It is with a touch of irony that I sit here writing in my “Will Run for Wine” shirt. For I am neither currently running, nor am I drinking alcohol. But wearing it makes me smile and there are thoughts of what is to come, as my life continues to get back to normal in little bits and pieces.
I came home last night. I didn’t realize how excited I would be until the Physician’s Assistant, “Lenny” gave the ‘go ahead’. We had anticipated the release, so much so that we had packed everything up, including the food in a cooler and had returned the keys to the apartment. Nothing like a little confidence! I had thought we should come back to the apartment to get the food after the appointment, knowing there was also the chance we might have to stay. But Howard didn’t want to drive back south, before heading home, east, and it turned out to be the best plan. Once they said I could go, I couldn’t get back to Concord fast enough! So glad we had tied up all the loose ends at the apartment!
Below, gettin’ the heck outta there!
I’ve been thinking about this last month, and as strange as it sounds, I want to savor all the experiences I had. What could have been a difficult month simply was not. I know no other way to say it. I had some really good times. And the times that weren’t….well, they were expected and due to the tremendous support I had, far easier than I ever would have guessed.
I went into this transplant as a relatively strong and healthy person. I know that was a huge factor in getting through the difficult parts. I know that not everyone goes to spin class in between the cell harvest and the transplant. Not everyone goes out for a run before going to the hospital. I’m fortunate. Very.
Physically I was in good shape, but more importantly, was my mental state. To explain it, I have to admit the method behind my madness. I like to make people laugh. I don’t know if I knew how much until Facebook came into my life. When I realized I would be going into the hospital, I figured it was going to provide me with lots of new material. So, I brought a few props along and proceeded to have a grand old time with them. In addition I brought some colorful lights for my room. It was bright and cheery in room 124. Smiles are contagious, and that was reinforced many times over while I was there. To my friends who helped out with my posts, I will always be grateful. Paula, it was great ‘having a cigar’ and playing poker with you! Pauline and Andy, thank you for participating in the ‘field trip’ that my ten pets (foamboard cutouts) took to see me.
So, I felt pretty good, even when the side effects from chemo kicked in, and I was in a happy place in my head. But I don’t know if I really could have pulled this off without all of the people watching out for me. I had visitors, lots! Repeat visitors, who made a long drive to see me. And those who couldn’t kept me busy online. The texts, the e mails, the posts! I was hopping! I didn’t even have time to learn French. OK, that’s a lie. Because I invested a major chunk of my life watching Breaking Bad episodes. I still have some recovering to do and once I finish Season 5 , who knows? Apprendre Le Francis? Il est possible de faire!
I’m back home now and what is next? Recovery isn’t over. It’s just begun. I feel really great! I’ll admit I’m tired as the day comes to a close and the stairs are work to climb. But I walked a brisk 2 miles this morning. It was a beautiful morning and to breathe it all in without a mask was priceless! I can’t wait to do more, but I know it’s baby steps for now. I can’t run yet due to the blood clot and the blood thinners I’m on. I can’t drink yet, due to the effect it has on platelet counts, but honestly, I’ve lost my taste for it. It will come back soon enough. There is a time and place for everything. And although it will be about three years before my hair is as long as it was, I have no choice but to find the brighter side to that. I am the mad hatter. I’ve got about 16 from which to choose every day!
Again, I can not say it enough. I have been surrounded by love from so many people. Love is powerful. It is a force that cannot be stopped. I felt it from all of you. You were there for me. I can only hope to be there for you in your time of need, like you have been for me. I am forever changed. And I have you to thank.