Settling into the townhouse

Today is Day +25 since Deb’s stem cell transplant – she is a quarter of the way through the 100 days that she is required to wear the HEPA mask whenever she goes outside.  The mask is bulky and uncomfortable, so it’s a bit of a deterrent for wanting to spend a lot of time outside, but we are trying to take short walks every day.

Deb has been out of the hospital for five days, and the time has been challenging for her and her caregiver – me!  We both moved into the townhouse on Tuesday, so everything needed to be unpacked, put away and organized.  Andy and Tara were here to help on moving day, but this is still an ongoing process for me.  Deb had two appointments at the outpatient center on Wednesday, both morning and afternoon, and one on Friday.  It was tiring for her just getting up and out, and then there is a lot of waiting while we are there.  First they draw her blood, and then we have to wait for the counts before they discuss things with us and examine her.  Friday she also needed to have a chest x-ray, which they do every two weeks.

Deb is on many medications and another challenge has been managing them.  She is on antibiotics to prevent infection, immunosuppressants to help prevent Graft vs Host Disease, a medication to avoid liver damage from the chemo … and the list goes on.  Some cause nausea, so she is on anti-nausea medication; others cause heartburn, so she is on meds for that too.  Some need to be taken on an empty stomach, some with food, and some not at the same time as others.  Figuring out the right schedule has been like a complicated math problem!  But we are doing it.

Deb’s mucositis is much improved, but she is still only able to eat soft foods, as her digestive tract was shut down for two weeks, and it needs time to start working again.  We have been making soups in her Vitamix and that seems to be working well for her.  Gradually she will be adding more foods.

The good news is that Deb is doing a little better every day, and despite the issues she has, they tell us she is doing really well.  We continue to be very touched by the outpouring of love and support, and thank you all for everything you have done to help Deb along on her journey to recovery.

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8 Responses to Settling into the townhouse

  1. other m says:

    we love you sweet little Deb

  2. Jane Ward says:

    Deb- you are a superstar! We are sending good thoughts and prayers for healing your way and have “activated” several other friends in prayer networks in DC, NJ, FL and Texas who are also sending you healing energy. I’ve had several opportunities to share the good news about your wonderful SRTS program with a public health undergrad course I’m teaching at George Washington Univ and with some in the MPH program. One MPH student is interested in applying to work for SRTS when she finishes her training here. Pour all the calories you can into those Vitamix smoothies- that’s what kept Steve going through his head/neck radiation!

    Best wishes to you and your mom from the Ward-Wallers!

  3. Lindsay Wood says:

    Wow such commitment a mama makes the day she gives birth to a lovely daughter. I am so glad Deb is blessed with such a wonderful mother! Sending both of you prayers and healing from our circle in Fairfax at Deb’s house every Tuesday night.
    Love and light,

  4. Kristen ODonnell says:

    Deb is so fortunate to have you there with her, Mom. What an amazing journey the two of you are enduring!


  5. Pat Pieratte says:

    I’m glad to hear of Deb’s progress. Things are going in the right direction, even if it’s hard to track the progress when you are in the middle of it! With all their experience in these matters, you can trust the doctors that she is doing well. I’m glad she is able to start eating a little at a time.

    Keep up the good work, Deb! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. lisa groff says:

    Mary Lou, Thanks for every word you think and type under the stress you are all under. Good for Deb and her team for making these improvements. Many positive thoughts and healing prayers are coming your way. Still in Hilton Head and miss you no matter where I am.
    Love, Lisa and George

  7. Ted Barber says:

    We (the Honor Class) are praying for your complete recovery. None of us know God’s plan, but we know He has the power and that His plan is the best. Your progress is wonderful and we are happy for you.

  8. Mary Lou – thank you for the message about Deb. You are a wonderful care giver and great that Andy and Tara helped on Tuesday in the move and all. So glad that Deb is improving Day by Day. Wonderful news!!! Keep fighting Deb!!! You are wonderful and the planet is lucky to have people like you. Love and health and keep strong and all our spirit is with you. DOUG and GAIL

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