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T+35: So close to dairy!

Today in the ITA, the dietitian stopped by to see how I was eating and drinking. She said I can start having dairy again at T+40, starting slowly with cheese. On the other hand, I don’t think she knows about what’s coming up for me. Really, what’s the point of having dairy (and likely intestinal distress as I ease back into it) for a couple of weeks, only to have it taken away when we repeat the transplant? I’m getting used to the soy milk, though I miss having a chilled glass of real milk with my brownies. The soy cheese is just another layer in a sandwich, and I can’t really taste it. It adds some texture, though. I really miss the fresh fruits and veggies the most. There’s nothing like a loaded salad with grilled chicken on a warm summer evening. Maybe a glass of red wine…I know, red with chicken?!?! I don’t like most white, alright? Plus, the red transitions smoothly into brownies, or chocolate molten lava cake…I need to stop now.

Back to the ITA…WBC is 1.8, HCT is 29ish, and PLTS are 116k. Karen the NP said my blood chemistry looks good, too, though I don’t know actual numbers. I’m also holding steady around 218 lbs., so that means Grandma’s cooking is paying dividends. I also took the grandparents to school playing gin while waiting for the lab results. I shouldn’t boast, but it’s not often that I defeat them with such authority in card games.

Monday brings a bone marrow aspiration/biopsy (my 5th overall) and a repeat of the blood test subsets to see the donor percentages. The bone marrow biopsy will be compared to the pre-transplant biopsy to see if the disease has progressed (probably not, says Dr. Lowsky). The subsets will be compared to the ones from two weeks ago to see if the donor’s T-cells have increased at all. My main concern is who will perform the bone marrow biopsy. Stanford is a teaching hospital, so you know what that means. I’ll probably get some rookie. Earlier this week, we had a visit from a friend of a friend (Hi, Adriane!) who went through a transplant at Stanford about a year ago. She told us that they gave her Vicodin and Valium before her bone marrow biopsies, and it was great for her. We’ll see what I get….

In closing, I’ll leave you with this picture of a local school’s playground that we drive by every time we go to the ITA. First person to correctly identify the tree species (common name is ok) and what’s wrong with the pictured scenario wins lunch on me at the teriyaki place on J Street between 9th and 10th.
playground tree

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25 Responses

  1. Hi Todd,

    Spoke to Jen last night, but always checking the website. I think its an OAK- but 3 poles holding up the humungo branches- odd looking- looks like part of the Jungle gym equipment.

    Still praying and praising the Lord of answered prayers!!!!

    Linda

  2. I’m thinking it’s an oak tree too. Pin oak? Wasp oak? Weak oak considering it needs support poles. And where are the children? A playground is only as wonderful as the children being thrilled by its offerings. Soy cheese? Is there really such a thing?

  3. OK… I’ll give it a shot… Scrub Oak… and I’m thinking those poles violate some environmental ordinance…

  4. Hey Todd, cool pic. It reminds me of the ones that get sent into Car & Driver with of absurd double negatives. I know its hard not of have Jen there, but its great to have back a work. I am sure she will share the harassment she got from Matt today (believe me he really doesn’t need a reason and its nice to have another victim to take the heat off all of us). Good luck in your card tornaments. Go grandparents….

    Virginia

  5. I believe it’s a “mighty oak” that is not so mighty. Can we go to Brew-it-Up instead?

  6. hi there. long time no write. even though i check it often it’s usually with some monkeys around me desperately needing something! it’s past 8 o’clock so the house is quiet and i have two free hands to type-woohoo!
    like everyone else i believe it’s an oak tree. her poor branches are too big and heavy so she needs some extra support. i could insert a joke here but it’s probably not even necessary.
    i bet no children are allowed to play around her because she is hazardous.
    so sad.
    it reminds me of the big oak tree i once had in my backyard..
    😦 so sad indeed.
    i just got home from having dinner and a movie with your wife-she’s a good date. i got a hug in the parking lot but that’s all…prude. we had some good laughs watching “felicity” make some good ol pies as a waitress in a small town. highly recommend it.
    it was great to hang out and joke and hear jen “do you” since she can imitate you so well. it goes like this-“babe, ugh…i ate too many brownie bites…i don’t feel too good…ugh.” we love you and miss you and can’t wait to have you over to wrestle with the kiddos, play mexican train, eat too much and leave much later than you planned 🙂 have a good one-and please know the whole adamson family holds you near to our hearts and constantly in our prayers.
    much love, rose

