Accompanying her on one week of the journey was my Christmas celebration. For the last six months chemotherapy has been the steady menu, as the oncology specialists employed the most powerful drug cocktails to wipe out her blood cells carrying mantle cell lymphoma. At this stage of the journey of course the danger is infections.
On December 16 at Stanford she received back her stem cells for transplant. And in the last week when I stood at her bedside (or more often sat at the sidelines, as she was usually surrounded by nurses and doctors) her white blood count rose from .02 to 1.6 and continues to shoot up. This means the harvest has worked and she is now reproducing her own cells. Cross your fingers she will be discharged to daily outpatient care today. She will be required to wear an impressive mask whenever she is out of doors or in the public. And she will no doubt be wearing one of many chemo caps friends have provided.
Having been hospitalized a few times in my life I have some ability to judge nursing care. What I want to add about the team in the transplant unit at Stanford is that they are all saints. Not only that, the team for daily rounds was led by a woman nurse practitioner! Yeah yeah yeah.