And What Followed...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Baby Steps

We are now 42 days post transplant, 52 days since being admitted to the hospital with another 58 days to go.

I just wanted to write in real quick. Transition to the village has been both wonderful and challenging. Been taking lots of baby steps. Ten days ago I was bedridden. Five days ago I was shuffling around, relying on a wheelchair for support. Today I can walk the two blocks to the hospital without having to stop to rest. It's simple yet extraordinary.

I've been blessed to meet many heroes and courageous souls during my stay here. Some stories are inspirational, some break the heart. The word "cancer" may conjure thoughts of fear and death in some people, but here in "the village", daily conversation whirls around the subject of life and love. Of connection, commitment, faith and trust. There is no time for facades.

My daily routine is scheduled around doctor appointments and prescription medications. It's a matter of finding the balance between light exercise, deep rest, meditation and mental stimulation. Cabin fever is a good sign. I get emotional with every hug I share with visiting friends and family. When alone, I escape by reading or playing music. There's a grand piano in the small theater here and I've been tinkering with "Daydream Believer" by the Monkees: (I like to listen to it on my ipod as I hop around the rose garden.) A couple friends came by the other day and we thought to take advantage of the theater for rehearsals and skits. I plan to sit in the orchestra and shout "More energy!"

These days, it is challenging to remember things and write fluently. My doctor assures it has to do with what my body has been through. "Cognitive dysfunction" or "ChemoBrain" thankfully is temporary, but it's disquieting when your brain is only able to think in sentence fragments.

Even though I must hide from the sun and wear a heavy surgical mask, it is so revitalizing to be outside. My doctor just gave the approval for me to ride in a car. I can leave campus, but only for a short time and have to stay in the general vicinity. The
first place I visited, of course, was REI. It was the first time I left the hospital grounds in over seven weeks.

It means a lot that there are angels out there who continue to spread the word, conducting marrow drives, and educating friends and family about signing up on the registry. Let's continue the good.

In terms of health and recovery, my blood counts plateau'd last week and this week the levels have actually gone down to a semi-critical level. This has caused a bit of concern and we are praying that things improve soon. Each day is still a struggle but to be alive… that alone is a blessing

The other night my mother and I briefly left the room to watch the Perseid meteor shower. We only saw one shooting star, but it was enough to make a wish.

Much Love,

No comments: