My First Re-Birthday

One year ago a lab technician thawed out six syringes filled with my stem cells. She handed them one at a time to a doctor. Over the course of about an hour, and under the direction of a nurse practitioner, that doctor pushed those cells into my heart and saved my life. Saved my life most immediately from lethal chemotherapy that had destroyed my bone marrow and more generally from cancer.

Over the next 14 days my body systems would begin to breakdown – unable to be replenished by my body’s now silenced blood cells. I would be kept alive through blood transfusions and I would be isolated from the world to avoid simple pathogens that could be fatal to a man with no immune system.

Throughout this whole process my wife and mother stayed by my side and got me to walk and eat and hope. My brother-in-law supplied feedback and teaching. Nurses cared for me. Doctors monitored my progress and ordered transfusions and medication. Friends sent in cards, colleagues covered classes, and my distributed social network transformed into a cheering section wishing me to health.

To my wife, my mother, those nurses, doctors, friends, colleagues and the network thank you.

9 Replies to “My First Re-Birthday”

  1. Thank you for continuing to inspire and lead – even amongst the most difficult time imaginable – I am looking forward to meeting you (or at least be part of the crowd) when you visit Wellington, New Zealand, later this year.
    Kia Kaha (be strong)
    Lis Marrow

  2. Happy 1st re-birthday. I hope you are doing something suitably messy on this special day.

  3. I have just discovered your work on new Librarianship and I thank you so much for your very inspiring work. I think it will help me and others here in Montréal and perhaps also in France. I wish you good health and long life from the bottom of my heart. A librarian from Montréal (Canada).

  4. Happy re-birthday! I am happy for you and for me too as i got the chance to meet you virtually and i hope also in person soon. I know what does it mean to start living again.

  5. Happy RBD – and thank you for sharing these stories. Your words have helped me appreciate birthdays more in general (and what libraries can do).

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