Footballs, Feasts and the Big Five-Oh

Dear Readers,

I am writing to you today from a somewhat inverted position.  I am lying on the floor with my feet above my heart.  Due to several of my meds’ side effects, my feet have been blowing up beyond recognition and have become very painful to walk on, let alone fit into any shoes you could possibly refer to as “cute.”  In fact, IHFATEOML – I Have Footballs At The End Of My Legs.. and that’s not an April Fools ~ I’ll prove it:


I am now an official supplier to the NFL.


Last week, I was able to go out to dinner for the first time in 7 months!  It was a wonderful, emotional experience for Todd, Mychaela, Rex and me.  We enjoyed our meal, our bottle of special wine from Uncle Lynn, and each other for 3 hours.  We even had a couple of surprise deliveries thanks to Guy Kornblum and Tina and Ken Ryder that made it even more special 🙂  The only f-ed up part of the evening was when the phrase “bone marrow” jumped off the appetizer page.  I nearly hurled right there on Charlie Palmer’s exquisite leather booth!

My counts from last week’s appointment with Dr. Fantastic were pretty good.  My white cells are holding and are in the normal range. (Never thought I’d write that sentence.)  My platelets blasted upwards to nearly 200, putting me in the normal range, so I can no longer say IHNFP – I Have No F-ing Platelets.  Gonna miss that little acronym 🙂  My red cells remained the same, low.  We were told that the reds are the last to recover way back when we started on this transplant journey.  Dr. F wants to see the red cell count rise before he lets me go on an every other week schedule at City of Hope.  This would also mean the removal of my PICC line, because it needs to be cleaned and re-dressed every week.  This would be okey dokey with me, because it’s starting to bug the sh*t out of me.  I can’t wear anything with slightly tight sleeves, and it’s just fugly and annoying.  I can’t believe it’s come to the point where I’m complaining about my PICC.  It wasn’t too long ago when I thought PLABA – PICC Lines Are Bad Ass.  I really won’t mind getting poked twice a month, compared to getting poked twice a day, pre-PICC.

I can’t wait for this week’s meeting, because I believe my red cells are going to take charge, be the boss and make Dr. F happy!  After my appointments, Todd and I are going to meet Mychaela at the Disney Studios, where she will take us for a tour and some lunch.  I can’t wait to see where she works and maybe meet a mouse!


Yesterday, I worked in the kitchen all day, donning my bunny beanie from Mychaela, preparing an Easter dinner feast.  It was delightful having the kids home.  We had a great day unloading Easter baskets, watching March Madness and then scarfing down butterflied leg of lamb stuffed with spinach and pine nuts.  I was very sad to see the LA-bound caravan pull out of our driveway.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that they were 7 and 5 and couldn’t go to sleep because of all the chocolate eggs they had consumed?

I guess it couldn’t have been yesterday, because tomorrow I turn the Big 5-Oh!  I know, I know, you’re all thinking, “that’s not possible – she’s so much younger than that – this must be a super lame April Fools.”  Alas, it’s true, but just a short few months ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the half century mark.  I’m SO grateful to be alive, even though IHFATEOML, and I look forward to a fun, productive second half century.   I vow to do something new every week 🙂

Posted by

I am a survivor of two extremely rare diseases, thanks to over 100 blood transfusions and ultimately, a bone marrow transplant. My blog,, chronicles my adventures through medical offices, operating rooms, clinics, transfusion centers, hospital transplant floors, victory celebrations, and finally my bucket list items – all with a humorous and sometimes profane twist. My goal is to inspire others not to give up on life or anything else, and to understand that it’s actually possible to enjoy any experience, even battling a life-threatening illness (or two).

38 thoughts on “Footballs, Feasts and the Big Five-Oh

  1. Love that your part of our decade!! 🙂 You and your family look great! Take good care, Joselyn. Much love, The Churm’s


  2. Jos, Glad to see that you are still improving and able to go to restaurants. Carolee, Pierce, Sterling and i just returned from the Natural History Museum and I kept looking across the street and thinking of you, Todd, Mychaela and Rex all going to school there. It only seems like a few years ago that you and Todd met, and now Rex is at USC and you are going to be 50? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We are all so glad you will experience this one and many more. We look forward to see what great things you are going to do next.Love, Lynn and Carolee


  3. Joselyn, Those feet don’t look so bad! Probably better than Todd’s!
    Glad you had a great Easter. It is strange not having the Easter egg hunt for the kids which was always a lot of fun. But they grow up-maybe we shouldn’t.
    We say Mychaela at El Adobe Restaurant on Swallows day with her boyfriend John Paul and talked for a while. I know John Pauls dad from years ago. Always good to see Mychaela because she always so polite and nice. Good job to both you and Todd.
    Keep getting better.

    Michael Cargile | Senior Vice President
    Voit Real Estate Services
    2020 Main Street, Suite 100 | Irvine, CA 92614
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  4. Hi Joselyn

    I love good news. And yes 5-oh is good news. Being with family is good news. Improving numbers is good news, Sorry though about the FFF -fat football feet, because they will be gone before the first 2013 Trojan kickoff when they would be needed by the team. For now nurse Todd and Rex can toss them around.

    I am keeping our Bro from 1988 Dan Lucas advised in Mineapolis. For him your story is deja vu all over again. His baby sister Stephanie was the donor vs your baby Brother Leason and your BMT success is paralelling his from 1991. His attitude along his journey was not as good as yours he admits howeverand i remember.

    You are an Easter Miracle. Resurected again as Joselyn P Miller , full of life, and ready to conquer the world.

    May we all be blessed with your courage, strength and love of life. –Bart


  5. FFN (football feet notwithstanding) this is most excellent news!! The Easter menu sounds amazing!! Onward! You ROCK!!! Xoxoxoxo Another “TMill” 😉


  6. Wishing you a very happy birthday. Every one is a great one when you have been given a life extension. Be excited each day that you are constantly improving and you are above ground and vertical!!! Life is good. Congratulations.

    Ps….I’m 6 years out from my transplant and my feet still get swollen. It’s not pretty.


  7. I am, once again, wiping my eyes from laughing and weeping!! You are simply remarkable. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! XOXO Kristi and Doug

    IPad – Kristi DeCinces


  8. Yay Jos. You go girl. Can’t wait to see you Saturday to celebrate your 21st. B-Day. Happy Early Birthday. You F—-N Rock. Love you Sister❤✋👍👯🍰🎉💝

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Happy Birthday tomorrrow you wonderful lady! We are all so happy you are here to celebrate and we send you so much love and good wishes that your feet might swell!
    We can’t wait for you to come out and play!!!!
    love ya, Nancy and Gary


  10. 50 I hear rocks! I myself am not as old as you…since I am 49 3/4 and counting down to the big day. The best thing is you made it to 50 and so happy you are alive and well and celebrating! I will be thinking of you all day tomorrow as you are one of my nearest and dearest friends and we have celebrated to much together since our days as Foothill Knights! From USC, Boom Boom Girls, to marriages (oops I got divorced), the births of our kiddos, health scares (a little cancer, a little blood disease) and just frickin’ growing old together! Nylesoj you rock and I am so glad that we will be friends forever! xoxo, jae


  11. Happy Happy Birthday Joselyn!! And many more!!! Have a wonderful birhtday celebration.So happy to hear things are progressing so well . Love to you and your family xoxo Patty


  12. Happy Birthday to one of the best people/women I know… have touched so many lives and brightened so many lives….I am blessed to have you as my friend……much love, your buddy Jeff


    From: Joselyn’s Brawl with Shulman’s Syndrome [] Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 3:44 PM To: Subject: [New post] Footballs, Feasts and the big Five-Oh

    joselynmiller posted: “Dear Readers, I am writing to you today from a somewhat inverted position. I am lying on the floor with my feet above my heart. Due to several of my meds’ side effects, my feet have been blowing up beyond recognition and have become very painful to w”


  13. Can’t say much more than I wish I could make it all go away and give you a big hug! XO + you go girl!


  14. Happy Birthday Joselyn!! Can’t believe it was just 45 years ago we met…had lots of fun times, brownies, girlscouts, gymnastics, our olympics we put on, best wishes…xoxo Kathalleyne


  15. You are an awesome woman with an awesome birthday! We’re birthday twins! I will celebrate your blossoming health and hope your ballooning feet get back in their shoes ASAP. Loved the picture and story of the dinner with your wonderful family – so many milestones! Hope the RBCs cooperate so you can tick off a few more.

