This past week has been one of my most fun weeks since I came to Nashville. Last Thursday my brother came by to see me on his way home to Indiana from Alabama. We only get to see each other about once a year, so that was a treat. Around 2:00 (and no crowds) we went out to eat at Blackstone's. That is the first time I've been out to a restaurant in about a month.
Friday I went to OTU clinic. My platelets and my white counts were still good. But even better, they detected new baby red cells. In my red blood, about 2 1/2% of the cells are the new ones. This is higher than what would normally be seen in a well person and wonderful news for me. It means my new bone marrow is responding correctly and making more red cells in response to the low numbers. My hematocrit was down to 30 and they had talked about giving me a transfusion Friday, but based on this info on new red cells, decided not to so they can track the new cells. I did have to get magnesium.
Saturday was my birthday. DD#2, Abbey, Donnie and Sally came up to see me. They brought gifts, a cake and homemade chicken and dumplings. As expected, my two darling daughters loved my red ottoman. Amongst other things, they got me some red pillar candles for the mantle, which go quite well with the ottoman and the throw pillows I already had here. Sally baked my grandmother's Lemon Cake for me and made my other grandmother's recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. That was so kind of her. And very handy to have a family cookbook! From Mike I got a new lens for my camera (AF-S Nikkor 10-24 1:3.5-4.5G ED DX). Now we need to go back to the Grand Canyon! He also got me a Frank Lloyd Wright book that I didn't have. Oh, and Donnie bought me some Milk Duds. All in all it was a great day! I loved getting to see the girls. I do miss my babies. And yes, I know they are not babies, but they will always be my babies. Since I had just found out about the engraftment percentages I decided that I turned 22 this year.
Tuesday I was back at clinic again. Platelets are up to 151,000. My white count was down slightly, but fluctuations are expected. My baby red cells were making up 3% of the red count. Looks like my bone marrow is doing a good job of trying to catch up. My hematoctrit was down to 29 and I'm a bit more tired, but we're still holding off on a transfusion. If my counts are still down tomorrow they are planning to give me one so that I will be OK over the long weekend. I had to get magnesium again on Tuesday.
Another thing Sally had brought Saturday were a bunch of heirloom tomatoes. These were plants I preordered in the spring before I knew I would not be able to garden this year. She planted them at her house and has been growing most lovely tomatoes. We've had panzanella several times and ate the last of them yesterday. Mmmm, Mmmm, good! Mike is going to be an expert on panzanella, tuna gravy, and fried green tomatoes before we leave here.
I've been wondering if my donor is vegetarian. I was for a number of years, but went back to eating seafood because I missed crab & shrimp. Occasionally I would eat poultry, though not often and once a year or so I might eat pork. Most of you who know me well, know I haven't eaten beef since 1984, and I have never missed it.
Now I am finding that except for tuna gravy, just the thought of most animal protein is actually making me feel nauseous. Today I wasn't feeling so great and asked Mike if he would just heat me up a can of chicken noodle soup. I couldn't even bear to look at the little pieces of chicken in the soup, much less eat them. And the one time I ate shrimp recently, it was all I could do to choke them down. Also, anything rich makes me feel ill. And I mean just the thought of it. I don't even have to try it for that to happen. Fruits, vegetables and grains don't bother me at all, so it's not a sign of GvHD that I am not eating. This is one of those things I am noting for future reference.
My cousin's daughter is getting married later this month and her portrait photos were made this past weekend at the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens. My cousin sent me the link to the proofs. Aubrey is just beautiful and there are a couple of the pics that really show her playful personality. I know which one I hope they choose for the main portrait. Her bouquet is white hydrangeas, white roses, peach coloured callas and fuschia stargazer lilies. Did I mention she is wearing fuschia sequinned shoes under her long white dress? They are fab.
So I will leave you on this note. Day 100 is 21 October. If all goes well, I will get to go home next month! Doesn't that sound promising???
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