abundance

“happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.” ~Gautama Siddharta When I sat down with reporters from WCPO to share updates since the last time we talked, the question of “what are you thankful for this year?” eventually emerged. Admittedly, the list seems beyond boundaries this year. access to resources and…

attuning

how busy the mind. just thirty days ago, the 8.75 million stem cells that were harvested from my body were infused back to begin their adventure of building my new immune system. At the time, and even leading up to the transplant, throughout chemo and the battle with insurance, I’ve considered HSCT to be my…

homecoming

words cannot even describe the feel of my daughter’s embrace when we returned home. Bursting with joy, she ran out onto the driveway, no care for shoes and we showered each other with love. Eager to show me the “arrangement” she had put together, she wanted to lead me into the house – except I…

full circle

some things you just need to take laying down. internal jugular vascular catheter; triple lumen picc line placement; two hour dose of cytoxan followed by a ten hour dose of rATG each day for four days followed by a fifth day ten hour dose of rATG; and with every respect for native cultures, the vision…

lifesavers

amazing, the power of conversation. At last night’s 7:30 shift change, I was introduced to Kirby, a new-to-me nurse on 16 Prentice. The outgoing nurse Carolyn introduced me as someone very dedicated to a clean diet – it seems that every day my diet has been a topic of conversation among the various nurses. People…

reset

yesterday morning, Day +3, I awoke restless and irritated. over the routine. fatigued by incessant nursing. tired of sleepless nights. bored with tasteless food. weary of feeling flu-ish. then in the morning I heard that my counts were exactly where they needed to be. my white cell count was too low to count and my…

mindset

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 –…

transformation

Made it back to Chicago yesterday for my picc line placement and prep for the final phase of this transplant. After a quick breakfast this morning I checked in at 7:30 am. We were 4th to arrive, which happens to be the month I was born, and my husband’s lucky number. When the nurses mapped…

ahead

while I’ve never been a fan of running, it seems that pacing oneself through challenges can be beneficial in many ways. Finding questions, seeking answers, exuding patience – know these practices create curiosity, connection, and community. They can also foster comfort and calm with challenge as it, although uncertain, becomes familiar. Spending time getting to…

grounded

if you’re not a fan of feet, tuning in to their efforts, or thinking about feet in general, this post is not for you… If you’re still with me, I invite you to think about the last time you tuned in to your feet. Maybe in a good soak or a nice massage. Even if…

shifts

before the sun even thought about rising, I spent time this morning reflecting on how HSCT has created such opportunity in my life and while I hope not to jinx anything, it seems that slight improvements are already occurring… I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my own tendency to do everything I…

comfort

in remembering that pain is temporary, mindfulness is practice, and that drugs are poison. in tasting chicken Pho as my first food other than graham crackers and applesauce in the past 12 hours. in knowing that my daughter is enjoying opportunity to thrive in school, with both sets of grandparents, and her friends while we’re…