  7. While I’m not sure the tree is an oak, it does seem a bit lopsided. There should be a balance of large branches on the other side of the tree. It looks as if someone failed to properly trim the tree early on leaving it in need of “playground support”.
    Anyway, yeah I wouldn’t brag too much as the g-parents will “have their way” with you soon. I agree about staying away from the dairy products – there will be plenty of opportunities later. Take care …

  8. I was also going to guess Oak tree and being so “tree savy” I thought that would be the common name… is there really such a thing of the other oaks listed???? Wow I should really hone up on my tree knowledge if I think I can be friends with you:) And like Mac and Juliet and Rose I thought the picture was sad because there were no kids playing in the playground:( And also the pole holding up the branch… that can’t be good! I bet Lexi would love to go down that slide with her daddy:) She loves him VERY much!!!!!
    Take care of you!!!!! We’ll talk to you soon! I echo Rose in saying that the Sheridan family also holds the Smith family very near to our hearts. Praying very much for you guys!

    Much love for you guys!
    Tommy, Melissa and Lexi:):)

  9. I think it is a “climbing tree” and the parks and rec people were just nice enough to put poles up to the fun branches to climb on. So if you are intelligent enough you climb the pole to get up higher faster and beat your big brother who thinks he gets gipped on the whole climbing experience by not starting at the trunk. That is what I think, I win. It also appears that they are nice enough to fill the playground with bark instead of sand to catch you when you fall…so nice of them.

  10. Ok, this answer comes from the pragmatist who knows little about trees other than the fact that they provide wonderful shade for me and glorious texture to the landscape. I will go with the Oak family and then invent the sub-category and call it the magnetized oak because it is being pulled by some force from outer space. The problem with the photo appears all too simple to me. Explain to me what tree-hugging knuckle-head decided that saving a tree by putting poles under the limbs was the prudent thing in light of the danger to the children playing underneath it 9 months out of the year. Don’t forget, since it was a government entity, they probably had to get three bids for the work and undoubtedly chose the cheapest one. So – the problem, in short, seems to be that some entity decided that it was more important to protect this 75 year old tree by hiring someone with the cheapest bid to prop up its limbs rather than protect the 40-50 children who play underneath its limbs every day. I should probably reserve additional comments regarding this decision making process ( or lack of thought process) until I find that I am correct in my assessment of the danger.

    Looking forward to being there in another week to join in the card games. Nothing better than a little friendly competition to liven up the atmosphere. If it gets too intense for us, we can always crawl under one of the shade trees that is not propped up and read a book between naps and household care-giving duties.

    As for the biopsy, if it is like the normal bone marrow test where they suck the marrow out through a “needle” the size of an 8 penny nail, I would cast my vote for anything that can be a diversion from the sensation. Hmmm – maybe there is a documentary on TV about people who shave their bodies before going swimming in the Great Salt Lake? Or maybe a particularly riotous episode of Seinfeld?

    On a more serious note, we continue to uphold you in prayer and are reminded of the truth that our God has made a commitment to each of us that is above and beyond what we can imagine. To know that He loves you even more than we do is a supreme comfort to us all. In that love, we know that “He will withhold no good thing” (Psalm 84:11) from you because He is the source of all that is good (James 1).

    Love, Dad

  11. Well I finally got puked on today, Lena decided it was dads turn: Karen 3 – Sean 1.

    So glad positive results came back, faith has a way of getting its work done. At times we are scared and a bit doubtful, doubtful even though we know in our hearts that things will be fine and we will be looked after.

    Hooray for you brother Todd.

    Ciao for now
    Sean

  12. I am normally quite game for these contests, but I really have no idea. I liked Amanda’s answer, though. And come on people – there are no children playing because it’s summer vacation! Woo hoo!
    Glad to hear you gave the G’s a run for their money. I do not make a worthy card-playing adversary for them, but I’ll be sure to challenge Grandma to an “Upwords” rematch when I visit again. I’ll also be sure to make you another batch of moist brownies. I’m confident you’ll enjoy them even if you can’t have a chilled glass of milk to go with them.

  13. As far as the tree goes, the truth is if you take away 45 years your Dad and Uncles would have been swinging from the branches like clueless apes…….I want to thank the g-parents for letting you win a game of cards,………amazing what they will do for a grandkid….you could probably get grandpa to skip the milk and do a beer run….

