Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Phone with Rooch

In this time of Clyde's transplant and recovery, everytime there's news, good or bad, I spend some time on the phone with both of my sisters. The two of them, Rooch and Clyde, have been very good friends for a long time. They're a pair of bookends, Rooch, blonde and fair to Clyde's brunette and olive complexion. Still, they've counted on each other through thick and thin for many years.

Yesterday was another very big day. We learned at Clyde's lab appointment that she now has "my" bone marrow. It appears that graft has taken hold. The lab is only able to measure up to 95% of the cells but what they see contains male chromosomes. That would be me.

This is a huge milestone. The cancer fighting benefits are yet to be determined but at this stage of the process, there is no better news to get. Cancer, consider yourself warned, we're coming for you next.

Needless to say, Clyde is ecstatic. Many of the failures along the way that she feared can now be put behind her. Now, armed with new bone marrow and a positive outlook, she can go about the business of getting herself healthy and back to some semblance of a normal life. Her appetite is good, she's sleeping and has begun an exercise routine that includes a mile walk every day. We are all excited about the potential success that lies ahead.

The phone conversations with Rooch after the last two rounds of good news have been very helpful for me. Anyone that knows Rooch is aware of her unflappable positive attitude. When you talk with her you cannot help but be buoyed by her confidence in the good things in life. For me this is important right now. Through this whole story I have detached my "self" from the biology and chemistry that is the transplant. There is no doubt now that my blood is at work helping Clyde regain her health but I don't feel like "I" have anything to do with it.

Rooch on the other hand is always very generous with her praise for the effort I put into the process. Be assured, the sacrifice was minimal but she continues to treat me like I'm some kind of hero. That feels good to me. I explained earlier that I haven't been able to let the good new sink in. Rooch's talks are helping with that. All of us have had worry and doubt about the success of Clyde's procedure. Talking with Rooch is always reassuring.

In times of family crisis, those involved seem to find a role to play. Clyde's the Warrior. I'm the Donor. Bee is the Experienced One. Rooch is the Keeper of the Positive Thoughts. Each player is essential to the others and at times, the most important of the set.

Clyde goes back to the lab next Thursday for the weekly check up. The medical team will be weaning her off the steroids soon and hopefully starting to back off the immonosuppresion drugs as well. In the meantime she feels well and is held aloft by some seriously positive attitude.

Thanks again for your positive thoughts and prayers. You are helping more than you know.

As for you Rooch, we couldn't be doing this without you.

Be well.

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