Friday, July 31, 2009

Day +2

Sorry for the late update. It's only 8pm here in BC and I spent the day with my aunt and uncle in Victoria.
There isn't much to update anyway.

I didn't get to talk to dad cause his phone was off, but I got the update from mom and Bubbie.

They both said he was really tired and mostly slept all day. He also needed more platelets today. Mom did say he did 1 lap around the nurses station, so that was good.

That's pretty much it~

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day +1

Not much to update

Called dad at around 4:30 EST

He sounded really tired and sick which, he said, he is. It's to be expected.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 0...Happy Birthday to You

At 11am, Wednesday July 29th, the Grossman's welcomed a new addition to their family.

Jonathan Paul Grossman

...version 2.0

Yup, day 0 is the start of the new Jonathan andddd a new birthday! [Sorry Bubbie, but this is now the day he was welcomed into the world!]

So you're probably wondering, how did it go?

At 7am, PST, I woke up, turned on my computer, called dad via Skype, and watched as the nurse played around with various tubes and buttons. And then I called dad again because the connection had dropped...And again...And a few more times before it finally connected. Right in time for me to watch it going in.

It was quite uneventful... Dad started by talking to me while he was sitting up as the stem cells, which he said resembled tomato juice, started to go into his body. He eventually got more tired and had to lean back.

Then, to my excitement, he started "cookie whoofing." Just as I started eating a muffin. Mmm.

He threw up a few more times but seems ok now. Im watching him as he sits up in his bed. He's not the happiest camper, as mom put it, but it's all going to be worth it in the end.

The transplant ended at around 11:03 EST.

Happy birthday dad~

PS; this is Jason with the balloon he bought dad that says "it's a boy"
And this is mom with the Joe Louis she brought dad [since he can't have cake!]

Day -1

I'm on BC time, so according to the clock, it's only 10:17, therefore, still day -1

I've been super busy today so this is the first chance I've had to update the blog.

I talked to dad today at noonish his time and I was actually shocked when he answered the phone and sounded like he's always sounded when he answers the phone. Not really much to update from him.

Mom called me at around 9ish her time and said he was really tired, obviously, but really, nothing new.

Everyone's just really excited because the transplant starts at 10am tomorrow! And you better believe I'll be watching all the way from here, in BC.

Before I end this update, I just want to send a quick thank you to everyoneee whose been calling, and messaging, and leaving comments with support- you guys are awesome!

Excited for tomorroww~

Monday, July 27, 2009

Let's try this one more time...Day -2

Mom called me with another update on dad.

Apparently his fever has finally broken after they've played around with his drugs. He slept most of the day though since he didn't sleep last night. Mom also says he's pretty doped up. [Best way to handle him, I think haha]

He is done all of his chemo and stuff today, and because the transplant was moved to Wednesday, he gets a day off tomorrow. [Maybe he can get another lap in?]

Despite how sick he's been, he really has done quite well. He's only thrown up about twice and was mostly just dealing with the fevers. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty impressed.

K, this time, all for now~

Day -2... Again

So I just found out dad's transplant has been moved to Wednesday, making today day -2.

Mom said it's because of the delivery timing of the stem cells before the transplant. Not because of dad, which is good.

She also gave me a quick update about dad saying he's still got a fever, and now he's shivering a lot and is short of breath. He's on oxygen to help him be more comfortable.

At the time, mom said she hadn't seen him but Bubbie was there pretty much watching him sleep. Apparently he didn't sleep well last night.

Mom said she'd email me again with another update [hopefully it wont be raining at home so the internet works haha]


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day -2 version 2

Dad sent me an email with more updates:

" didn't get any sleep last night, had a fever of 39 for three days
now, they say its from the chemo, not infection.

check out the colour of the whites (YELLOW) of my eyes. Thats how
they can tell if they have given me enough. Seems my eyes got whiter
again, so they are topping me up with more chemo

they are going to give me blood today, but not until they finish
all the chemo, meaning they wont start the blood till 11pm. It'll go
all night.

