Here I go.

Every story has a beginning, middle and end. I am hoping that the today is the beginning of the end of this macabre dance with this most cruel of enemies. I am ready physically, mentally and emotionally for this upcoming battle. Let’s do this!

Today, I am going to set up camp in Rambam, an educational medical center in downtown Haifa. I will be staying there from 4-6 weeks and I will receive a stem cell transplant from an unknown donor.

The first 7 days will consist of a reduced intensity chemotherapy protocol. Its purpose is to lower my immune system to zero to allow the donor’s stem cells to do their job and make me new and improved. I will have a genetically-modified immune system. (Did anyone see this week’s Simpsons? I will be like Sideshow Bob!)

After the chemo is finished, I will receive the donor’s cells in the form of an infusion. It will be like getting a pint of blood. It isn’t surgery in any way. It seems that many people have this misconception about stem cell transplants. (I think I did as well before it became my reality.)

And then, we wait. We wait to see my blood counts rise and we wait to make sure I do not have a dangerous reaction to the new cells. We want a reaction, but not too much. It will be like a balancing act.

I don’t know what is in store for me. I am trying to take each day as is. When I think too much about the future, I find an unshakeable anxiety, and honestly, there is no reason for me to submerge myself in all that right now. Thinking too much about the past or the future is energy-draining and affects my ability to appreciate whatever is happening in my present.  

I am preparing all sorts of activities to fill my time in the hospital. Books, art supplies, my computer, chalk-full of seasons of shows I haven’t watched yet. (I still have not seen the third season of Game of Thrones. Perhaps now I’ll get to it.)

Maybe, I will be writing more regular blog posts.

My biggest sadness is leaving my dog, Kali. She is a tremendous source of strength and comfort for me, so not having her around will be difficult. However, it is temporary and we will be back together very, very soon. (I don’t think she will even notice, she’s very promiscuous with her attention.)

And lastly, I’ve been reading a lot lately and was wondering if I could get some book recommendations from my community at large. I love fiction and all of its subgenres. So, what have you read lately that could be enriching for this soon-to-be sedentary soul?

Thank you, my beautiful support system. I don’t know what I would do without you all. I am deeply grateful. 

with love,

HealeyOr

 

P.S.

I have blue hair.

I thought I would share.

It was kind of a personal dare.

And soon, it just won’t be there.

 

photo 1 photo 2

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by A. Edwards on March 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Hiya Healey,
    Sending prayers and loving thoughts your way. My suggestion is a movie: Mother of George. It’s on Amazon and you can rent it for a week. The cinematography is amazing. For books, I recommend The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende. I’ve been reading it at every opportunity for like 15 years. You’ve come so far. Good bless this next phase in your journey.
    love,
    Alicia

    Reply

  2. We wait good end of your blog

    Reply

  3. Try “Stranger in a strange land” by Robert A. Heinlein.
    Good luck and thank you for the teaching of Yoga.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Stephanie Mudra on March 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Hey Healey! Good luck, hopefully the reduced intensity will be a breeze for you, it was for me. I love to read too. Stephen King is one of my faves. He recently released to new book, Doctor Sleep. Haven’t read yet but it’s downloaded and ready. Heard its a good one. Sending love.
    Stephanie

    Reply

  5. Posted by lindalea on March 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Prayers for you Healey-Love! And I (of course) LOVE LOVE LOVE your blue hair. Please know that even though I am far away and sadly absent from your day to day, there is a corner of both my heart and mind in which you reside. Love you.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Maura on March 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Sending you love and prayers as I do on the daily!! Blue hair don’t care! you can rock this, you look beautiful as always 🙂 I have not yet read this but heard good things about “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. Hope you and mom are able to keep us posted when you can..much love to the Iris Doll too!

    Reply

  7. Posted by liora meidan on March 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    *HEAL OR SHELANU,*

    You are a super smart pretty young woman that can teach the world about life. You are an inspiration that we all need and I am so grateful to you for sharing so much.. God has his mysterious ways..and I truthfully don’t feel it is fair but i am sure that we just need to have faith because there is a definite *GOOD* and plenty of *LIGHT *waiting for you.

    *I love you and with deep inside. Go girl go!*

    Reply

    • Posted by feelandheal on March 15, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Thank you, Liora. I love you.
      It’s important for me (and all of us, for that matter) to remember the big picture. Sometimes we get so self-involved that we can barely see what’s going on around us. But, I feel that staying focused and remembering why I’m doing this in the first place, will give me the strength to get through it in one piece.

      Reply

  8. healeylu, i love your blue,
    it is so absolutely you.
    to the bestest cuzwife,
    who’s so full of life,
    i’m by your side foreva’,
    you know we’ in this togetha’.
    set up your camp,
    ur the #1 champ,
    don’t fret my pet,
    ’cause you got dis amazing net.
    i love you more than words can express,
    don’t you eva’ forget that, your royal highness.
    *love from nyc!!

    Reply

  9. Hi Healey: I do not know you but I have been reading your blog for a while. I am hoping that your transplant has few complications, and that you can return home to your beloved dog as soon as possible. I do have a few book suggestions. The first is When God was a Rabbit, by Sarah Winman which is NOT religious. It is quite funny with a cast of very eccentric characters, but also has a very serious dark issue so I would recommend reading a review to ensure it does not present a problem for you. I also enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is a historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Both books were relatively short and easy reading which may be helpful given what chemo can do to our brains. Hoping that you breeze through this, and eradicate this disease once and for all.
    Julie Evans

    Reply

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