Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The nausea has pretty much continued for the whole weekend, and now his menu of choice has become jello, crackers, popsicles or Italian Ice.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Since we spend so much time at the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic these days, I thought you all might like to know a little bit about what it looks like and what we do there. It is housed on the ground floor of a beautiful tall medical building 4 blocks from the main Duke Hospital. I love that I can drop Ernie off right outside the entrance, and that there is a parking garage specifically for this building with special parking places for transplant patients. I appreciate the fact that everything is in close proximity and so well kept.
At first I wondered if we would mind the days when we aren't in a private room and are kind of "out there" with other patients. But you soon learn that you are all in the same boat, going through transplant of some sort, and it creates a bond of understanding and empathy. You see many of the same people each day, and can often learn a little about their journey, pray for them, and stay in touch. You see couples, or patients and caretakers, hand in hand, walking laps around the treatment areas. 17 laps means you have walked a mile and it is encouraging to see people up, moving, and trying to keep up their strength.
And lastly, we have been pleasantly surprised twice at the Clinic when Music Therapists quietly played for the patients as they were receiving treatment. First was a woman playing the dulcimer...we have always been fascinated by this instrument when we see it at the NC State Fair, Village of Yesteryear. Second was a woman playing the mandolin and flute, and we could even request what we would like to hear. What a nice touch to soothe and calm one's spirit.
We certainly are grateful for the Duke ABMTC and the many fine people who work there.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:11
Friday, August 27, 2010
What joy filled our hearts as the reality of a new beginning sunk in. The Melphalan chemotherapy which he received on Tuesday kills, but the stem cells given Wednesday rebuild, giving Ernie a clean start with healthy, normal, new blood cells.
On a lighter note, one of the side effects of stem cell infusion is a strange odor emitted by the patient. This comes from the preservative used when they freeze the cells. The odd thing about it is that the patient can't smell it! We were told that some believe it resembles the smell of canned corn and BOY WERE THEY RIGHT!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
On Monday evening we moved into our home away from home for 2-3 weeks, a furnished apartment in Durham. We were pleasantly surprised to find it large (2 bedroom, 2 bath), well furnished, clean, and convenient. We feel blessed to be staying here, rather than in the hospital, and are so thankful insurance covers it as part of the transplant process. It was definitely a role reversal for Nick to be moving us in and then heading home...we all agreed it felt weird for sure! Anyone curious to see what it looks like? Well, let the tour begin...
We are on the first floor corner, bottom right in this picture. There is alot of shrubbery and everything is really well kept.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday we did not see much hair loss, but come this morning, well, the pictures tell the story:
Monday, August 23, 2010
After a delicious steak dinner we enjoyed our new favorite dessert...Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings (add a scoop of vanilla ice cream while serving)!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
These are some of the foods Ernie will hopefully be enjoying in Durham. He loves anything cold, so popsicles always hit the spot. And then there are Cheetos...for some reason they are something he is really craving right now. Hard candy helps with dry mouth, and of course, who wouldn't love Dove chocolate!
Thank you notes. I love handwritten notes and there are so many people I want to thank for Standing in the Gap. Unfortunately I don't have a record of all who purchased raffle and dinner tickets, but for those who donated that I do know about, hopefully you will receive a thank you note.
Yarn and knitting needles. My Mom taught me to knit last night and I have started a "Prayer Shawl". This is a ministry where the knitter prays for the breast cancer patient who will be receiving her shawl. I have always wanted to learn to knit and thought it would be a great distraction while sitting and watching Ernie sleep during treatment.
Nick got us a subscription to Netflix, so we all have enjoyed a number of movies already... right from the comfort of our own bed!
Of course there will be lots of traveling back and forth from apartment to clinic, lots of lab studies and different medications and infusions, and hopefully lots of rest and sleeping for Ernie. We'll see what else we can find to do, but for now these are the things we'll be sure to bring along!
Thank you again for your prayers on this journey. Eight months ago this was our goal...get to transplant! We can hardly believe the actual day of transplant is almost here and we are so very grateful.