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Voices of Hope & Healing
for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant

Frequently Asked Questions
by Macklin Smith

Q. How long is the hospital stay?
A. Approximately one month.

Q. Is the procedure very painful?
A. Not too painful, actually, thanks to the Ativan morphine, medical marijuana, and other drugs whose names I forget.

Q. Were you ever sure that you were going to die?
A. Yes.

Q. What did you do for fun?
A. Went for walks around the ward, modeled my facemask, rode my exercise bike, listened to music, read the New York Times, read poetry a little, checked messages, chatted with the nurses and doctors, watched hockey, watched the helicopters coming in, studied the comet.

Q. How did you spend most of your time?
A. Sleeping.

Q. What were your favorite experiences?
A. Being with Lynette, being visited by my daughters, Amy and Rebecca, hanging out with friends, and eating ice cream when I could manage it.

Q. Any vivid memories?
A. The transplant party, the color of the marrow coming into me, my hair in a clump on the shower floor.

Q. Would you do it again?
A. Yes I would.

Q. Did you find the transplant a transforming experience?
A. Yes.

Q. How do you experience the long-term effects?
A. Being alive, amazement at being alive, enjoying life, appreciation for the small things in life, living a productive life.

Q. Any negative effects?
A. Fatigue, forgetfulness, chronic sorrow, general bewilderment, fear of death, indifference to death, confusion about death.

Q. Would you recommend this procedure to others?
A. That depends.

Q. But you have no regrets yourself?
A. Not really.

Q. So you would do it again?
A. Yes.

"Frequently Asked Questions" from Transplant, by Macklin Smith, Shaman Drum Books, 2002

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