Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone had a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday. I was looking forward to writing a Thanksgiving post about all the things I'm grateful for and all that gratitude has done to keep my spirit humble and optimistic. Instead, my Thanksgiving came and went, without the opportunity for reflection or much of anything else. I was able to visit a while with my friend Michael, and Mary brought dinner for me from her Thanksgiving feast in PA.

I must apologize to many of you for ignoring your phone calls or emails. All of the complications that I was warned of during the second bone marrow crash came with a vengence during these last two weeks: systemtic infections, fevers, bone pain, along with side effects from all the drugs to fix these things.

Over the last few days, my counts have started to recover and we're all very excited. On paper, I look as though I should feel great, but instead I feel like I've been hit by a bus. (Actually, I was hit by a car crossing the street on my way home from work in San Francisco in 1990, so I speak with some authority on this.) I feel weak and unsteady, and my gut is still trying to figure out what happened to it over these long weeks. But there's a light at the end of all this: I may be able to go home by the end of the week! Can't wait to lose the masks and get the hell out of here! I've been here for over 6 weeks and I lost an entire season. My kitten has grown into a cat, and already it's December.

This will not be the end of the road in terms of treatment. I will get to go home for 2-4 weeks, depending on my blood tests and how I'm recovering. Then I will have to begin the Consolidation Phase of treatment. Each month for 4-8 months, I will be re-admitted for 5 days, during which I will get high doses of Ara-C on days 1, 3 and 5. Then I can go home again. Somewhere between days 14 and 21 of each month my counts will drop again and I'm likely to have to be re-admitted for a few days of transfusions and monitoring for other complications. This unpredictable schedule is not easy for a type A personality who needs a bit more of a plan. But my blood and bone marrow are in charge, and there's nothing I can do about it. Another lesson in surrender. Every now and then I'll have a bone marrow biopsy to check for the presence of that little flipped out chromosome #16. The treatments will continue till the inversion 16 chromosome is no longer found. Then it will be time to party!

I promise to return phone calls as I'm able. Right now I'm just trying to regain my strength for the big Break Out. Thank you all for your love and prayers, as always.




  1. Kathy,

    This will be a most welcomed homecoming for you - you didn't even know you'd be staying to begin with! Thank you for writing this amazing blog for all your freinds and new followers to be able to read your story. I really admire your honesty and courage - it's has helped me to find a new inner strength within myself by example.

    I love you!

  2. God Bless You Kathy. I came across your blog tonight. I was diagnosed with acc of the breast in 2008. So far so good for me at this point. You have givin me much useful information. thanks so much and
    I will be back soon.


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