    Had a good laugh today. Coming down the street, I went by the neighbors and the little boy and his friends, who we refer to as “peas and carrots” were washing the car………..in the garage. Oh my, the dry wall, ceiling, boxes, etc………… See what all your friends with young kids have to look forward to?

    I am heading out to Colorado for a while. Not sure how long. Need to take care of some things with my Dad’s health, sort more of Mom’s stuff, see Jennifer and spend some time with the other set of Grandparents. Will head out after church tomorrow and meet up with our Jen at Stockhouses. The guys are staying here to man the fort.

    Ty and I are providing the special music tomorrow for church. Ty is singing and I am playing the flute part along with our music director. It is an arrangement by Craig Courtney. “Be Not Afraid”, Isaiah 43 1-4, we hope you feel the prayer through song.

    I will try to check in while I travel, but I know I will be in the “no zone” on the mountain quite a bit of the time.

    I am confident you will be in good hands Monday for your tests. We use a new, very short acting anesthesia here now for our bone marrow aspirations. It is nighty night for 5 minutes and no memory of what happened. It sure has made a difference for my kids undergoing treatment.

    Sleep well,
    Peace,
    Aunt Dianne

  14. Hello Todd,
    I just saw your beautiful wife at church this morning and I wanted to let you know that the mention of your name brought the grandest smile to her face. We hugged and it was comforting…but I know that it was your arms that she really longed to be in. I’m sorry that you have to be apart at a time like this, it must be very difficult.

    As I watched so many people embrace, encourage and pray for you and Jen I have to say I was overwhelmed. I am grateful and proud to be a part of this Sanctuary family even though I don’t know many people very well. The love and honesty is so refreshing. When my daughter had her transplant our church family at the time rallied around us also with love, prayers and financial blessings. I only knew how it felt to be on the receiving end. But I now have the privilege of seeing it from the other side. It’s a very different perspective and I am beginning to understand why some people said the things they did to me. (God is so awesome at bringing things full circle in my life!)
    And once again I just have to tell you how powerful your witness is. During our journey I received emails from strangers all around the world telling me of how they were rededicating their lives to Jesus or just receiving Him for the first time because of something I would write in my letters. I never understood (outside of God’s grace) how anything I could possibly say would have such an impact on someone. Yet now I watch from the other side and I can’t even begin to express how mightily you are being used for God’s glory. I pray you find encouragement in that.

    I’m sorry you must face transplant once again. There are so many things I don’t understand in God’s economy…but I don’t really need to anymore. It is enough to know that God is God and I am not. If I could figure Him out, He wouldn’t be God! I would find no need to love and serve a being that was comprehendable to my sinful brain. So I surrender to His care and compassion and look forward to an eternity with no more tears.

    My daughter faced leukemia five times before her transplant. Almost 15 years of chemotherapy and radiation. With each new relapse and more years of treatment ahead, I’d fall apart. I learned many new wonders of my God with each passing year but trust me…I hated every pain and all the suffering involved. Yet each time I’d throw myself before God and ask the unanswerable questions. I’d scream, cuss, pound my fists into my pillow and cry until I had no tears. When I had come to the end of myself, I’d pick myself up and say “Okay God, there’s no freaking way I can face this again, so You’re gonna’ have to do it for me!” And every time he’d somehow fill my heart with a new resolve and one day at a time we walked through unthinkable challenges. He WAS strong in my weakness and His grace TRULY IS sufficient.

    Going into transplant my daughter had a zero chance of survival. (Yeah, I said zero.) One doctor yelled at me and asked how I could possibly allow her to undergo the transplant because she surely would die, and it would be a horrible way to go. (Real compassion huh?) The other one said, “She will die anyway so you might as well go out having tried everthing possible so you won’t have any regrets.” (Another real peach.)
    But one Doctor said, “It is already a miracle that your daughter is alive, so who’s to say God doesn’t have yet one more miracle up His sleeve for her? (Yeah for the man who looks beyond science and medicine and comes face to face with God!)

    My daughter is now six years post transplant! She has chronic Graft verse Host Disease (rejection of the transplant) and is considered terminal once again to the medical profession. But as you can see, God not only had one miracle up His sleeve, but MANY.

    I tell you this praying that it will instill within you hope. My daughter will not leave this earth until her divine purpose is fulfilled. No matter what this life throws at her, (or anyone else for that matter) her creator is still the one in control. And you my dear friend will not leave this earth either until your divine purpose is fulfilled. Only God knows whether that will be sooner or later according to our earthly standards, but His way is perfect. And as far as I understand, heaven is a pretty awesome place!

