And What Followed...

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

From Colleen B - The best way to help

This holiday season we joyfully celebrate Christine’s release from the City of Hope. As everyone reading the posts knows, she went through the fires of hell and came out the other side.

Unfortunately, many seem to misunderstand her current status. Yes, Christine is out of the hospital, but she is not out of the woods. A cold or the flu, even exhaustion, could send her right back into hospital lock-up.

Christine is now in a new and in some ways equally difficult space. She is responsible for cooking, cleaning and managing her life. And she needs to do all of this with very little stamina. Tasks that would take a healthy person ten minutes take her an hour, because she needs to stop and rest so often. The process she is in now is critical. If you see her and she looks grand, know that before she saw you and after you run off to your next activity she will be in bed resting for several hours.

Those of you who know her, know Christine does not like to complain or whine. But her hold on life is still very fragile. Her job right now is to heal and rebuild her immune system. There can be no dancing, no books written, nor movies produced, until this major job is complete.

She absolutely needs all of us to continue to help in any and all ways we can. Our dear saffron butterfly still needs a lot of time in her healing cocoon before she can fly freely and do the thousands of things her soul is crying to do.

It may seem like the crisis is over, but it is not. Christine must stay well, rebuild her immune system and bring her body back to health. The goal was not just to survive the transplant; it is to get back to a healthy life.

Christine thanks God every morning for the gift of a new day. Going out on a simple errand she is thankful to be healthy enough to wait in line and be out in public. The tiny joys most of us overlook are huge to Christine. These outings also deplete the energy reserves she needs in order to heal.

Please keep Christine in your daily prayers and offer her help this holiday season (and beyond). She is alone and still in a serious phase of recovery.

Another way we can all help Christine is with gift cards. She is on her own without an income. Some ideas are gift cards for Trader Joes, Whole Foods, CVS (a local drugstore), maid service, gas, clothing stores (the poor woman has a cancer patient wardrobe, everything she owns holds memories of what medical appointment she wore them to). Or donate time to help
her clean, cook, do laundry, run errands or offer rides. During this season of joy and giving, please check her on-line calendar for ways to help. Offer whatever you can.

Our outpouring of love and support helped Christine get to this place in her recovery. Now let’s help her in this next stretch.

Blessings for a happy holiday season,
Colleen Bollen

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