    Enjoy every second of the big 50, Joselyn. There are lots of people out here very relieved and deeply thankful that you’re around for the celebration.



  16. You truly are amazing. I had to enlarge that family picture to see if my eyes were playing tricks on me. You look neither 50 nor like someone who has been battling a bad ass disease. You just look like funky, stylish, adorable Joselyn. Here is to 50+ being full of all good things and healthy times. Oh – and LOVE the football feet. I think you are going to start yet another trend in sports themed foot designs.
    Happy Birthday!!!! xo, The Singers


  17. Dear Joselyn
    Happy Happy Birthday !!!
    No coincidences, this is is a very happy Easter Week. Let your imagination soar, enjoy the journey.
    Bob and Alison


  18. Go, go, Big Red (s). Every bit of news — Every step towards normalcy — Every birthday — we all share in your miracle. You truly deserve it. S3


  19. Happy Borthday Joselyn! Welcome back to your old world, your kids and your friends, What a joy it is to read your updates. Have a wonderful Birthday !
    Love, The McDowells


  20. Happy Birthday Joselyn. You are a wonderful writer and a courageous fighter. So very happy for all the good news. The best for your whole family. love you guys


  21. Hey Jos–I HAPPY, HAPPY 50th Birthday.!!! (I thought that you were only like 3 months old?) I loved the picture of the family.
    Love, Elizabeth and Don


  22. Happy 50th Birthday, dear sweet Joselyn. You look great. So happy to hear things are going well. We think of you all the time. Good luck with the red cells. We love you. Give our best to Todd and the kids.

    Love, Aunt Wendy and Uncle John


  23. Happy Birthday Jos!!
    You are such a gift to all of us – your bravery and spirit is a present to the world! I am so happy that everything is progressing – your second half will be that much richer because of this experience. A hell of a way to grow though-yikes! Love to you-


  24. Happy Birthday Jos!
    I have a big, bad birthday this year too. You’ve given me a new perspective. I guess it isn’t so bad if you’re not sure you’re going to make it to 50! I hope your next 50 are full of health & happiness!


  25. HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY DAY JOSELYN! You deserve the best birthday ever. Love
    the football feet. You are too cleaver!
    Love from Helen and Jed


  26. So happy for you B-day girl you continue to be such an inspiration to us all. Your creativity is off the chart . Can’t wait to see you on Saturday..
    Love you so much,
    Jen, Chanel, Trent, Weston and Savannah xoxoxoxoxoxoxo


  27. Dearest Jos: HAPPY BIRTHDAY ….. My darling girl…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I read your e mail again and now I am able to write a few words of congratulations and admiration. The description of your first dinner out was the happiest read…. Three hours to enjoy one another and be a fambly once again “on the town”.. Your outfit is Fabelhauf…. hat, leggings? and the whole kabudle…. quite a statement!! A new look perhaps to promote eh??? You will have to join Auntie Char’s “SF Hat Society” with the chapeau you have on…. plus the “Bunny Hat” for kitchen duty and cooking AGAIN is stylish!! Just oodles of good wishes and love on reaching 50…. so young my darling Joselyn Ann…. enjoy each day and may God bless you and the whole family….. You all look so happy…. My love, Auntie Char

    Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 22:44:09 +0000 To:


  28. Five – Oh, Schmive – Oh. Sixty here we come, football feet and all…
    I’m loving all the good news.


  29. Love your up-beat attitude. An example for all, and especially those who consider themselves “Why Me?”
    You and your family are in our prayers.


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