Wednesday, February 06, 2008

DFCI

I used to think that my last visit to the hospital could not arrive soon enough.

I have just come from Dana Farber Cancer Institute, my home away from home these past two years. When I first heard the news last Wednesday, I cried, but my peepers had remained try since then- until today. Saying goodbye to the nurses and staff was very difficult. Realistically, most are people I will never see again. It was my first moment too since I learned of the relapse when my gut questioned if moving to California was the best idea.

To be true, I never liked to get up at 6:00 AM to go get my chest pricked and my bloodstream tainted, but the team at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Dana Farber honestly and truly made it possible. If they had been even slightly less than their patient-oriented, friendly, informative selves, I might have used the hassle and stress of my weekly visits as provocation for quitting. Long ago, they stopped asking for my ID card to check in; they reserved private rooms for my treatments even when I was well enough to sit in the chemo-armchair-factory (so depressing!); nurses were always friendly and always made time to answer all of my questions; they'd bring me heated blankets and water without me even asking; they'd page whomever I needed at that moment whether that be a social worker, a doctor, a nutritionist, the scheduler, or even a holistic healer. It's not much, but I always felt like a VIP at Dana One Infusion Room.

Aware that I have been spoiled at DFCI, I'm nervous to be changing all of this and I'm sad to say good-bye to these people who probably don't even realize how important they have been to my life.

9 comments:

Amy said...

Take heart Erica. I suspect that your spirit, warmth, courage, and humor had a lot to do with the care you received at DFCI. The caregivers in Cali cannot help but respond in the same way.
Thinking of you and your family.
Best,
Amy

MP said...

Amen Amy!
It is your spirit and your warmth as a person that make people respond to you the way they do. I have no doubt that through your triumphant personality that you will be taken care of in California, especially with loved ones close by to make sure that happens. I will be in SF at end of Feb and look forward to seeing you then..
xo
mp

Carisa said...

Erica,
May California bring you the warmth of family and friends. I have no doubt that your health care providers will be everything you need them to be just as you will be a strong inspirational patient to them. My thoughts and prayers are with you
Carisa

Bienmoyo said...

hi erica,

it is kenji's friend Jeff.

we will all be thinking of you and supporting you from Boston. You are so awesome and we all care about you so much.

hugs

Jeff and Michelle

Tracy said...

Erica,

I just wanted to let you know that as sad as you are to leave, I am very happy that you will be coming back to California. All of your friends will be here to support you in whatever way we can. We love you and stay strong. You are an inspiration to so many. Love you..

Tracy Baca

Georg, Stephanie & Liam said...

Hi Erica,
I am a frequent reader of your blog and am facinated at how many people have been touched by your beautiful personality and the life you lead day to day. I hope for peaceful days ahead as you spend time with your family in California and don't forget to soak up some of that sun, Vitamin D!
Avid reader :)

Beany said...

Erica-
We at Dana Farber already miss you. I have too much to say about your last day to put it in this little comment box, check your mail. Our little clinic on Dana 1 will always be thinking of you. I'm sorry I can't be your nurse in San Fran, but I know the nurses and doctors there are blessed to have you coming into their lives like I was when you came into mine.
Much love, Beany

alisonziff said...

Erica,
I just read your blog and heard the news. I wanted to call but I don't have your current number. Maybe you could use some company in the hospital?

Love Alison

Charles said...

Dear Erica,

Greetings from an old friend from your Foreign Service days. A number of us have been following your recovery through your blog, and we were really sad to hear about this relapse.

Even though we couldn't get to know each other really well during A-100, I remember being so impressed with what a positive, smart, great person you are. I shouldn't forget funny - some of your posts have been really wry and hilarious. From this blog and the comments, it's evident that you are inspiring the people you come into contact with every day.

Some of us wanted to know what we could do to help on this second go-round. Are there any things we could possibly buy and contribute, or would it be better to just donate funds? We will encourage everyone to get registered on
the bone marrow donor list ASAP. If you or Jaci (or anyone) could email me at charles(at)sellers(dot)org, that would be great.

Please know that you have a huge network of people out here who really care for you, are sending you energy and prayers, and are looking forward to seeing you pull through this.

Best,
Charles Sellers