I’m writing to extend infinite thanks for the generous support (financial and emotional) offered by family, friends, and strangers to help make the HSCT procedure a reality for me. With your generous donations and significant financial sacrifices, I just booked dates for transplant today and I am beyond grateful. elated. humbled. thrilled. ecstatic.
One year ago, during my first evaluation at Northwestern Memorial, when Dr. Burt watched me try to lift my heels to stand on my toes, he shook his head. I laughed and told him he was a funny man. Then he asked me to lean back on my heels to lift my toes and my left foot wouldn’t even leave the ground (it still won’t) and shook his head again. I laughed again. Not out of disrespect, but it had been a few years since I was even capable to try without support. When he noticed the severe spasticity and drastic drop foot in my left leg, he stopped shaking his head, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I can help you.” Ever since then, I have been hoping for today.
Today, I found out that I will begin the first phase of transplant on 9/21/17 with baseline MRIs and EDSS test. On 9/22 I get my first round of chemo and on 9/23 I begin Neupogen shots every day until 10/2 when they will harvest my stem cells. Hopefully they will harvest 2 million or more and I won’t need to offer up bone marrow.
Then I get to come home and prepare to celebrate my daughter’s 7th birthday on 10/11. What a celebration it will be!!
I return to Northwestern on 10/12 to get the PICC line for transplant and then 10/13 will be my first of five days of chemo. What they call Day -5 in counting down to Day 0; the day my white cell count will total 0 and my stem cells will be returned. Day 0 = 10/18, the birthday for my brand new immune system. Seven days after my daughter’s seventh birthday and I am really looking forward to future celebrations of our birthday week!
Although it has been a very long year of hope, disappointment, patience, struggle, persistence, and presence, I have learned so many valuable lessons along the way about humanity, generosity, alignment, acceptance, and patience. And I am ever grateful.
And I can’t think of better timing to get a chance at life with mobility.
A thousand times, thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey!!
be grateful. be well.