Leaning into Emerson

Quoted this on a blog before I started this Journal.  It is more appropriate now than ever as I lean into my new venture:

Emerson on Resilience

“If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart.  If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined.  If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterward in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life.  A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.  He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not “studying a profession,” for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.  He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Update from Friday

Turns out the nurse we talked to a few weeks ago caused us alarm for no reason.  She had no other info except my lower than normal numbers.  But told us that my production was lower than normal.

I told my brother that its like being in summer school and the teacher telling you halfway through the course that your grades are lower than they should be.  “You mean in this course?”  I know they were low before, and that why I’m in summer school, but how are they now?

I asked them point-blank if there is some chart for marrow transplants that we are falling short of and they said there isn’t.  So my red is at 10.0, white at 2.9 and platelets at 105.  Right about where they have been.  Kind of interesting.  It’s all how you position it.

Big week this week.  Lisa has a very cool talk on Thursday : http://www.geekybynature.com/speakers/index.php?pageid=1136 , and I will be making a guest appearance at the Monte Healers Program this weekend.  Oh also, Birthday and UConn in the Final 4 on Saturday.

Love,

Tom

Time to “Move On”

Its been a while since I have posted.  Last time at the hospital, which was about three weeks ago, the nurse told us that the marrow that they tested was behind schedule as far as production of cells.   We don’t really know what this means but will find out more when we go in this Friday to meet with the survival nurse.  My numbers were where they have been, and I have been feeling good, so the news was a little weird to hear.  I will relay what we find out on Friday.

The bigger picture is this.  I have been slowly moving into the energy and responsibility of becoming a counselor/coach.  I am still figuring out what to call myself but that is less important than actually doing it.  My counseling practice is going to be rooted in helping people live fuller, happier and more authentic lives.  Two main ways that I have been seeing this occur are:

1. Changing perspectives:   Looking at problems, setbacks and disappointments as situations.  Always bringing our attention back to our responsibility and how we can manuver.  And peeling back the onion to see the root causes of how we have been looking at the key issues of our lives.

2. Speaking our truth:  I am finding more and more that nothing cleanses like speaking ones truth.  Yoga, breathing, eating well, positive mantra’s….all fantastic.  But if we don’t consistently speak our truth from our hearts, we suffer and get stuck.

In the coming weeks I will be transitioning this Journal into more of what it has always been about.  A place to be inspired and moved into new ways of looking at our lives and how we live them.

Take three minutes to listen to this song called Dust.  It was written by an amazing young man from our local Men’s Circle.  He wrote it right around the time of my bone marrow transplant and I just listened to it again this morning.  It hit me like a ton of bricks and inspired me to “move on” and start into the next chapter in this great adventure.

— Dust.mp3

Love to all,

Tom

TV appearance

Video

Stumbled into a candid camera moment a few weeks ago that aired this week:

Fun stuff.

Six Month Anniversary of the Transplant

August 4th 2010 was the day my sister Joanne saved my life with a gift of bone marrow.  Thank you again Joanne for that amazing gesture.

It was 90 degrees when I left the hospital in late August and it is now in the 20’s.  So although we are experiencing some cabin fever I feel lucky and happy to be alive.  Along with everyone else, looking forward with great anticipation to the thawing out of the ground and warmer temperatures.  But appreciating the cocooning and healing and loving of a warm home, fantastic wife and magical two year old being.

Also praying for the country of Eygpt.  They need all the good pure energy and love we can send them.

Love,

Tom

Winter chill

Greetings again from the snowy Hudson Valley.

Been a little while since I posted.  As I remember, the last thing I wrote was how lucky we have been to avoid getting sick.  Well, we have spent January battling colds and flu.  We are calling January the lost month.  Got a cold from Leela on January 6th and fought it off (with the help of Dr ordered Tamiflu) over the next 3 or 4 days.  Then had a few days of calm then got another cold that had me on my back for a few more days and am still fighting this one off.  Feeling a little better but still congested with a cough.  At least I now know what everyone else around is going through this winter.

Lisa and Leela had it too but have been healthy for about a week now, thankfully.   The Dr. is only really concerned with fevers and I have avoided those.  If I get a 100.4 temp or above its off to the ER in Manhattan.  So really trying to stay cool.

Have my 6 month checkup at Sloan Kettering next Thursday.  Pretty big milestone.  They do another marrow biopsy through my hip, which stinks.  I usually look about like Jay Cutler on the trip home from those, with his same attitude.  But they may lower some of my meds so looking forward to it.

