I have spent the past three days popping over to an out building of the hospital to get my injections! Injections of filgrastim, a drug that makes my clever body make lots ‘n lots ‘n lots of stem cells. Those stem cells then overcrowd my bone marrow and get pushed out into my blood. Where they will be waitin’ and circulatin’, for the very nice doctor types to extract on Wednesday. Where they will then be put on a plane to…? (they can’t tell me!) to a 33 year old woman with acute myelogenous leukemia. And, God willing, my cells will then find their way to her bone marrow and grow her a new immune system.
Actually having friends-of-friends who have benefited from these transplants, I truly do feel what an incredible honor it is to be matched with someone (your odds are only 1 in 540: thus the importance for registering! You can do so here!)
And I myself am benefiting from truly truly just taking care of myself. Being absurdly grateful for being in such good health that the benefits extend beyond my body to that of another’s.
So anyway yesterday was actually my birthday… not knowing how I’d be feeling with side effects of meds, I didn’t make formal birthday plans (though I’ve still been spoiled senseless by my loved ones and will continue to be). It was a lovely day (well,ugly in terms of weather… but lovely in terms of experiences) that involved pho (my iron’s low, per a CBC they did on my blood on Saturday, so I have medical permission to chow down on burgers and steak this week), wandering through museums (walking is supposed to improve the whole stem-cell-making process and as an added bonus it helps my near-constant lower back pain), and watching Best In Show. Real birthday celebrations will happen later on.
And in the meantime, I am enjoying all the love around me.
My boyfriend Steve is pretty great, and gave me one of my great loves, Great Harvest! Dakota bread I think is the best bread in all the land.
Great Harvest is the shizz, too, and when he told them it was my birthday, gave him a cookie to give me. There are no pictures of it because it disappeared into our bellies too fast.
Having bread is good for this faux-pregnant intermittent nausea thing I have. I can’t eat too much… but I can’t eat too rarely.. and vegetables are skeeving me out… and basically bread is what works.
Also dried fruit, and my oh-so-wise sister must have sensed this, since she sent me birthday love in the form of a really boss fruit and nut platter. I love fruit and nuts always, but particularly now. Also dried fruit=iron! Gosh, look how little of that is left.
Also, for iron, I totally demolished this banh mi for lunch today.
Back story: I went to the mall this morning in an effort to walk (slash stimulate cell growth/alleviate back pain) somewhere it wasn’t gray and cold and gross. And also to buy my friend a wedding present! But I went the apparently too-long four hours without eating (seriously?!) and got kinda queasy and also didn’t really feel like cooking anything for lunch but PRAISE BE! Was in the general vicinity of Banh Mi DC Sandwich.
And then I was like “Ok, iron, you should get the roast beef…” but was unenthused about it and then read further on and saw PATE! Aka LIVER, aka iron like whoa. I’ve been thinking about my grandmother throughout this whole process, but particularly when I ate liver. Lady loved her some liver and onions. And pate. She would approve.
This was delicious and I ate it all.
Finally, my mom loves me and has prepared for every possible scenario. She has taken Tuesday and Wednesday off work to tend to me. She emptied CVS of their heat wraps. I am rocking an incredibly sexy gauze and heat pack belt beneath my sweatpants. Just try to envision the sheer allure.She has bought me seltzer, crackers, and popsicles for possible puke-age.
And she joined me in watching/getting misty eyed over this clip. Mr. Rogers loves me (and you).