Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."
Friday, October 10, 2008
I’m up again, bright and early. The same morning routine pulled me out of bed, but I’m handling it better today. Today I get discharged! Yes, that is my reward for coming through my transplant without serious side effects. I get to take myself over to the Best Western on Longwood. I’ll be staying there for about another two weeks, until the point of engraftment. This is the point where I can stop taking my neupogen (which promotes cell growth), and my donors immune system has taken over mine.
Until then, if you’re in bean town, you know where to find me. There are some rules. My room is clean. I need to protect myself. Do not come visit if you are sick, think you may be getting sick, or have been exposed to someone who is sick. You must wash or purrell your hands on entering, and wear a mask. That’s the price you have to pay to visit. What’s a little sacrifice for me?
On a deep, theoretical level, I’m a little bit confused. Do I still have an identical twin? I ablated my own immune system years ago, and now I’m beating down Heather’s for someone new. We’re not going to have the same genetic code.
What exactly does this make us to each other? Either way, she’s still my girl for life, and hopefully, the “unfortunate” traits in the cellular memory of her marrow are now out of my system.
I think we all wish, at some point, that the someone in our life could undergo this process and get their undesirable traits out of their system, that we could somehow re-infuse in them characteristics we knew and loved.
That person gets to be me. So, no more feisty outbursts. It’s out of my system. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep my general weaknesses. If you don’t know what those are, I’m not telling.
So, like I learned in school, discharge teaching does really start on the day of admission here. On day one, I told the PA all my at-home meds that needed refilling and she wrote scripts. Those scripts have been filled and are with me now. I received more yesterday to be filled today prior to my discharge.
This erases a lot of anxiety in the transition process. I have everything I could get here, and if anything happens, I am just down the street.
What am I watching out for exactly?
Fevers, over 100.5, those will get me readmitted. Uncontrolled nausea, inability to eat or drink in sufficient amounts, vomiting or diarrhea are all worth a phone call to the doctor. Beyond that, anything out of the ordinary, I tend to err on the side of caution. I’ve come this far, I wouldn’t want my fear of looking like a paranoid idiot get in the way of my health.
Life is good so far today. Remember that as you go about your life. Thanks for all the support and love.