Bubby brought me her home made chicken soup, it was delicious

so far no cookie woofing today.

Mom says we had to write you from here, 'cause there might not be
internet at home cause its raining poodles and pussies [our internet doesn't work when it rains]"

Day -2

It's 12:06 in British Columbia now as I sit and update this blog.

Unfortunately, I don't have much to update.

All dad sent me in an email was that he wanted me to post a picture of him and his new spots called petechial hemorrhaging.

At least he's smiling.

If mom emails me with more to write, I'll post it later tonight.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day -3

So today I had the chance to pop in to see dad, but only for about 10 minutes.

He was incredibly sleepy from a large dose of benadryl they had given him, so it was a perfect amount of time. Just enough to see how he was and say that I love him.

He has started the really hard chemo today but it's being spread over an 8 hour drip. He has thrown up, but only once. He's also started to get these "cute" spots on his face from throwing up because his platelets are so low. But that's what's supposed to happen.

Unfortunately he wasn't able to do any laps today. Maybe tomorrow.

So that's about all for today...I know this update sounds bad, but he's doing pretty well, considering. He did tell me to tell everyone that he hasn't checked his email in a couple days because he hasn't been up to it. So don't feel bad.

Just one last thing... Over the next week [and even during the actual transplant], I will be in British Columbia. I will still be updating the blog, just not able to see him for myself.

All for today~

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day -4

Unfortunately, again, I wasn't able to visit dad in the hospital.

Luckily, I managed to sneak away at work and call him but we could only talk to him for a second.
Here's the scoop:

He's starting to feel the chemo and feel really sick. He only got to 15 laps around the nurses station and hasn't been out of bed since. He also has a fever which, he says, is something the doctor's aren't too happy about. He also said, however, that they took blood but aren't going to get the results till Monday. If it was a real problem, I'm sure they wouldn't be waiting all weekend.

Mom said she's going to visit him tonight so if she has anything else for me to update, I will.

That's all~

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day -5

As may become a usual trend, I'm talking to my dad on Skype [an instant messaging/calling program]. He's in his hospital bed and I'm at home. I have to work in 2 hours so I wont be able to see him today.

Sooo today's update comes from his via skype instead of my personal viewpoint. I'm listening, he's talking.

1,2,3 go

I asked him how his day was:

He spent most of the night sleeping. He was woken up at 6am to get blood taken and to test his vitals.

The nurses made him do laps of the nursing station so he was out of the room. 20 laps yesterday, and everyday he has to increase it. This morning he did 21. Then he did 2 more sets of 5 cause he was bored [Let's see how long that lasts].

He said Lunch was dead tuna [as opposed to..?!]

The nutritionist came in and said he could order food that wasn't on the menu. She crossed most of the food of his normal menu anyway cause he's not allowed to have it. But he said he might get special variety. He's on a macrobiotic diet- "everything needs to be cooked until it's dead, and then shot"

He got interviewed for a study he's a part of for research on Myelofibrosis. He said the questions were really stupid. Questions like, "do you feel your bone marrow is good or bad." Uhhh what? Meh, as long as it helps research, right? He said the person who questioned him was really cute. [ew]

As for his social life, he spoke to his sister in Israel, one of his brothers and his dad, me and my mom. Lots of people have been calling and he's still up to talking which is good.

He also told me how far his blood test numbers have dropped in a day [this is supposed to happen so that his body takes to the new bone marrow.] In one day, his iron level dropped from 89 to 71. Something tells me, tomorrow he wont be up to more than 21+5+5 laps around the nurses station. But we can hope.

Most important update of the day, he says, is there has been no "cookie whoofing" [aka throwing up] even though he's had dose number 2 of chemo.

That, he says is the most important update of the day.

All for now~

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day -6

I'm typing this as I watch my dad play with his new "toy."