    Be brave, and never give up…Glory awaits!
    All my love,
    Jenny Unger

  15. Your Wife gave a good update in church today. I will be praying that the donor does so once again! Greg gave an interesting message on asking God why? today in church. I thought of you because I remember you talking about asking the same question. You should give it a listen once you can download it from website.

    Hey…once you get used to tofu / soy / whole wheat ect. ect. it starts to taste good. However, my going vegeterian did not last to long… I longed for meat! I hear you might be receiving some wholesome treat soon. YEAH! (in a sarcastic tone)

    Keep the updates coming… I check in to see where you are at. I guess it was a mixed blessing last week. You not rejecting but you get to start over. It must be frustrating!

    Keep your head up..

  16. Okay… being that I’m a restoration ecologist/biologist, this should be easy for me. BUT the picture is a little far away to get a good look at the bark and leaves. So, with that small caveat, I’m going to go with a valley oak (Quercus lobata) based on the growth form and what I can see of the bark. As for “what’s wrong with this picture”… well, I think everyone else covered the metal “rhizomes” that the tree seems to be sending down. Enough said…
    Amy van Riessen

  17. Ex 17:10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

    So my guess on the tree is a Moses Oak…you know like the poles are holding it’s arms up? I know…C O R N Y.

    Actually, it could be the Todd Oak too…just like God is holding you up and winning your battles too :). Love Patty

  18. Hi Todd, I just wanted to comment on the disrespect you are showing soy cheese. You could learn to love that stuff. There are soy cheese shreds, great on tostados and in burritos, and you can get soy cheese in multiple flavors.. try the mozzarella..my favorite. And, there is Nothing better than a nice jack soy with pinot. Give it a little time..it can grow on you..well not literally. Looks like you may have multiple winners in the guess the oak contest, so I will abstain from sharing my incredible expertise in this area. Take care,
    Laddie and Brian

  19. It would be nice to be able to click on the picture for a little more detail, but I’m pretty confident in going with Valley Oak. As far as what’s wrong with the picture, I don’t think that I could describe it any better than your dad. Tree-hugging knuckle-head is right! I like trees, don’t get me wrong, but I kind of like my kids more. So, I think you need to take me and your dad out for a good ol’ CRB.
    Now, on a serious note, “chocolate molten lava cake” sounds like something I need to know more about. Where exactly can I get my hands on one of those?

  20. Hi Todd,

    Praying that the aspiration goes well today and that there is a miraculous increase in donor T-cells! We’re heading out your direction today… Drew has his immunology appointment at UCSF tomorrow morning and we are praying for an increase in his T-cells as well.

    Thinking of you and sending lots of love,
    Andrea (and family)

  21. Im going with Quercus agrifolia (coast live oak) which should be indigenous to that area. The problem here is that they have improperly pruned that tree to create a “V-shaped” split in the branches which has led to a substantially weaker tree limb growing to the side. I’m not sure that I even need to comment on the poles but I really just can’t help myself. What the heck were they thinking?On the bright side this should make you feel right at home because this tree is clearly maintained by the same “tree experts” who prune the trees in Capitol Park.

    On another note, dairy is really, really good. Soy… well not so much. Hope everything goes well today!

  22. It’s been a few days, and I’m in the middle of writing a new post. So, I hereby close the contest! The winner will be announced in the new post.

  23. Hi, we got your note today. Thanks. We have been enjoying Dianne and Jennifer’s visit this week. It is hotter than hell here, thermometer near 100. That is usually Sacramento weather, but we are surviving. We spent a nice father’s day weekend with your Dad and Stephanie. We really enjoy visiting them. We had dinner at the White Fence Farm–ah delicious chicken. We wish you and Jen could have been with us. We wanted to comment that you both are doing a fabulous job of keeping us informed. We particularly liked the pictures of charades. We really laughed. Welll, my time is up for today. More later. Love, Grandma and Grandpa Stock

  24. PINE!

  25. Clearly what’s wrong with the tree (the type of which doesn’t matter at this point, as it’s reached the “so old and bizarre it must be saved” phase) is that there are no swings attached to it. Everyone knows that swinging is much better if you are sitting in a tire and that there’s a very real possibility that the branch could break at any second.

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