Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update from Stanford

I guess I’ll start by bringing you up to speed. I am still at the outpatient apartments here on the Stanford campus. I go every other day to an outpatient treatment center called the ITA. They take blood and do labs to makes sure that all is well. So far everything has been just great. The thing that I am dealing with is the BCNU induced lung inflammation (BCNU is one of the Chemo’s that I had.) I am still using supplemental oxygen most of the time but am becoming less dependent on that. I am also on steroids to reduce the inflammation. The doctors have told me that they want to see me free of the O2 before they will release me home. We’ll see how long that takes; my guess is the middle or the end of next week. I had my hopes up that I would be going home this weekend based on something one of my doctors had said. That is not going to happen though. I am getting used to that sort of progress. I try not to get my hopes up too much…
The Chickenhawk drove home last night. It was time. She had planned to be here with me to the end of my stay but where that end is too vague. The girls have had a rough couple of months and we both really want them to get back to as normal a life as they can have so their mom being home with them is a priority for both of us.
My Dad flew in yesterday for a three day visit. I really think that he was planning on just visiting but the C-hawk and I quickly roped him in to being my caregiver. He has quickly, abley and willingly stepped into that role. The current plan is that he is going to stay here with me until I am discharged to home. It has been years since dad and I have spent some good time together and I am really enjoying being with him.
I am feeling better and doing better every day. Today I walked from the ITA back to the apartment. That was by far the longest walk I have done so far (about a block). I am still getting my balance and coordination back. I was really pleased when on that walk I tripped but was able to catch myself before falling. In a lot of ways I am actually getting around much better than I was before the transplant. Most of the pain that I had before is now gone. I have been able to cut back on my pain meds.
Stories of Gratitude
Way back in August or July when we were planning for my BMT we knew that I would need caregivers to be with me for the entire time I was to be in the hospital. We put the word out to my support group and a number of my friends signed up for dates. David Thomas was one of those folks. He came to stay with me for a week and wow, it was an intense week. That was the week that I was first released from the hospital to the medical apartments. That transition is pretty challenging. Logistically there is a lot of running around that needs to be done. Trips to pharmacies and grocery stores, getting key medical equipment like a walker. Luckily my Mom came in to visit during that period of time so that there were two people to do all the work. David was wonderful. He was completely and totally at my service. He anticipated my needs and provided for them while always cheerful. We talked a lot about our lives and about the world and truly built a real bond. It is a lot to ask friend to spend a day helping you paint your garage. It is a lot more to ask a buddy to spend a week waiting on you hand and foot. David’s volunteering made my life a lot better. I feel like I gained a brother and I think that David would say his experience was worthwhile.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are back from the jaws of death, back from the mouth of hell, and like the 600 [light brigade] you rode bravely and well.
Now that you are on the verge of discharge from rebirth and hospitalization you will rebuild your life and prosper!

Heather said...

Hi Spence,
So good to have your blogs to read again. Say hey to your pops! Can't wait to have you back in town...

Anonymous said...

Vecino,so good to hear from you!
Congrats on your one block walk.
Thinking about you every day and loving your blog.
Un abrazo,pantani

Truman Soloist said...

Here's to your complete recovery...another complete stranger pulling for you on your road back to health.

bikesgonewild said...

...one day, you walk a block & it's an accomplishment...

...some day down the line, you'll ride a 50 miler, look back & simply be overwhelmed...

...you're doing it, man...there's a lotta back & forth but you're doing it...

ronaldo said...

Hey Spence, great on you for that walk back to the Apt. Glad to hear your dad will be with you til discharge. I was really excited to see your improvement and quest for independence with the little things. I wish I could of stayed til your discharge as well and help with the move back to Coloma.

You are still Spence, you've lost some weight (which you will get it back!)but you haven't lost your kindness, sincerity, core and love for life and family. Because of who you are you will surpass this. You are ahead my friend.

Toast and prayer to you and your family every night!

Judi said...

Yep, what BGW said....you are doing it! xxoo - judi

Anonymous said...

Spencer as always enjoy reading your updates. Have a nice visit with your Dad. You have a wonderful fleet of friends and family. Thanks to all of them for all they do for you.
Thoughts and prayers for you and your family. Keep up the good progress we are rooting for you!
Hibbing family