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This is a website designed for the friends and family of Joanne Bethlahmy.

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As the Chemo Turns

This week felt like a total soap opera. Every day was a new crisis (which worked out), ending with a cliffhanger on Friday.

Because I'm a good Minto Pyramid consultant and don't believe in burying the lead, here's the cliffhanger: I am now officially scheduled for a bone marrow transplant at Stanford on Feb. 4. Both good and scary news. This date is not set in stone and will still depend on the results of another biopsy this month, willingness of the identified donor to proceed, and stabilization of my health until then. But, the wheels are in motion, and I am now in a slight frenzy of figuring out the logistics of house sitters, Stanford apartments and caregivers (when I'm not exhausted on the couch.)

Stanford and my Kaiser doctor started accelerating the transplant because my health and numbers have been going down. After the Vidaza not showing positive results, there were lowered platelets on Sunday so I couldn't start the Jakafi on Monday; a 102 fever on Christmas Day with the attendant 3-4 hour wait for the skeleton call center crew; etc. etc. Throw in a garage door that wouldn't open and a different chemo regime starting Wednesday, and you get the soap opera picture.

However, I was blessed to have a house guest this week who helped keep me calm - Helen Rigby, Pat Williams' RN sister. The week would have been a lot more lonely and stressful without her company.

Friends are also really stepping up to help with the move logistics. Jim Lussier is checking out Palo Alto apartments, Sheila Zelinger has identified some caregivers through the local NextDoor, Kathy Hill has narrowed down agencies to call, and Kelly Wilson has introduced me to a potential house sitter for Larkspur. What would I do without my friends? Thank you!!




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