Also wanted to share a video with everyone.  Came across this on the TED site.  These TED talks are like antidotes to the mundane, trivial, and depressing news and entertainment that is pushed out on 95% of the media these days.  This particular one is just incredible.  Her voice is kind of odd but stay with it, once she gets rolling you will be amazed and elevated.  Feel free to comment about how it affected you.  Would love to hear.

Stay warm and enjoy the snow.  It will be spring before we know it!

Love to all,

Tom

Happy New Year.

Rockland Mens Circle

My Mens Circle starting in February at Birchwood Center

Happy New Year from snowy Nyack NY!  The Kelley family had a quiet holiday.  We stayed close to home and have remained remarkably free of colds and fluiness throughout.  Incredible, considering how much is going around.

Recovery is on target. We have our 6 month checkup on Feb 4th.  They go into my hip for more bone marrow to look at, and do all kinds of other tests, so that is exciting.  Time has been flying by as of late.

My Men’s group in Nyack is starting back up this year in a new location.  The Birchwood Center in Nyack.  Its ideal.  Very excited.  We will be taking new members, so call me with interest or spread the word.  Details in this PDF.

On an unrelated note, my friend John just sent this announcement from the Marine Corps about a terminology change.  Should be good info for all of you former ‘former Marines’ out there:

It begins with the Commandant’s Priorities, then his Planning Guidance follow, and is in turn followed by some very important information, important to all of us.  A quote from the Commandant, General James F. Amos:

“A Marine is a Marine.  I set that policy two weeks ago – there’s no such thing as a former Marine.   You’re a Marine, just in a different uniform and you’re in a different phase of your life.  But you’ll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico.  There’s no such thing as a former Marine.”

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos (United States Marine Corps photo by LCpl James Purschwitz)

The Commandant has spoken!!!!  No more “former” Marines!!

http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/cmc/Documents/CMC%2035%20Planning%20Guidance%20FINAL.pdf

Winter Solstice

Happy solstice everyone.  Lisa and I got up at 3am and got a cloud obstructed peak at the eclipse.  Pretty cool and rare.  With all the powerful forces that have aligned to help us out this year,  we are using the opportunity of the holidays and the solstice to send out some serious gratitude into the universe.  We realize how lucky we are to have had so many breaks go our way (Joanne’s matching marrow etc.), and our belief in a higher power has strengthened.

Tom Monte told me months ago, when I was at my most dour and shaken (the first few weeks back home after the hospital), to just focus on making it through to the winter solstice.  He said that the fall was a time for recuperation and gathering of strength, and that after Dec 21st the days get longer and the energies begin to rise.  Well,   we have all made it to the solstice.  It feels good.  We are having a solstice ceremony tonight where we will put some powerful new intentions out there for the coming months.  Would be great if everyone did this.

In other news Leela is still asking how Santa is going to fit down the skinny Chimney,  Lisa is still a goddess and I had my first men’s circle last week since having to halt them to go into the hospital.  It went great.  The bake sale for Leela’s friend Astraea went well.  Leela and I had to miss it because all the kids and the germs but it was a great success.

Til next time,

Love,

Tom

Weekend update

Trying to stay warm in these frigid Northeast temperatures.  Saw the Nurses at Sloan again Monday and numbers were encouraging.  9.9 red, 3.0 white and 127 platelets for those of you keeping score at home.  Still have restrictions on restaurants (including takeout food), crowds etc.  And I’m still the guy in the mask and gloves at the grocery store, but they did reduce slightly one of the immune suppressant drugs and the magnesium supplement that I take.  My pill tally per day dropped from 32 to 27 which is a start.

We got a Christmas tree.  Leela is totally revved up for Christmas and Santa.  She is telling stories about Santa coming and the story is evolving each different telling.

 

Leela's tree

 

 

There is a bake sale for Cookies for Kids Cancer happening on Dec 19th in Nyack for Leela’s friend Astraea.  Astraea was diagnosed with Leukemia at about the same time this summer that I was diagnosed.  The treatment has been a grueling battle for her and her parents so this is a great cause to get behind.  More info at this link:  http://astraeanyx.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/cookies-for-kids-cancer2.png

Hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying the weekend.

Love,

Tom

Rainy day inside with Lisa and Leela

What a dark, gloomy and cozy day in the NYC area today.  We are hunkering down with just a trip to the grocery store on the agenda.

Had a good visit to Sloan Kettering yesterday.  Red blood count (Hemoglobin) was at a high of 9.6 and white and platelets had held steady.  Red blood cells are the source of the body’s energy and I could definetly feel stronger the day before on my walk.  I was really striding it out and knew that the counts would be up.  Dr. said they would look into tapering down the immune supression drugs slightly next week.  This is normal protocol.  But encouraging none the less.

Had a really nice thanksgiving at home with Lisa’s sister Jen’s family.  Some pics.