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Supporting Joanne

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

Latest journal entry

There and Back Again (with respect to Mr. Tolkien)

Believe it or not, I’ve been home 5 weeks already. It’s been absolute heaven. The hospital and apartment trauma are starting to fade. If it wasn’t for the facts that I don’t have hair, take multiple pills a day, and have very little balance or muscle tone, I might be able to forget my recent Stanford foray. I really am doing great.
 
I have monthly checkups with my Stanford and Kaiser doctors and biopsies every 6 months. It’s like a tape recorder: the doctors ask exactly the same questions. “Any skin irritations? Any itchy eyes? Anything else unusual?” At this stage, they’re concerned with keeping me free of ‘GVH’ or graft vs host disease. I’ve already had one bout with ulcers on my colon so they want me to be vigilant. I’m more concerned that I have no vaccinations against anything and so have put a kibosh on any interaction with school age children.
 
After keeping the Gap in business, I’ve been spending most of my time creating a new ‘room’ on my deck and joining fun Meetup groups. All those steroid-fueled research hours on the computer in the apartment are coming to life. It’s transformation after ten months of focusing on nothing but survival and medical s*!#. Come visit, sit on my new deck, and let’s go to great (but not crowded) concerts and events!
 
I guess almost-normalcy is boring because I don’t have anything more to report. I just can’t thank all of you enough for your love and support. It has meant the world, and I’ll be looking for ways to pay it forward.
 
With gratitude and a full heart,
 
Joanne

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