Tell the Bees

Lina’s Packing for Boston

Actually I’m doing laundry. All clothes that I bring have to be packed clean, directly from the dryer into plastic bags. Even though I suspect I’ll spend my week in hospital issue johnnies and pants, I can’t resist taking a few more interesting pjs along with me, and a few other things from home. I’m already homesick and I haven’t even left yet.

Yesterday in Boston , my nurse, Toni, reviewed the whole stem cell transplant schedule, this time detailing more of what to expect once I leave the hospital. “Day 0” is scheduled as March 20, when Mark’s stem cells will be harvested and then transplanted to me.  Like gardening.  The first 100 days thereafter are the most critical. They’ll be lots of trips  back to Boston to check in with Dr. Armand. “Engraftment” will begin the second week of April. At one month the doctors will start measuring the mixture of my and Mark’s DNAs in my blood. My blood/DNA samples will begin to look like Mark. My blood will make Mark’s cells, and his bone marrow, for my body. Just a little weird to contemplate. Good thing I really like my brother.

Toni told us that dust and mildew will be my biggest enemies in our house. So absolutely no going to the basement. The house really needs cleaning too – dusting primarily. We are having carpets and rugs cleaned this coming weekend. Our regular cleaning lady is coming Tuesday, March 18. Some friends are planning on helping to clean more thoroughly prior to my return.. on the 21st.

I can look forward to some manifestations of the GVHD (graft vs. host disease) – most likely GI tract disorders, maybe rashes, possibly liver problems. Although they will give me drugs to reduce or prevent the risk of GVHD.

Sound like fun? I’ll send more details from the hospital.

I’ll have my laptop, so email ( will be a good way to contact me, or try my cell phone 207-749-0075.

Thank you again for all the honey/love and support.

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Marta March 14th, 2008 11:31 am

    Can just picture the packing frenzy on Seal Cove Lane today and all the last minute calls you are making to ensure the girls are “tended” to in your temporary absence…We will all be with you as you make the drive to Boston this afternoon on the high (and hopefully short) road to wellness. A huge thanks to Brother Mark for his commitment to help our Queen Bee thrive again. (Those Newhouser family cells are damn good cells, and we’ve known that for a long time!) May both Newhousers be successfully joined to get our girl firmly on the path to recovery. We send our love to both you and to Mark, and also to wonderful Craig and your great girls, Chloe and Moriah. As the Quakers say, we’ll be “holding you in the light.”

    Keep shining!

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