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  • Writer's pictureJessy Tolkan

Calling an audible: Swapping a monoclonal antibody cocktail (for another Pfizer Jab...Day 49

Important Health Update:

January 10th has been a key date on my calendar for a while now. This is saying a lot - as there aren't a lot of dates circled on a calendar of day after day of isolation. Today was the FIRST possible day that the doctors told me I *might* be able to begin the covid vaccination regiment (refresher: my immunity was wiped away with the transplant, if I ever had it in the first place).

This is where the audible comes in. (Side note: Ben Tolkan I hope you're smiling somewhere at my use of this football term, or at least doing a major eye roll!).

Today the doctors at Froedtert Hospital, along with my team atSloan Kettering in New York had a conference call to discuss how to best protect me against COVID. The reality is that the chances of my body mounting an immune response to the vaccine is highly unlikely, but not impossible. In fact, its possible that as I walked around with my 3 vaccine shots PRE-transplant that I never mounted a response either (strangely, I was never tested for anti-bodies to confirm, as they were too busy worrying about other issues I guess!). I digress, at this point with a very weak immune system, the fact that I'm on anti-rejection drugs, and steroids, the doctors just aren't convinced that a vaccine regiment is the best path forward...So cue the new plan: Astra Zeneca's Evusheld, its being exposed to lab made anti-bodies, two different kinds, this is the first treatment option that is focused on immunocompromised individuals (emergency approval just happened last month). Essentially I'm going to get monoclonal antibodies as a way of helping my body ward off covid were it to be exposed. Its not quite as good at a vaccine, but has shown pretty damn good - and is way better than getting a vaccine that might not do anything in my body at all!

There is not enough of this treatment for all the people who need it. That makes me feel very angry that once again folks who are already dealing with the challenge of poor immune systems are getting the short end of the stick, but makes me even more grateful that there's a dose waiting for me tomorrow - and I have the tremendous privilege of access to the best healthcare around.! A quick and easy 2 shots tomorrow (one in each butt cheek, haha!). Tomorrow is a big day. It doesn't mean I can go out and party, or for that matter, go out and do anything, but its another layer of important protection.

What's Entertaining Us:

  • It was a frigid weekend, but it didn't keep us indoors. We picked up bagel sandwiches at a legitimately NY quality bagel spot in Milwaukee - Allie Boy's Bagelry & Luncheonette (curbside OF course), and enjoyed a lovely breakfast in our favorite eatery - My 2017 White Nissan Rogue. We also made a special delivery to Jim & Sherry to help Jim's recovery.

  • We checked out another stretch of the Ice Age Trail - The Holy Hill segment...GORGEOUS! Did 4 miles, with a high temp of 9 degrees, and a below zero windchill.

  • Did a walk through Glacier Country Park, and scouted out the perfect sledding hill. I think I'll make sure I have slightly more platelets before I use our brand new sleds we picked up on Friday curbside at REI...Very excited to relive this childhood activity!!

  • Movies:

    • The Lost Daughter with Olivia Coleman (well acted, but not one of my favorites of the season

    • Blue Bayou (Heartbreaking immigration/adoption story)

  • Television:

    • Euphoria (Excited for the HBO series to be back, intense season opener last night)

    • This Is Us, I really miss texting with my brother and my cousin about how bad this show has gotten, and how we are never watching another episode, only to be texting again during the next episode.

What I'm Grateful For:

  • Successfully convening Froedtert Doctors & MSK Doctors and ending up with a real game-plan in a matter of 1 day's work!


  • My new ski goggles and full face ski-mask - not for any planned robberies, but for making these arctic conditions bearable..

  • My shipment of rapid tests (thanks Jacki for cluing me in whenever they are available, and my new bag of N95 masks, thanks Sherry!0

  • 2 weeks of non-stop Packer-hype. Packers have a bye week before a to-be-determined team heads to Lambeau. Huge thanks to SWARD for sending my and my crew cozy, warm, matching Packer Hats to ensure we are the cutest fans around!

Finally....a beautiful look tonight out my desk window...Back to working in my "home-office/loft." Hard to complain when this is your view!!

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Sam Dorman
Sam Dorman
Jan 11, 2022

I would definitely hang out in a 2017 white Nissan Rogue and eat that sandwich Raj ordered


Nolan Lehman
Nolan Lehman
Jan 11, 2022

Good news on the monoclonal ! Both Cheeks - ouch? And, have you transformed Raj into a real Packers fan? You're kinda living in the 'frozen tundra!"

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