Saturday, May 1, 2010

City of Hope 34th Bone Marrow Reunion

Day T minus 6 to transplant – City of Hope 34th Bone Marrow Reunion Day

Today W received his first chemo treatment to condition his body for transplant. This was to be the strong “stuff” that would likely cause some uncomfortable side effects. In the past, W. has been very fortunate in the variety of chemotherapies he has encountered, he had very little, if any, side effects from it. This time, seems to be the same. Thank you Lord. His appetite is good. In fact, he has been given the directive from the dietician to eat anything he wants. How could life be any better? W is on a low bacteria diet, but other than the foods designated restricted, like salads and fresh fruit, he can order anything. He must be in heaven.

I had an invitation from W’s doctor to attend their Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion today! The City of Hope sure knows how to throw a party and celebrate. They had a barbeque for hundreds, perhaps thousand people. There was food non-stop for 6 hrs. For the kids they had bouncers and carnival games. There was a special atmosphere all around of happy friendliness and celebration. Bone or stem cell recipients wore large round buttons and T-shirts indicating how many years they had their transplant. There were many reunions between donor and recipient. Seeing those 10 year plus badges was very encouraging to me. There were a lot of them. I struck up a conversation with a young mother who had her transplant 7 years ago, diagnosed with Leukemia 1 month after having her 4th child. She gave me some very good advice on how to keep up my husband’s spirits up during this transplant time. Her experience was very valuable to hear about. There were also some speakers and a comedian who did a monologue of his experience as a bone marrow recipient. He was very funny.

Earlier in the day, a blood mobile was set up, but I missed it. I am saving my blood for the Hospital to call me to donate for W. anyway. I did, however, sign up for the World Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Registry, which only took a swab of the inside of my cheek to do. Perhaps I can save someone elses life with my stem cells, like W is having his life saved. Nowadays, collecting stem cells is like giving blood. Can you imagine how many lives can be saved if everyone was on the registry?

T minus 5 days to transplant

W spent the day with his laptop watching episodes of Dr. Who on Netflix. The hospital has a DSL line for its patients to use. This has kept him very entertained. He does feel fatigue, as usual, and takes naps several times a day. Today, I was helping our eldest son pack up and move to a new apartment. Talk about stress. Hopefully, the worst of it is over.

The other day we received an email from a friend. “W, when this is all done, will you let us know if you have any new super powers? We can keep your secret identity secret.” This gave us a chuckle. We will have to keep watching closely for those “super powers”. Perhaps, he will be the next Iron Man or Chemo Man.

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