I was greeted this morning with a visit from J and Jeremy today. I feel like I haven't seen J in weeks, but he kindly reminded me that it's only been a few days. I suppose a day without my son seems longer that it really is. Nonetheless, it was great seeing him, braces-free, and his dad. We talked and took a few laps around the unit to give Jeremy the grand tour of my stay-cation resort.
Soon after, my mom arrived, all by herself. I point that out because she is not one to hop on the expressway, unless she absolutely has to or her daughter is stuck in Detroit in a hospital! I'm proud of her and am blessed she was able to make it to see me today. Jeremy and J left and then Barb showed up from Be The Match. I was so happy to see her and so was my mom. My family has known Barb for 10 years when I was first diagnosed with cancer and she has not only been a great support, but a close friend and now part of my family. She helped me coordinate my first bone marrow drives when I began looking for a donor and we were able to add many donors to help save other lives. She wants a cure for me just as badly as my family does.
You know, part of me is really missing the outside world. I miss driving my own car, running up to Target, going out to eat and actually tasting food and enjoying the flavor. I miss my cat, Saber, and his annoying meow at 5 am when he has decided it's time for breakfast. I miss the feel of the sun on my skin and going to Tiger's games and especially Lion's games, now that football is back! There is nothing I love more than going to live sporting events. I even miss walking for more than 10 minutes without having to sit and take a break. This whole "patient" thing is not me, but it is now. Accepting illness is a hard pill to swallow, but the hope that I hold sacred will continue to save me through this time because, in all actuality, this is just the beginning. The road to a full recovery is still a long one; a year, minimum, is not far fetched at all when it comes to getting back to "normal."
This experience will not go down in vain. Somehow, people will be saved as I begin to share my story with everyone, not just friends and family, and as I say, "GO BIG OR GO HOME." Eventually, I'm going HUGE.
Today was perfect. No, my pain didn't vanish; it actually took a small step forward to my delight. Unfortunately, I am still not on the list for discharge, yet. What made today perfect had nothing to do with my medical progression. Today, I spent the day with my dad. He came up late morning and we just hung out, him and I. He made his Keurig coffee and read the newspaper while I worked on my laptop for a while. We just did our thing; no conversation needed.
We decided to switch lunch up a bit, after mine came up to the room from the cafeteria and it seemed that some meatballs found their way into my vegetable soup. We chose Detroit Coney One delivery and watched the television show, Suits, On Demand. Turns out, I am behind, a couple episodes, and the new episode airs tomorrow on USA. So dad and I had a picnic lunch by the window in my room, laptop open to stream the show and watched two episodes of Suits. We even managed a few laps around the unit along with meeting one new patient along the way.
No one ever wants to be confined to a hospital unit and room for weeks or months. I get mail here, literally, and at times I feel like I really am a resident here. I haven't seen the outside of this unit or hospital building since July. If I think of this situation that way, it makes me insane, so that I why I try so hard to decorate my room with cards and gifts that people have sent me to make the walls that I see everyday look more like "Tara." They are covered in Detroit sports posters, pictures of family and friends, and whatever else I can think of to kill the monotony.
Life should never be monotonous. God didn't give us the gift of each new day to waste it away, making little use of the blessings He's given us to share with the world. Even if it's only sharing with one person. That one person you might touch could potentially made a positive mark on their soul, forever. Just like today with my dad and I. He made a mark on my heart that I won't ever forget. It was time with my dad, eating coney and watching Suits in the hospital room. Nothing is "normal" about going through this "cancer stuff" and nothing can make it go away, but certainly life must be lived, despite the circumstances. Love should be shared and that is the most important thing to remember as long as we have time here on Earth .
Thank you dad for your company, loyalty, and love for your daughter. I had the best day with you.
Today was a pretty decent day compared to the last couple of weeks. I was happy to be up and showered by 10 am and feeling not totally exhausted. I felt more energetic knowing that J and his dad would be up to visit and my parents, too. Unfortunately due to scheduling, I ended up not being able to see any of them, however, my sister did come up later for coloring Part 2.
Friends are essential in healing process, along with family. I had friends come up today, Mike, Nancy, and Megan, to keep me company and just to have someone there. Nancy came with massage equipment to help alleviate some of the lower back pain and leg pain that I need to get rid of in order to be released from here. Megan came equipped with time and love, that's why I love her. I can sit and say nothing at all and have her near me and feel comforted like I have never felt with any other friend. She is more than a friend; she is my family.
I know that day-by-day, I am nearing the end of the stay-cation. It will come down to the point when my pain remains under control and I can be totally off my IV medications. Once this happens, I begin my new healing chapter outside of these walls at Karmanos. It's like moving my exact same routine from Karmanos, but outside of the hospital. I won't be working, shopping, etc. I will be healing, taking it easy and catering to my fatigue. It's all part of the journey. I'm committed to healing and patiently waiting to feel like myself again, but better...more improved.
Thanks for all of the well wishes and caring enough to continue to follow my story and perhaps take something from it along the way.
I’ve been at Karmanos for over three weeks now; away from the normal everyday lifestyle I was used to living. It is an extremely hard adjustment. I’ve been subjected to numerous medications, beginning with chemo, transplanting someone else's stem cells in my body, which my body doesn’t like creating all sorts of complications, and a whole slew of other things as each day passes.
Through all of this, I have shared many thoughts, dreams, fears and hopes. This journey is so hard; it really is. Nights are the worst. Pain seems to awaken during the overnight hours, which is lovely and oh so comforting. Falling asleep is hard as well. Even my Deep Relaxation Pandora One Channel doesn't do the trick. So I toss and I turn, I pray and think of my family. They are my refuge when I need them and even when I don't.
My dad, mom, sister and son have been relentless in their unconditional support to ensure that this fight will end up victorious. That is love; a bond that connects my family and I now and forever. No family is perfect, but I know that I am in the best family through this life-saving journey. They are the ones that will lift me when I am falling and cheer the loudest when I am cancer-free.
Love your family, keep them close to your heart and make sure THEY know you love them too.
I love you dad, mom, Dawn and J. You guys are my heart and soul!
I am pretty sure that watching pre-season Lions football is not part of the healing protocol process for bone marrow transplant patients, but not every patient is the same. I can tell you that I had a little bit more energy knowing that the boys would be back at Ford Field. Any energy is good since I feel like someone stole all of mine.
My pain is being controlled. I have an incredible Team Tara here on the BMT Unit and makes me feel very comfortable. Natalie even painted my nails using the cute nail kit Meg gave me earlier.
Time to watch the Lions first pre-season game and hopefully get some rest!