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.
On Feb. 12, my donor’s stem cells will be introduced. From Feb. 12 on, please visualize happy stem cells bonding lovingly with my bone marrow and the growth of a wonderful new immune and bone marrow system (as well as continuing to reduce the side effects of the chemo.)
· Visit if you aren’t healthy (colds, flu, infections) or have been around anyone who is sick – or who even thinks they may be getting sick. This is cardinal rule #1.
· Visit if you are under 12
· Send flowers, plants or latex balloons. I’m allowed mylar balloons for 3 days.
· Visit more than 2 at a time while I’m in a shared room or after 8 pm. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have a shared room at the beginning and maybe the end. While I’m highly susceptible in the middle, I will have a private room.
Well, that’s about all I have the energy for right now. See you on the other side?