Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 0 ~ Stem Cell Transplant and Nice Chairs

At 12:20pm today Gabrielle was given a big fat syringe of someone's blood from Italy, full of stem cells that we hope will help her reach more milestones than she would otherwise with her I-Cell disease.  We're sitting in the hospital now, Amy hovering over her monitoring every tiny inch of her body, her breathing, and both of us watching the monitors for signs of oxygen levels, heart-rate, blood pressure, and all the regular vitals we've become accustomed to monitoring. What's amazing is that the types of cells Gabrielle needs should - on their own accord - find their way from her jugular vein and travel through her body until they find their home in her bone marrow, where they will (knock on wood) manufacture some cells that will store waste properly.  
You know .... the age we live in is truly incredible in that (1) Gabrielle can go through this procedure, and (2) there be so many people and medicines and technologies to help out if things go awry. Not that there aren't any guarantees, but Amy and I marvel at all the miracles modern medicine provides. 

Saying that, actually, makes me think of something that's really been bothering me lately, and I wonder how - with all these medical miracles - people can still make horrible chairs like the wooden rocking chair below. Like it doesn't even really rock, it definitely hurts your back, and it numbs your seat in less than 5 minutes, even with the help of 3 hospital pillows. It was our chair in our tiny little room for 5 nights ...

 Until we got this one:

I can't tell you how happy we were. Seriously. With a little more thought, effort, creativity, and experimentation on the part of the designer/manufacturer, a whole new world of comfort entered our lives with our new chair. It made me think of how you just don't know what the end results and benefits of extra thought, effort, creativity, and experimentation will be.

And whether the benefits are from the myriad contributions put into stem cell transplant protocols, or those leading up to the switch from making century-old chairs to comfy chairs, I believe people benefit from everyone's extra focus and attention. Some people might think, "Oh, that wooden rocking chair's fine," while someone else might think, "No, no ... we can do better."  Some people might think, "Oh, there's nothing we can do for that condition," while others will think, "No, no ... we can do better." The differences in these thoughts seem simple enough, but today we were the benefactors of the latter thoughts in both cases.

I guess what I'm saying is that when people devote more effort and focus into things, the benefits are appreciated by more than just them.  It makes me want to put more effort and focus into things. And I can't imagine how many people's extra effort and focus went into Gabrielle's stem cell transplant today.



  1. Hi Guys,

    I have been thinking of your family and Baby Gabrielle all day today. I hope the cells do what they are suppose to do, and being a half Italian I think we have good cells!!!!!!! Take Care Nadia

  2. I have been following your blog, and am in awe of the grace and dignity that appear in your collective words as you allow us to share in Gabrielle's amazing journey. How fortunate that she has you two for parents as well as two adoring older brothers - a better family couldn't have been chosen for little Gabrielle. Take care, Paddy (Ben's aunt).

  3. Dear Gabrielle,
    As you lay in this cradle of love and compassion, may waves of healing light wash over you and empower you to overcome and to thrive.

    Hugs to you all,

  4. Can't stop thinking of you guys. I hope our collective energies have filled Gabrielle's new cells with super hero search power and her bone marrow with the biggest homing beacon possible! We are routing for you Gabrielle! We love you all so very much!
    Auntie Stephie, Uncle Jamie, Eman and Chas

  5. gabrielle looks so peaceful and beautiful...
    I love the insightful and encouraging way you have described this moment...
    Cheering you on Gabrielle Mae!