A year ago, I wrote about our friend Harvey, who had just finished a punishing six months of treatment for a rare blood cancer that no one had ever survived. His doctors had just harvested his cancer-free cells for a stem cell transplant, their only hope for a “cure”.
Having survived the most aggressive of chemotherapy, accompanied by several middle-of-the-night emergency room visits, the goal was to stay well until the transplant, scheduled for last November. Harvey did stay well, and the transplant was a success.
The restrictions on patients who have received such transplants are strict because their compromised immune systems can’t handle infections and other challenges. The patient is vulnerable while his immune system re-establishes itself. The hope is that, like a newborn baby, it will develop a new immunity over time.
Harvey couldn’t be in crowds. His doctor told him that he couldn’t get on an airplane for a year. The slightest cold could turn into a disaster.
We spent Labor Day weekend with Harvey and Tina in their Berkshire home as we have done (except for last year) for years. Although Harvey never lost his sense of humor and upbeat personality during his treatment, being with them last weekend was like old times for people who have been friends for thirty-seven years.
Harvey seems as good as new, and when I told him that, he responded…