from the outset of pursuing this procedure – what insurance deemed experimental and what skeptics feared as too risky – I have embraced a positive, optimistic mindset. This meant a fair share of research, curiosity, balance, mindful inquiry, and trust. I have learned so much about the risks, potential reward, others’ sagas and suffering – and all too much about the maligned balance of power in this country where an individual without any medical degree or training has power to make decisions for my care that are not in my best interest…but I digress.

Four days of double-dose chemo is no fun, but how else would I knock out this disease? I tried diet, disease-modifying drugs, herbal remedies, lifestyle modifications…for my aggressive form of MS, no chemo, no cure!

Today marked the end of chemo and the start of transplant. My wbc count dropped from 1.4 million yesterday to 0.9 overnight, creating the perfect environment for my healthy stem cells to begin finding their way.

After being frozen the past few weeks, I think they were eager to get back home. After 45 minutes to receive the stem cells, a few antibiotics some Benadryl and Ativan, I took a great snooze. I’m not sure if the MS stopped my dreams so many years ago, but for as long as I can remember, I most often wake up and cannot remember a dream.

Perhaps the drugs showered me with bliss, but after my first dose of transplanted stem cells, what a marvelous place I dreamed. Every enchanting experience in my memory came together offering luscious and decadent spaces, spiral stairwells draped in cozy fabrics, faces of treasured souls and friends, smiles and love from distant and recent past…it was like my soul toured my stem cells back through my favorite memories and sensations to create the most inviting, familiar environment possible.

My stem cells will continue on their journey over the next few days as I continue to ride the roller coaster to rebuild strength and by Day +5 or so I should be up and moving around…

Until then, keep dreaming.

be well. be mindful. be kind.

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