Heartfelt gratitude

We have been humbled by the generosity and support shown by our friends, colleagues and family. There have been a lot of things that have been done to help us get through this difficult chapter in our lives — things like coming over and taking over household chores and yardwork, preparing and delivering meals, donating blood, plasma and platelets (obviously, not for me specifically, but in response to a general request), lending me books and movies to while away the days as I wait for my strength to rebuild, visiting me both at home and at the hospital, giving generous gifts and donations, sending cards and well wishes, leaving comments or sending e-mails, the list goes on.

To everyone that has been a part of this, sharing some of the burden/lightening the load, we want to thank you. I still have a few more steps to go, but I’ve been heartened and strengthened by you, realizing that you are a part of the healing and without your participation, this would be so much more difficult.


(Yes, that is another peony. I can’t help myself.)

Caring, Warming Blanket

On Friday we received a very beautiful and generous gift from our friends at The Yarnery in St. Paul. Pooling together talent and stashes many of the employees contributed to this body and heart warming blanket.

Caring Blanket

It did come as a sweet surprise and we are both touched by the time and effort (and organizational prowess) that went in to creating this.

Caring Blanket

Caring Blanket

Thank you so much for this. I have already made good use of it, especially during my naps and rests during the day. I’ve definitely been needing extra covering as my body still seems to have a hard time keeping me feeling warm (even during the past 75º days, but especially now since it’s back in the 40’s). And, since I start my second round of treatment on Monday, I have a strong feeling this will be seeing a lot more use in the coming weeks.

Caring Blanket

It’s hard to pick a favorite square, they all offer interesting color and texture. I do have to say, though, the owls on the corners are a nice touch—like watchful sentries making sure the warmth stays in.

Thank you, again, for putting this together.

What you can do

It’s been a rough week. I’ve been fighting infections for the past several days (meaning spiking fevers, having ice packs applied and being the recipient of the “big guns,” as far as antibiotics are concerned). It now looks like they’ll pull out my hickman line, as that is the most likely source. The bummer about that is that I’ll have to have the hickman reinserted for my next chemotherapy treatment. But, that won’t be for another 6 weeks or so. But, there’s nothing you can do about that.

What you can do is this:
From day one I have been the grateful recipient of the life-saving blood and blood products (plasma, cryopercipitate, platelets, and hemoglobin). I made my first blood donation last year (about this time). That tiny amount pales in comparison to the amount that I have used so far. Spread this need across the city, the state, the country and the need, to say the least, multiplies greatly. So, if you really want to do something (and qualify), please donate blood or platelets. If you live in the Twin Cities, the Red Cross has a direct relationship with Regions Hospital, and there is an option of designating me as a recipient (it’s more of an honorary designation – won’t actually go to me, but the hospital does actually keep track).

So, that’s what you can do.

ETA: The laundry list of things that I normally do around the house is being created, so those of you who’ve offered help in that specific manner may be tapped. It is tremendously appreciated.

Thank you (and update)

Thank you for the well-wishes, prayers, good thoughts and vibes, and offers both on and off the interwebs. I’m beginning to more strongly believe that regardless of relationship, faith or even proximity the great pooling effect of all that thought and energy can provide a cushion of support upon which to rest. I am touched. I’ve also been encouranged to post updates on the blog (even if there isn’t always scratchcrafty goodness to include). So, I’ll do my best to provide you (and me) with a central spot of information (so I’m not sending out so many different versions of it in as many different e-mails or calls).

I will be spending the next month (the 1st in a series of at least three extended hospital stays) at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I was admitted Monday night (March 16), after a bone marrow biopsy (taken the same day) confirmed what the hematologist was suspecting with my blood results. Tuesday, after a sleepless night of vitals, bloodwork and enough plasma and other blood products to get my coagulation factors high enough to have a hickman line put in, they final were able to do that. Treatment for the leukemia actually started Monday night with the main drug ATRA (basically a high dose of Vitamin A). Chemo started on Tuesday and will run for a total of 7 days.

So far the side effects haven’t been too bothersome (although I’m told they don’t really start to hit until a week or so in). Until then, I’m doing my best to choke down the “wonderful” food they serve here and gain as much reserve energy in case I can’t eat much later on.

I’ll post some more later with a description (and photos) of my new home away from home. Knowing that my immune system is completely gone really puts the kibosh on getting out of the room, the hospital does provide some equipment to help wile away they days (including an in-room treadmill, this laptop I’m writing from, and other forms of electronic entertainment). My friends from work sent over a ton of books (thank you!), and I’ve already finished Kevin Kling’s The Dog Says How.

Thanks, again, for the outpouring of support. This is going to be a strange ride, but one which we’ll look back on not just with bewilderment, but also amazement and newfound strength.