*As we’ve reported over the past year, Full Force’s Paul Anthony has been bravely dealing with a cancer condition called mantle cell lymphoma.
A few days ago, as part of the treatment, Paul went through bone marrow stem cell transplant. The donor was his brother, Bowlegged Lou, who chronicled the event as only he could with a lot of love, humor and raw emotion.
From Lou (The Bowlegged One): My lil’ Testimony.
First, Happy New Year to everyone and their family and friends. I want to thank all my family and friends for your prayers and positive thoughts regarding my beloved brother Paul Anthony. (Also earlier thanks for the prayers of support for our mother when she spent 8 days in the hospital during the Thanksgiving week. )
The bone marrow stem cell transplant between Paul & myself went well. That’s the 1st phase as we ain’t through yet. We must keep sending prayers for Paul’s brand-Lou immune system, oops did I say brand-Lou? I meant brand new. ) His brand new immune system must now take 9 to 12 days to set in for his blood counts to go up, then months of safe guard period to officially take shape and become whole. Prayers must continue and continue, as Paul has been such a positive & brave lion through this whole journey of his.
Regarding this stem cell bone marrow transplant, the doctors were looking at me to do 2 days in the Donor’s hospital & to hopefully give Paul 6 million stem cells total. I ended up doing it in 1 day with 2 catheters in both arms & for 4 hours I spit out 9 million stem cells to everyone’s surprise including the docs. Not 6 mil in 2 days but 9 mil in 1 day. Paul got all 9 mil from me. (If u see Paul start putting stickers on peoples backs or pulling pranks, you’ll know why.)The docs said that for my age I had a healthy bone marrow of a teenager but the host vs graft must still succeed in on-going time in order to be complete, and with God’s eyes it will. Prayers must continue.
But again, so far so good. Paul looks good, sounds better. Again he’s been so strong through it all though this latest chemo trial in the hospital rocked him the most cause it was so intense. I’m just happy that I was an exact blood match to my brother because only 25 % of all siblings turn out to be matches.
5 days b4 the procedure, I was injecting myself twice a day with Neupogen Filgrastim to prep for my donation harvest to my beloved brother. As I lay in hospital bed right before my procedure, they were warning me of things that can happen to me such as crazy side effects, skin rash, a sudden rupture in my spleen which would be life threatening, painful cramps, numbness and tingling around my mouth, feet & my balls. Haha…no not my balls but they were tellin’ me a lot of scary sounding stuff that could happen to me. I guess they had to for their own protection but nothing scared me ever.
They then said before they start, I can change my mind and not sign the papers if I didn’t want to go through with it. I’m like are y’all serious? They said yes they were & I couldn’t believe it when they said that they’ve had cases where folk has actually changed their minds and didn’t go through with it.
Wow, I’m like he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother plus with all that my beloved brother has been through with his mental & physical spirit, this should be a walk in the park for me (which it was with just some bone pain and some light-headedness which for me is cool since I’m mentally crazy anyway) plus I would do anything for my brother. I would die for my brother. I would die for both my brothers, my mom, my dad, my children too.
I had my first cry of emotion to myself when I left the hospital yesterday after seeing my brother in his room with his back to me dancing to the music of Beyonce with his headphones on while tubes was still strapped to him. He couldn’t do that before with these latest days of strong chemo treatment leading up to the transplant. While he kept dancing, I met with 3 members of the transplant team as we all just smiled, laughed as we watched him from outside his hospital door.
GOD will stay with him through it all. This is his rebirth. We ain’t done yet so prayers continue as we continue on. I thank God & I thank the great, great support & prayers of family & friends. (You know who u are.) Special shout to my brother’s wife Michelle for always being there & doing what she do in the name of my beloved brother. I thank my other brother B-Fine & his wife Angela, Of course our beloved Mom who is our motherly rock & our beloved Dad who has his own Parkinson’s journey. I thank all of the doctors and staff of Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Institute. I thank everybody at Miracle House apartments in NY where I stayed for 4 days just to be close by my brother. Miracle House opens their doors to patients & caregivers in regards of life saving treatments. (Thanks Dad & Jackie)
Whenever visits are permitted for Paul,(no surprise visits) if anyone coughs, burps, sniffles, sneezes, has infection, spits or farts on him, he is in trouble and that’s why folk must wear masks, apron, gloves that are there at hospital. Anyway sorry for the long story, it’s been an continuous emotional spiritual journey for my brother and our family. I’m so in love with my beloved brother Paul Anthony & my Christmas gift to him was giving him a piece of me. To all that are reading this, I wish you and your own family/friends all the love, support & prayers in your own personal journeys too. GOD BLESS YOU TOO & may all the positive and optimistic things in life forever be yours. Happy Holidays. Happy 2013. (Bowlegged) Lou.
Support the Paul Anthony Foundation.
Watch Paul Anthony and Bowlegged Lou perform “God is My Friend”: