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!