Greg, How Are You?

Mail Call


by on May.05, 2012, under Mail Call

Greg Junell, Room W6107
Helford Clinical Research Hospital
1500 East Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010-3000

no food, no plants
please, more sincere or useful and less frivolous or cutesy as mail items go
i would love to hear about your life in a card or letter

Q & A

by on Dec.15, 2010, under Mail Call

Greg, how are you?
I’m doing incredibly well.  Stronger every day.  Batteries are charged and I have a bigger cells size every few days.  I’m very excited to be starting a business that I consider my life’s work.  A synthesis of the skills and dreams I have built.  An extension of the events I have thrown over the last 20 years plus my educational goals.  I’m just finishing up three days in Hanford visiting family and Jeff.  Naps and snacks get me through the day.  I feel ready to go back to work but my doctors advise me that my immune system is immature.  They warned me well in advance that my ambition would return sooner than my immunity.

Specifically, Greg, how is your physical health?
My poops are firming.  This is a move up from the pretty darn soft that they were in the cottage days ago.  I am eating full meals now for breakfast and dinner and snacking midday.  I’m down to one nap a day from several and I can sleep all night but don’t always.  Several nights ago I slept an amazing 11 hours with only rising to go to the bathroom and drink water.  The last two nights I’ve stayed up late playing keyboards in Rock Band and sleeping til 7 or 8.

How is your spiritual health?
I am spiritually alight.  I’m very excited to be free from the hospital, to see my beautiful town and be home with my gal, cat, shower and bed.  My business plans are a constant act of creation and invention.  The turning color of the trees nearly brings me to tears.  And the reunion hugs, well, that’s the best.

What’s the story on this business?
While I haven’t “pulled the trigger” I have interviewed many professional services including law, finance, business to business relationships and space.  I’m researching venues and making a very accurate financial plan.  The business is Stoke The World and we aim to throw events that promote education and community, that employs lots of actors and artists and create a showplace for  beautiful and creative things.

How is your psychological health?
On a scale from -5 (depression) across 0 (balanced) to +5 (manic), I’m a steady +1.  This is a great place for energetic invention while staying grounded.

What are you eating?
Low microbial diet.  Boiled water.  Soups.  Eggs with mushrooms and toast.  Fish with rice and spinach.  Ensure.  Cottage cheese and canned or thick skinned fruit. Avocado.  I can eat in restaurants again and drink regular water starting Friday if my doc gives me the nod.  That’ll be 30 days post transplant.  Even then, certain very old foods and raw foods will be restricted.

What medications are you on?
1.  Acyclovir – 400 mg x 3 per day

Are you using your mask?
Yes.  In crowds such as at the mall or theatre and around anyone known to have a cold or other infection.  I wore it for my visit to Mission Prep on Monday.

I hear you’re spending a lot of money.  What’s the story there?
Yes, I have been spending.  I bought about $2000 in a laptop and accessories (Apple!).  My Dad is chipping in for that.  I bought a laser printer and a few hundred in office supplies to build out my business plan.  I bought eight tickets in advance of a Jon Anderson show in San Luis Obispo and my guests sneakily donated some back.  I bought a couple tanks of gas for the car I borrowed from Zannie.  I bought about thousand in goods from Amazon, books, a mixer (for a sound project), some blinking toys for a dance and some Christmas gifts.
While that’s heavy for any given month of my life, it’s not crazy for Christmas time and a business plan.

What’s next?
A day in SLO.  A trip to the doctor in Stanford.  A few days in SLO.  A tamale feed and Christmas time in Hanford.  Then back to SLO for fun over New Year’s.  I hope I can go back to work by transplant+60 days which is mid January.  Medically, that would be pretty fast so I’m not holding my breath.  I find investors for my business and go great guns.  Changed the face of art in SLO County.  Teach kids.  Good stuff.  2011 looks very exciting.

Mail Call – Questions Answered

by on Nov.26, 2010, under Mail Call

How are you sleeping?

Lately, very well.  Usually two sessions of 3-4 hours with a wake in between for vitals, snacks, etc.  I wake up several times a night to pee and I have a plastic urinal bedside so I only need to sit up.  My best friend : ear plugs.  Makes such a difference.

What are you eating?

I’m just snacking my way though the rebuilding of my gut.  Some people get nausea or mouth sores on go on IV food called TPN.  My mouth has been really on the better side and I rinse with salt water many times a day.  I drink Ensure and Enlive, popcicles, applesauce and cottage cheese.  The other day I had half a stryofoam up of beef stogonoff.  Crackers and peanut butter.  Strong hunger can bring on nausea so sometimes I’ll dry heave, recover, drink some water and a few ounces of Ensure and recover in 10 minutes.

How’s your weight?

Amazingly, it was 201 this morning at 3am.  I ‘bulked up’ on pizza and stuff before I came in at about 208 pounds.  Frankly I’m amazed I haven’t lost more.  I’m also maximally hydrated.  They put 6 liters a day into my via my central Cook catheter.

What are you doing with your time?

For a while I was just surviving.  Dorene or my parents are here every day so there is conversation.  I have Tracey’s Macbook Pro and I spend plenty of time on the internet, reading emails, climate news, facebook and the like.  I fold origami cranes and give them to the staff (Registered Nurses, Nurses Assistants, Custodial, Dietitians).  The exercise bike is my friend and I’ve worked up from 30 minutes when I was weaker to 90 minutes now.

Do you go out of your room?

No, I’m a total prisoner of the room.  My immune system is, the say the least, severely compromised.  Without functioning bone marrow, I can’t make my own reds, whites and platelets.  I get packed reds or platelets as an infusion every few days depending on my daily blood labs.  That’s why it’s so exciting to be making my own cells.  I don’t need infusions and my graft, the return of my own stem cells, has taken hold.  I’m like that kid all proud he can tie his own shoes.

How are the nurses?

The Stanford Hospital BMT nurses are awesome people, total pros and wonderfully nurturing.  And some even play rock band.

How do you feel?

I’m on my third day of feeling more good than discomfort.  Before that, flu like body load ruled and generally I was uncomfortable from nausea, pain from cramps, intestinal bloating.  Now I’m energetic, at least between naps and feeling my oats.  Actually, I’m on fire about a business for the arts and entertainment sector and that’s occupying my mind very well.


Mail Call

by on Oct.16, 2010, under Mail Call

@ MCP esp. Jan
Thanks for the love y’all.  Nice to hear the kids have
me in the prayers.  Jen, what a great poem.  Thank you,
@ Mom
Greg owns pj’s?
Yep.  For pajama parties.  But never in bed.
I notice that the mask you are wearing…
It’s a 3M model 6391/07003 and has Nascar approval
on the bag.  The body is pretty soft and reasonably
comfortable.  I suspect its the better kind.  Stanford,
ya know.
Washing the mask now and again gets the dump valve from
sticking and “thumping” every breath cycle.
Boom boom boom!  Thanks for bringing my song back.

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