Sunday, June 15, 2008

40 Days

Noah's flood was caused by 40 days and nights of rain. Goliath came to the Valley of Elah every day for 40 days until David came and bested him. Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness. Never thought I'd be so appreciative of that seemingly special number, but I now have 40 days left until I face changes of similarly biblical proportions. (Ok, maybe not biblical, but epic. Well, maybe not epic, but pretty great.)

Better than a birthday... is realizing that I am half-way to my 90-DAY-MARK. Around 90-100 days post-transplant, I get another bone marrow biopsy to confirm conclusively that my body is 100% my donor's cells and that there is no cancer. From my counts and light graft-versus-host-disease, they are all but sure of these things now.

Why on earth would I be excited about a fully-conscious bone-drilling procedure? Well, the prizes earned at that time will revolutionize my existence.

My "Hickman" catheter line will be removed from my chest. I can only assume that means less visits to the hospital in general since they can't prick my veins twice per week before they collapse again. It will mean much greater ease in bathing, less home maintenance of the port itself, and one less unsightly piece of sickness evidence.

A few days ago, my friend Abby gave me this wind-up nigiri. It rolls and spins and represents the fact that in another 40 days, I can eat whatever I want! Taking care to be sensible about crowds and dirty restaurants (is it only Southern California restaurants that has those genius A, B, C postings in the windows to tell customers their health inspection status?), I will be able to enjoy the JOY of relaxing at cafes, the CONVENIENCE of restaurant dining, and the belated PLEASURE of exploring my new area's eats.

But, how can I eat if I have the pink Darth Vader mask on? Glad you asked, because that will be the greatest of the three lessened restrictions. Currently, I don't go outside. Yeah, I really didn't expect that I'd opt to be such the recluse, but I only leave to go the hospital twice a week. I hate wearing my mask THAT much. It is hot and cumbersome, muffles attempts at speaking, lessens my air intake, and provokes visible discomfort in people I encounter. With the exception of medical facilities (isn't it so ironic how dirty hospitals are?), I have about 40 more days of this barrier between me and fresh air.
The other great part about that is we'll be able to OPEN OUR WINDOWS in our apartment. While outside hosts temperatures in the 70s, our oven climbs 15 degrees higher due to a greenhouse incubation effect. When my skin is rashy and itching (most of the time these days), this heat is intolerable. So, big YAY for no more mask in 40 days!

P.S. Happy father's day to all the dads out there and to my own, whose love, protection, and good humor I feel to this day.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it! =)


Katie Windle said...

The half-way mark is indeed a big milestone. You are doing so well. Keep it up sweetie!!

Nancy said...

Sorry Erica.... I think you better check again with your doc. After the 100 days, you can have fresh fruit and veggies... but, I wasn't allowed raw fish, sushi, sashimi and the like. (But a wind up sushi, will be just fine! : ) )I know you are looking forward to eating everything again. It'll happen soon. It's worth the wait! : ) take care, love nancy

Avital and said...

We eagerly await the return of the dove with it's olive branch firmly, and proudly, held tight in it's beak!

John said...


i send the very best for the next 40-50 days...

Anna said...

Yay progress! That is my new mantra for life in general, but especially our path towards healing. Yay progress! Your wind up sushi looks freaky, for a second I thought it was your port, freshly removed, LOL.

love you!

Abby Wood said...

Oh, man! I hope that you can eat sushi after the 100 days, E! Otherwise, I'll have to go track down more sushi toys. I didn't mean it to torment you!


Samina said...

i thought it was the port too!

anyway, great to look forward to three less restrictions, but i'm even more pleased that you are celebrating the victories along the way (i.e. 40 days - can you believe it?!)

do you have a calendar where you can cross off the days in big red marker? i think that would be very satisfying :)

jonathan said...


Imagine my surprise, horror and then complete admiration when I saw your article in the Occidental. I do hope you remember me, it's JP, Jonathan, your old Associate Dean of Students from Oxy!

I am so encouraged by your strength and determination and I see that the fire that I witnessed while you were a student/leader burns bright as ever!

Know that you are in my thoughts and would love to speak with you. I am now the Dean of Students at Cal and you can reach me at 510 642 6770 or

Much love and light,

Sara said...

The 40 days have now passed... what's the news? Looking forward to reading good ones!