Please scroll down past the photo to see the text update from yesterday. Sorry for any confusion. JB[...]
It's the end of week 4 in the apartment already. How time flies when you're napping. Only 5-6 weeks until I go home![...]
I apologize for the month delay since the last update. I just couldn't seem to find the motivation to write while feeling so sick. The nurses and doctors tell me that my extreme version of a bone marrow transplant is one of the hardest things that our bodies can go through. I apparently did very well compared to others, but boy, I believe it.[...]
Hi all. Seems impossible that I’ve been in the hospital for 10 days already. Everything so far is going as planned. The transplant yesterday - in this case, a fancy word for an IV blood transfusion - was long (6 hours) but went off without a hitch. Nancy Sheppard and Joanne Sheehy helped me pass the time.[...]
End of day 1. This will apparently be my easiest week so I should enjoy it. Still very clumsy in my new environment. Have hair for 2 more weeks. The nurses are appreciating the travel pictures on my digital frame and my matching pink slippers, pajamas and bed jacket. It’s a sickness.[...]
I guess I knew there was going to be another update before...
Yes, I’m entering Stanford Hospital a week from today for my bone marrow transplant. It’s a go. My current feelings are a mix of exhaustion, terror, depression and let’s-get-this-the-hell-over-with. My mantra – passed down from other transplant survivors - is “I can get through this.”
While I still feel like I’ve got too long a to-do and packing list, the major pieces seem to be falling into place: lovely caregiver, good house sitter, and hopefully a recovery place in Menlo Park. (Cross fingers, thank you Sheila.)
Because I know that my lovely friends are going to want to support me while I’m in the hospital (about a month) and in the apartment (about 3 months), here are the Glamour Do’s and Don’ts from Stanford:
· Send me emails, texts and calls - or messages on this website. I’ll have my cell phone and tablet in the hospital. I won’t always feel well enough to answer or respond, but it will be nice hearing from you. Eventually, maybe we can do video chats.
· Visit - but please, check with me first to make sure I’m feeling well enough for visitors. Please don’t drive over from Oakland or Orinda without texting or calling first. You will have to ‘suit up’ with a mask and washed hands.
· Send suggestions for downloadable books or audiobooks – page turners especially. I probably won’t have the brain capacity for any fine literature or meaty non-fiction.
· Focus your positive thoughts, visualizations and prayers based on what I’ll be going through at a particular time.
From Feb. 4 through Feb. 10, I will be given massive doses of chemo to kill whatever is left of my cancer and immune system. Please focus your attention on reducing the side effects of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, throat sores, and headaches.[...]
I'm in test results waiting mode for the final transplant go/no go next week. But, I have to plan as though I'm leaving in 2 1/2 weeks for 3-4 months. Many things have fallen into place (caregiver, house sitter). However, finding a furnished place to stay after I leave the hospital is taking some time - especially at a reasonable price in Silicon Valley. So, I'm reaching out to this network in case anyone knows of anything.[...]
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.)[...]