Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summertime's Fine

I can't tell you how nice it has been this summer to have the energy to do the things I love.

During the summer of 2006, I was undergoing intense chemo and preparing for my stem cell transplant. The summer of 2007, I found out the transplant had failed and the disease had spread to my hip bone and liver.

Last summer, 2008, we were living in Montreal to give the MGCD0103 clinical trial a shot. By August, I was pretty beat up from the drug - itching insanely, down 15 pounds and horribly sleep deprived.

By the end of the month, I had been booted from the trial when it was discovered that the Hodgkin's had progressed and the only option available to me in Montreal was to have another transplant, this time a tandem auto/allo.

Given my extremely compromised health at that time and a transplant survival rate in the single digits, I wasn't feeling too optimistic about what lay ahead. When I reflect back, I really don't know how we got through any of it.

Well, actually, I do.

I am extremely lucky to have an incredible family and support system. I think the most important aspect of this support has been an underlying steadiness; we don't tend to freak out. Instead, the ol' WW II slogan comes into effect - keep calm and carry on.

Albeit, living with cancer as a "chronic" disease is hardly normal and it's the last thing I want to be doing. The worry and fear never really go away, but they do take a back seat once in awhile when I am feeling this good.

For that, I am so grateful.


My keep calm and carry on poster boy (hanging out in Josefine's parents' garden)

Idabel Lake where we spent a week in July

The lodge


Solstice daisies

Finn after the latest skunk incident (Ian wanted me to point out that he wouldn't normally wear sandals with socks, but the situation required immediate action)

Enjoying a brew at the Sam Roberts' show at Deer Lake Park. He opened with Detroit '67 (Chris C in the D, I'm sure you can groove on this one!) which got the crowd going right off the top.

Ian and Paul pleased with themselves for being ID'd at the show

Drinking age verified!

I don't know why imbibed people feel compelled to do this

Ahh, good times!