It's call an incentive sparometer... or something. He's trying to put it together so he can use it to test his breathing.

We've been sitting in his new room for about 3 hours now. It's a good size for a hospital room. He's got an air filter as a wall behind him so that the air stays clean. He's got an exercise bike for when he's up to it. His bathroom is also a good size. Kind of too big. What does he need that much room for? Well I guess for his suitcase because all he has for storage is one dinky little bedside table. Where is he supposed to put all the clothes my mom packed him? [She packed a lot.]

According to the sparometer, dad can breathe. Oh wait, he did it wrong. He's still reading the instructions.

About 10 minutes ago he just got plugged into his first dose of chemo. It'll be going for about half an hour and it's just a small dose. Hopefully he'll be feeling ok in the next little bit since he's eaten two hospital meals in the past hour.... Gross.

We'll just have to see.

Earlier dad had an ultra-sound to make sure his kidney's were ok. They said to come back in 8-10 months.

We met a nurse named Fran. She's really sweet. She told me I was a strong girl. I said, "pft, have I got a choice?"

The doctor also came in to give dad the details. Dad complained to him about one of the chairs in his room that's broken. And that his bed is too short. But he was just joking [half joking] He's not too thrilled with what he heard from the Doctor, but what can you expect.

Anyways that's about all I have to update...but just a few things before I go for all of you following the family and dad:
  1. Do not call my house. Most of you know our house number, but please, don't call. My brother and mom and I are hardly ever home anyway, so you may not even get us. If we are, we probably wont want to talk. Everything you need to know will be on this blog. Don't call us, we'll call you.
  2. My dad will not be giving out his hospital room phone number. If you want to call him, call his cell phone. When he wants to talk, it will be on. If he doesn't want to talk, it will be off. [He's not supposed to have it on, but he will. He's like that.]
  3. It will probably be your best bet to email him. If he's up to it, he'll respond. Without much else to do, he'll be checking it a lot.
  4. If you don't have his email address already, just email me and I'll forward it on to him [He has a thing about having his personal contact information on the internet.]
  5. He wont be seeing visitors for a while. I'll let you know when you can.

Now I have to get back to doing work while dad watches TV.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

An introduction...To say the least

So Hi.

I'm Jessica.

I know how to use a computer.

The only other person in my family who can is my dad. Unfortunately, he won't be able to update you for quite a long time about his health since he'll be pretty out of it for the next little while.

So that's what I'm for.

Most of you will probably know this, since you would have found my blog through the website, or through me, but I'll give a summary anyways....

My dad was recently diagnosed with Myelofibrosis and, without a bone marrow transplant, it turns into incurable leukemia.

After months planning, my mom, her team of volunteers, and the Gift of Life foundation pulled off an amazing bone marrow drive in order to find a match for my dad. We recruited more than 1400 people to get their bone marrow type tested, and had even more show up for support. In total, so far, we have recruited 2,057 people to get tested.

That drive ended up costing out family about $75,000 US, because the Canadian Blood Services organization that deals with bone marrow-Onematch- refused to help us run a drive. Instead, we had to go to an American Organization called The Gift of Life based in Florida. Each kit costs us $54 to be tested. Despite efforts, we were unable to find help from OneMatch to pay off the bill after they refused to help us run a drive. But in a mere 8 weeks, we raised the money ourselves, with the help of many volunteers and have paid off our debt.

After all this, we finally found out that my dad had found a bone marrow match.

His transplant date is set for July 28th 2009.

This will be called Day 0. Everyday before Day 0 I will be referring to as a negative number, and any day after will be referred to as a plus number.

He is set to move into the hospital on July 22, or, "Day -6".

From that day on (maybe a few more times before) I will be updating this blog with new information on him, his health status, and anything else you would want to know.

Keep checking~

For more information you can go to our website,
You can check out our Facebook group with some past history
A Toronto Star article about our struggle here
And you can email me @