Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like my Hospital Room!

A VERY overdue hello to all my family, friends, and supporters!! Once again, I have been on lots of medications, including strong pain meds that make it hard to focus enough to read or write. I haven't been on facebook, my email, or this blog unfortunately. My chemo ended about a week ago, so now my white cell count is zero and more painful side effects keep popping up. I've also been really weak since chemo, so besides a couple of (very slow) walks around the floor, I've mostly been watching TV in between having to be examined by a million doctors and residents every day. I find it pretty overwhelming and annoying to answer the same questions the same way over and over again. Anyway, I felt a little bit better this morning and I wasn't able to sleep because of the pain so I decided to distract myself by writing a blog post no matter how slowly I have to go to make sure everything makes sense! :) [Update: with breaks for taking meds and doctors needing to examine me, it took about 4 hours...yuck :P]

Health update: As my mom already informed you, I am in remission now!!! I will still need the bone marrow transplant, but also as we previously shared, my little sister Mary is a match for me. She'll be donating her stem cells rather than donating actual marrow, so she will just be hooked up to a machine by IV that extracts the stem cells from her blood and puts the blood back in. It's amazing how far medicine has come! It's a little hard to be excited about remission and having a donor when I'm dealing with pain and a little bit of nervousness about transferring to a different floor and having new challenges to face soon when I move to the transplant unit. My counts, as I said, are pretty low right now but thankfully in the last couple of days I've had a little bit more energy, specifically in the morning. However, I do get tired quickly, and even simple things like having a conversation with someone or standing up for too long make me exhausted. I am crossing my fingers and praying like crazy that my counts go up in time to go home for Christmas! If I don't get to, at least I have a beeeee-autiful Christmas tree from the Child Life Specialist I've mentioned before, Megan.

You can also see all the wonderful cards and pictures I've gotten from people! I haven't thrown ANY of my mail away, so thanks again to everyone who's sent cards and pictures. They absolutely make my day...and each one is a treasure!! :)

And, on the subject of Christmas, my cousin Eva was so sweet to paint my nails to cheer me up when she came to visit...look at her awesome work!!

Santa, Santa's belt, present with silver ribbon, and candy cane :)

I also wanted to mention a huge THANK YOU to the Plainfield Library for collecting scrapbooking supplies for me! My mom is bringing it later today and said she couldn't believe how much stuff there is--I can't WAIT to see it!! I am making a scrapbook of this journey but the art room here didn't have much scrapbooking supplies. Although it sounds crazy to want to remember this horribly painful time, fighting cancer is a part of my life now, and I do want to remember the good that comes from this...because although there's a lot of suffering at the moment, I know that God has made good come from this situation. I'm closer to my parents, I take fewer things for granted and have a new definition of contentment, and it is BEYOND overwhelming to learn how many people care about me and love me, even strangers who have simply heard my story. Anyway, thank you so much to everyone at the library for the scrapbooking supplies...I will definitely post some pics of my pages when I do them!

On a final note, another HUMONGOUS THANK YOU!!! to everyone who attended my 100 days for Sarah fundraiser! When I was told how much was raised, both on that night and on the website, my jaw dropped and I cried at how generous everyone is. Thank you so, so, SO much for your generosity. You all have made it possible for me to have the best care from one of the very best transplant doctors, and I could never thank you enough. Thank you even more to everyone who put all of it together. You are AMAZING!!! :D

Trying to think if there's anything else to update you guys on...can't think of anything off the top of my head. So I want to wish you all a very, very merry Christmas and a billionth thank you for your support and love!

love love love,

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