Friday, April 18, 2008

"Make life go away."

These were the first words uttered by Erica as she and I (Jamie) woke up at 5:00 this morning to get to the hospital for her port removal and catheter insertion. Another day of doctors and nurses and poking and prodding. There is no doubt that the girl is fed-up with this reality and who can blame her? She managed to have a few days of normalcy visiting friends in L.A. earlier this week, but now it’s back to life at Stanford Medical Center. The good news is that everything went very well, no complications at all. She is now back at her Mama’s house resting and awaiting the arrival of some friends for a low-key evening o’ fun.

As far as her schedule goes, she has two more days as a “free woman” as she describes it and then she heads to the hospital on Monday for radiation prep. Tuesday through Friday will be spent at the hospital undergoing full body radiation in preparation for the transplant. On Saturday she checks into the hospital for the transplant and starts receiving high doses of chemo for two days. Tuesday, April 29th is BMT day. For those of you who aren’t aware, the actual transplant process is basically just a blood transfusion. Her BMT doc described it as “anti-climactic.” The time spent in the hospital post-transplant will be spent watching for signs of GVHD (graft versus host disease), watching for any signs of infection, getting her counts back up, and rebuilding her strength.

A quick update on visitors for the next 2-3 months. The general rule of thumb for post-transplant patients is to limit the number of visitors the patient has for the very critical 2-3 months post-transplant. It is recommended that Erica have a core team of caregivers and that other visits wait until after this period is over. No one can say exactly how long this will be, it is all dependent on how she is doing, but 2-3 months seems to be the number that keeps popping up. So, Judy, Jaci, Bess, myself and a few other close friends will be forming Team Erica and covering her round the clock. The reason the docs recommend against having more visitors is simply because with every new visitor, there is an increased risk of infection. It is a numbers game. For all those folks who were hoping to come visit Erica over the next couple months, my suggestion to you is SKYPE! Erica will have her computer and webcam in the hospital (we can’t promise she will always be up to using it) but it will be there to let her interact with everyone. For those of you who don’t have Skype, you can go to www.skype.com and download the free software. From there you just need to purchase a webcam available at any Best Buy or Circuit City.

As you can imagine Erica does not like the idea of not being able to see all of her family and friends that have stood by her, but she is the first to say that she is going to do whatever the doctors say and follow their instructions to a T. As soon as it is safe to start allowing other visitors we will let you all know. We will be blogging constantly and we are all available to chat on the phone if anyone would like more detailed updates. As soon as Erica is checked-in to her new “suite” at the hospital, we will post her new mailing address. Please, please, please send as many cards, letters, parcels as you like. She is a big fan of parcels. ;)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I feel like a random casualty of cells, an entity too mundane to allege a destiny."

Dear Erica,
The "above" you are not!! And, you are not an "inconsequential speck." You were created by a Master Planner and you have a distinct and ultimate purpose. What you're going through does NOT make sense to us, as humans, but God knows what He is doing. I don't know if you are a believer and I mean no offense, but I hope that you come to know this and understand it. It will truly give you a better peace and understanding. You probably don't realize how many are praying for you and I hope that gives you comfort. There really is "power" in prayer. You are loved by a loving God and by many. God bless you as you go through this next stage of your treatment. Sincerely, A dedicated prayer partner.

Julie said...

Hi Erica,

I am a friend of Sarah Walker. She told me about your ordeal because I am a Hapa and she thought I could help. From what I understand you may have a potential donor. Please feel free to contact me. I don't want to publish my info here, but if you leave a follow-up comment on how to contact you, we can touch base. I am definitely willing to attempt to be your donor, if I am eligible.

Nancy said...

Erica, hang tough. You can do it. Like you said, follow the docs instructions to a T. This will serve you well. It's really not worth taking any chances. Good Luck and be tough girl. You can beat this!!! If you want to talk, contact me anytime you like, day or night. You know how to reach me. love, nancy

artineh said...

Well, this sounds like one of the other donors may have come through, and if so that's great news! My fingers and toes are still crossed and I'm hoping this is the beginning of the end of this horrible disease that has changed your life so drastically for the past 2 years. I am thinking of you always and will think of you even more as the next phase unfolds. I just downloaded skype too so hopefully I can stay in the loop with you.

love you!
art

Giselle said...

Querida Erica,

Manten la fe y sigue luchando! Sending prayers your way so that everything turns out just fine. The fabulous ladies Lenin, Pedro and John send you big hugs and strong thoughts so that you fully recover from this one... and YOU WILL!

Te quiero mucho,

g

Georg, Stephanie & Liam said...

Continue to Hope, we will be here cheering you on and sending you letters of encouragement along this rocky and uncertain road. HOPE!!!
P.S. you have a right to feel the way you do, and I would hope that random comments from anonymous people won't get the best of you! Your words and expressions are always insightful, bold and purposeful.

Stephanie

Georg, Stephanie & Liam said...

Erica,
Got your comment a few weeks back,
I was in Seattle, and wow what great state and city!!! We brought the
California sun with us and even managed to get a little sun burn on our last day, imagine that!!! Training is going good, but not as well I as intended. I am sick like non stop, I go about four weeks and then I'm hit with some cold or icky flu!! Having a two year old doesn't help
matters! Thank you for taking the time to write us. My husband and I
had a blast at our Chevy's event, but with all the blood and sweat we put into the event we only managed to raise about $250. I am on a roll though, I've raised almost half of the required amount for the 3day in Sept. Looking forward to planning some more events, oh and training, forgot that part. George, Liam and
I all send a warm hug your way and will be thinking of you next week! Liam and our artist and genius, so when you get an address in the hosptial we'd like to send you some priceless pieces by Liam. Go team Erica!

Stephanie
WuCrew!

Anonymous said...

E my oh-so-significant friend and consequential superwoman, don't underestimate your importance and significance to each and every person you've crossed paths with, and the many more who's life you will touch in the future. For us, you're E, you're this wonderfully strong, admirable, generous, inspiring, stimulating and enriching person with the most beautiful mind. Inconsequential speck?? No way! I can't accept that...
Love you dearly, querida. Am sending you heaps of energy, strength and positive thinking. No visits allowed for the next few months, I see, but as soon as the gate opens for oversea-Team-Ericiens, I will run in your house! Beijos e abra├žos. Gioia

Anonymous said...

Hello. I am hosting a drive in Hillsboro Oregon with my 11year old duaghter Megan. My wife 9Megans mom) has AML Leukemia and is now 60 days post transplant. I just watched the "perfect donor" video and found it powerful. the only thing pointless is giving up, at any stage of this long battle. Cancer sucks and We hate it. You will win and live a happy life. thank you for the video!

Anonymous said...

oh and.... we found 1 match in the world. we won the life lottery! 1 out of 11 million! now, we must help others.... i found my destiny is to help get folks registerd!