Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Great news: My counts are rebounding sufficiently so that, if all continues to go well, Hank and I can return home at the end of next week (around March 6 or 7). We are SO ready to get back to the kids! This photo taken at Rice by Hank says it all:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Family Reunion

Sunday night went to bed smiling following a lovely 24-hour visit from Hank's parents and the kids, who we had not seen in a month.

Blood counts heading in the right direction, so I'm cautiously optimistic about coming home before long at all!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Get "A" in Platelets!

Everything's proceeding well here. The hemoglobin infusion made a huge difference in my energy, though at times I move like an elderly lady. I have new sympathy for those who must move slowly.

The really good news is this: The typical stem cell transplant-er (notice avoidance of the word "patient") will at some point need a platelet infusion to protect against uncontrolled bleeding. Well, mine have not only stayed high enough to avoid a transfusion, but they're actually rising. Good work, bone marrow!

My white cell counts are still low, keeping me immunocompromised for now. The speed with which those cells rebound will determine when we can come home--sometime in the first half of March, most likely.

Must dash and get ready for the kids' visit!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Big Heart

Caroline's seventh-grade class sent me this valentine. Los Siete, you're the best!

Don't know what I'd do without my trusty caregiver/driver/patient advocate, etc., etc. Everyone needs a buddy on this field trip.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Yesterday was a 10-hour day at the clinic. (Should I be getting a paycheck?)

However, I was able to spend the last few hours of that reclining while I received a transfusion of beautiful, burgundy-colored hemoglobin. (Thank you to whoever donated that!) Hoping for more energy today!

Best to all,


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

In keeping with the "red heart" theme of the day, my hemoglobin count is high enough to skip a transfusion for today. Don't challenge me to any stadium climbing, though!

Riddle of the day: If I should walk into a bank with my surgical mask on, will the tellers press the panic button?

Looking forward to a visit from Cathy Boyd today and to having the kids and Hank's parents up next weekend. Finally, they'll be able to visualize where we are!

My little shrine: the girls' window art to remind me, my 'courage' angel from Mia, and a Tibetan prayer wheel from our dear college friend Ken.

Celebrating a new lease on life!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happily in a Holding Pattern

Hello, readers!

Medically speaking, it's a case of no news is good news now! (Now if I could only zip back in time and re-apply that idea.) My blood counts are very stable and I feel really good, if a bit tired.

I woke up the other morning thinking, "Hmm...gee...someone has cancer. goodness, it's me!" I call that Wishful Forgetting.

In keeping with clicking on "Restart Bone Marrow" and the Season of Love this week, my dear buddy Mia took me to a gourmet, atmospheric lunch today. Definitely a celebration!

So many people have reached out to me during this key week in my little old life, and Hank has been taking extra-special good care of me.

There was a deejay in Atlanta whose catchphrase was "It feels so good to feel good."

And as odd as as this sounds, all I can add is, I'm grateful to have so much to be grateful for!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

"The Boys Are Back in Town!"

Hurray! My stem cells were transplanted yesterday in a four-hour infusion. Naturally it was quite a process. The nice technician patiently babysat each of the six bags, carefully removing them from their dry-iced containers, where they had been stored at around -130 degrees C. The nurses and Dr. Ueno checked, rechecked, and rechecked my 'inventory.'

Thanks to ALL who sent birthday cards and notes this week. Wow, and Wow! I will enjoy poring over all of your funny, sweet, and loving messages. (Tax prep, get behind me. I am goofing off today!)

This feels like a new lease on life, and this glorious springy morning we're having right now perfectly reflects my mood. The birds are singing and the breeze is sumptuous!

Best to all! (Photos below.)

"Reunited, and it feels so good!"

The preservative used in storing the stem cells caused a crazy, tingly feeling on my tongue, so it helped to give it something to do. As a bonus: word games to celebrate the day!