And What Followed...

Friday, March 2, 2007

Stupendous news!

SO much has happened, I don't know where to start!

At my last doctor appointment we found that my blood counts shot up! My white blood cells DOUBLED and everything else reached new high levels. I'm THIS CLOSE to the normal range (low normal but at least in the right ballpark). My doctor was astonished and ecstatic. All it took was for me to focus on rest, patience and health instead of pining to "get out there" and live too hard too soon. My doctor was so impressed that she lowered my medications, discontinued some pills and said I am allowed to take hot baths, get massages and go to spas again (YES!). Then she said that when I feel strong enough, I am allowed to drive myself (alone!) to City of Hope! She feels I have enough stamina and there is almost no chance that I would be in need of a transfusion or any medication that would prevent me from driving myself home. I am so glad to hear the news, but I may still ask for rides because even if it is nice to be independent, it sucks to go to the hospital alone.

Not only is my marrow 100% donor, but now my blood is also 100% donor. Remember how the results were chimeric just a little while ago? This Sunday is the 8-month anniversary of the transplant and here I am cured with no complications whatsoever and only getting better. Prayers DO work.

I'm now allowed light exercise too, which means I can go back to my Yoga classes! I went for my first class last week and woke up the next day feeling like I got run over by a truck. Ah, baby steps. The owners of Goda Yoga have welcomed me back with open arms, giving me free reign over the studio. It is going to be a tremendous help with my recovery.

SkyBar, Koi, Paradise Cove, La Scala, Magic Castle, Sasabune, Point Dume, the Viceroy, Casa Del Mar, in fast cars and at Mardis Gras. I've partied with Grammy people and had a blast during Oscar weekend. On a recent girl's night out, I wore high-heeled pumps for the first time, stepped out with my new Halle Berry-esque chopped haircut and spent the night shooing away men trying to cram their numbers in my purse. Not bad. Most of my time is spent peacefully recovering but a girl has to get out every once in awhile.

Mike and me in our "Vanity Fair"pose

Life is grand and in the last couple weeks I've found myself at many lovely places including for a girl who was practically terminal a year ago.

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the set of "Gilmore Girls" where I got pulled into the last scene. Watch out for the "Spring Fling" episode where you'll see yours truly running amok in a giant hay-bale maze. Between takes, I was having too much fun doing my impression of Teri Garr in "Young Frankenstein": "Roll! Roll! Roll in zee hay!" Jerome was there too and ran around the maze screaming like Macaulay Culkin ala "Home Alone". Plus, I finally fulfilled my dream of getting on the ER set and pretending to be a doctor.

But the BIG news is that my first book is going to be published!!! Along with other talented cancer survivors, I have the honor of being a contributing writer in "Writing for Wellness". It is slated to come out this summer. My story will also be featured in another upcoming book, which I can't talk about until a later date. Pop that champagne! :)

On a serious note, I'm still supporting and helping other friends and cancer patients. Life swings between the extremes of joy and sorrow these days. In the morning I may be laughing so hard, my stomach hurts. Then at night, I may get bad news and be crying so hard, my head hurts. Please pray for my friends, especially for Joel, Robin, Margie, Jerome and Elizabeth.
Remember how blessed we are and use that gratitude to help others.

Christine Pechera

p.s. Happy Purim!

"Beauty remains: the pain passes." -Renoir

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