to this whole process. Bill really wishes he could have shared in the breakfast and the ice cream with David!!! Oh and the Pizza too!!

    How about we make a date to do all three again in October. David will be getting back on his feet and we will be in the area:o))

    I'm sending an email to David to test that FIXED computer also!!!

  4. Great news! David has done good. Can't blame him one bit for enjoying some bacon and eggs, he deserves it. Then to get all that J-M-C, a double load! That makes for lots of happiness.

    Things are looking up, we will still be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Hmm...don't seem to have any toilet wisdom. Sorry. What is in that ice cream that you like to much? My favorite cones are those smaller dark brown sugary ones that drumsticks used to come in.

    Best wishes for David and you as you face this next challenge.

    Do all laptops have radiators, and should I be cleaning mine?

    1. Judy. We decided to try some of that famous ice cream too. It has coconut, pecans, and fudge. It's very good!

  6. So glad that things are progressing well:) We wish you all the best and are keeping you both in our thoughts and prayers!

  7. Sorry not toilet wisdom here either only potty humor and I'll spare you that. Nice that you both had a splendid day. It helps to make up for the coming ones. Looks like you will have ice cream to get you through for a while and learned a neat trick when you are hankerin for some more. Take Care and very best wishes in the coming days.

  8. So glad to hear the good news about the number of stem cells. Wish you both the best during the next few weeks. Hope David doesn't have any of the side effects of the treatment.
    Karen and Al are both the sweetest! Glad to hear you enjoyed your wild days of eating. You've both done so well.
    God bless you both. Our prayers are with you!

  9. Great news on the stem cell count!!! That's definitely reason to celebrate!! Not surprised at all that David fixed the laptop. He can do anything!

    Had to giggle at your dryer escapade. That's something I would do.

  10. How wonderful to see this good news ! Definitely reason to celebrate . Glad to see the computer is fixed. I also giggled at your dryer antics. Praying for excellent treatment results!

  11. Can't help with the toilet. It sounds like you have done everything. So glad you are stocked with ice cream and especially glad that David's stem cell collection went so well.

  12. Glad to hear the laptop repair worked. I wonder how much fur and crud is in mine, if yours was that bad without kitties inside!

    After we left your place, we had a big bowl of ice cream and it was VERY good! Rich though, you can't eat too much at a time. I wonder if they put coconut oil in the mix? It smelled much like the coconut oil we use for cooking.

    Good luck today David! Take care of yourself Sherry and let us know if you need anything.

  13. Well I'm doing the Happy Happy Joy Joy dance for you guys. Such great news. We had toilet problems too - Dan says Dave has probably already checked this but make sure that the ball is closing completely but not too far (could be loose on the shaft). None of this makes sense to me so if you need to email or call him, feel free to do so! Yum on the ice cream.

  14. Great news, I'll be thinking of you both.

    Love the binge, THAT sounds like something I would do! I've recently discovered I must eat gluten free, and with my already being a long-time vegetarian it's difficult to eat out at times! But then I can always wait until I get home and make myself a flourless chocolate cake :)

    Your dryer story made me laugh.

  15. Such a happy post today! That's great news about the collection.
    As for the toilet, ours hasn't held water for 3 years and Jim can't bring himself to try and replace any parts. It hasn't been a problem but a friend just gave us some 1/4" spline that you use to hold in window screens. Cut it to the proper length (the hard part) and shove it in where the black rubber ring is around the opening. It takes some time to get it right (be sure to wear gloves!) but it seems to work. It seems weird to see water in the toilet now, and after such a long time without it we aren't sure what the purpose is. Haven't had a problem with odor even without the water, so you may just want to leave it as it. That's the easiest solution!

  16. Great pictures - glad to see David smiling and having some fun (and binging)!!

  17. I laughed outloud two or three times reading this post!! 45 minute wait for the wrong dryer...nice one, Mama ;) That is wonderful about J-M-C - I love that the manager knew exactly what you were there for and that they'd made it special for you. AND, 8.5 million cells is fantabulous! I just know this will go smoothly - how long will he be without taste buds?? I can't imagine Papa without taste buds - eating is a favorite activity as we can all tell :) Looks like the great pig-out was a success -- YAY! Hope the computer stays fixed - will he even be able to use a computer in the hospital? Seems like anything with dirt of any kind isn't welcome and computers love to attract dirt it seems (mine certainly does... ;) ).

  18. What a wonderful, joyful, happy post! Congrats David on your 8.5 million stem cells. What wonderful news! If anyone deserves a food binge, it's you two. I hope you enjoyed it as much as it sounded like you did :) Good luck today. Sending all our positive vibes your way.

  19. Ice cream is GOOD for you. If not your waist line at least for your soul!
    I've sat and waited for a dryer that I just plain forgot to start.
    As for the toilet bowl, try a big gob of original (not the anti bacterial) Dawn dishwashing soap. Let it set as long as possible. May take a couple of tries. This method worked for us in our last 5er. A service tech recommended it.

  20. Wow!8.5 MILLION! I loved so much reading about all of this. You know, Sherry, if you go back and look at your blog a long time ago, you will be amazed at how your writing has evolved. Not only are you journaling David's story, you are writing what is becoming a book worth reading. Someday, maybe, this story will be in print and can help even more people on the same path. I can see it, photos and all in a blog2print or something, on the tables in the waiting rooms for folks who are scared and need to laugh and cry and see that life can be good in the midst of whatever they are facing.

    1. I've thought the same thing many times, Sue, and I agree with you completely. Sherry and David's journey through cancer could be a manual for people facing the same plight, and how continue to live a life of love and optimism.

      Blog2Print wouldn't be good. They are expensive and okay to print one--I did it with my trip west. I think Sherry needs a publisher--to sell hard copies or Kindle copies through Amazon. Something for her back burner. Would be great because when she and David are back on the road, the book is already written so she can continue to write about their adventure through life, together.

  21. Excellent news!

    From a good book, Sir Winston Churchill: His Life and His Paintings By D.Coombs, comes a good thought...

    “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” W.Churchill

    Godspeed, David Boyd!
    And please dear, stop playing around in the potty ;)

  22. Thinking of you David and wishing you all the best in this journey.

  23. When you get off the vegan wagon, you jump with both feet!

    I have been listening to Veganpalooza this week. Interviews conducted by Dr. Will Tuttle and Steven Prussack. There was a very good interview with Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Clinic there in Florida about their successes in eliminating cancers in folks with stage 4 and early diagnosed cancers. They have had success with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, breast, prostate and other cancers. There was was a good interview with Dr. Thomas Lodi, an oncologist, who is based at the Omega Institute in Mesa, Arizona, who has also had great success in treating cancers with a vegan, organic, whole foods and juice diet. It is really amazing.

    I am focusing on David's healing in my meditations and on your strength through this trying time. Namaste.

  24. Oh, I burst out laughing at that dryer story. That is so much like something I would do and I'm so glad that you could laugh at it. I happen to be drying clothes now. My original Maytag dryer died recently. I only had it for 33 years and can't understand why it didn't last longer. The new dryer is fine, but it has this annoying habit of playing a song when your clothes are dry . . . . and it's not a short song either. I'm going to time that thing. I know that it goes on for 15 seconds or so. It is aggravating!

    Reading about all of this bacon, pizza, beer, and ice cream is making me hungry. SO glad that David did not have to go back for a 2nd day. Stay cool. Praying for you daily! Love to you both.

  25. Wow, 8.5 and lotsa JMC ice cream :) Can't beat that. Both of you are so upbeat and positive for this transplant, I'm very happy to see that. Prayers again for you both!

  26. Your dryer story reminded me of the time we forgot to put the clothes in the washer. We figured it out when it was time to put them in the dryer and they were still in the hamper. Thankfully this was at the house and not a laundrymat.
    Great news on the stem cell count. That is definitely reason enough to enjoy a food binge. Thank you to Karen and Al for asking the manager to make some JMC.

  27. I hope all went well last night and today. My David can help you pick a new lap top if you like, he would like to help in some way. We are both thinking about you guys!!



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