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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Up and Going

February 9, 2012

Wow!  Look at the beautiful weather we are having and the unusual amount of sunshine.  I feel now that the sunshine is just for mom.  What an incredible thing we have witnessed and been a part of.  From the shock of the news and the hardship of recuperation to the rebirth of a person with the stem cell transplant. 

Through it all, I have never once heard my mom question the why or the reason.  She has always stood firm in her faith and her commitment to overcoming this new adversity in her life.  It was hard, don’t get me wrong.  The struggle and the pain were at times unbearable.  But there was always the prayers and the encouraging words from friends and family.

She will be on her way to U of M tomorrow for a follow up visit with Dr. G. and then they will let her know when they plan on doing testing in the future to make sure she stays healthy and cancer free.  Her hairs are starting to grow on her little head and she is eating better.  Not as tired as she thought she would be, she still tries to nap on occasion, usually without any luck.

Thank you for all the wonderful thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homeward Bound

Greetings and salutations:

Well, it looks like mom can finally make the long awaited journey home.  We are so excited that she is finally ready and well enough to come back.  I can’t wait to see her bald little head but I think it will be a while before she can get hugs.  We have to remember her little body is like that of a newborn.  Virus’s and things that are going around will be very toxic to her so we want to make sure that if we are exposed to those such things that we won’t get near her or at least wear a mask when we visit.

I am sure that the hotel and hospital stay were as pleasant as they could be but I knew she was ready to come home when she made complaints about the hotel accommodations.  You know how hotels are…they are not like home.  Close, not as clean, and you just can’t be yourself.

Pray that she continues to improve with each and every day and know that God is in control.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I am starting to think that I shouldn't post any good news because it seems right when I do, things start to go downhill.

Mom was doing pretty well from the last post but because her immune system has been so compromised, she was placed on quarantine with the whole hospital gown and mask and no visitors.  She has had uncontrollable diarrhea, nausea and some vomiting.  Not fun and a real pain.  Dad has been so helpful for her during this time.  He has been out trying to find her a way to get her computer going, and making sure she gets what she needs.  I am sure it is very hard watching her go through all of this.  Sometimes I am grateful I am not there to see it all.  It seems I am weepy anyway and this would have me carrying a box of kleenex with me everywhere I went.

I thought she was going to start the shots yesterday, but I guess they are saving that for her weekend treat.  Prayers that she does not get any sores, pain in minimal and they get the other stuff under control.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

End of the week


Well after a few days with bouts of intestinal problems and vomiting and nausea, mom may be on the upswing.  She had spent most of the first part of the week in the bathroom but now she is more alert and able to walk around a little bit.  I think the best part is she isn’t as nauseous or having to get to t bathroom every few minutes.

Now, I know she is hoping that she doesn’t get any of the mouth sores, any more diarrhea, swelling of the throat or pneumonia.  Tomorrow is the day she starts the shots to stimulate the stem cell growth.  Since it caused her pain last time, it will probably cause her pain this time too.

My biggest regret for the weekend is that we were planning on visiting her and dad on Saturday, but Jenny has the flu and since it is a virus, we should not take any chances on passing anything off on either of them.  Saddened cause I miss my mom and dad, but I would feel totally worse if I was the cause of anything that set her back or worse.

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.  It is appreciated so very much and we are truly blessed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week one

Well, so far so good.  As good as can be expected that is.  Mom had the chemo on Wednesday, January 11.  It was the mega dose that is supposed to kill anything in its path.  A day of rest on Thursday and then she had her own stem cells transplanted back into her body on Friday.  This was to be about a 20 minute process that could cause vomiting and nausea.    With many prayers, she only had a little bout of nausea but any other side effects were minimal.  If she said she had pain or nausea, the staff there was right on the spot with anything she needed.  Dad has been by her side the whole time and they have been trying to rest as much as possible.

Because they are always checking on her, she doesn’t get long periods of rest, but she does get rest.  Sunday has been the worst day so far with more of the nausea.  She doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite and I know she tries to eat when she can, but I am sure she is losing weight.

The one thing I can say about mom through all of this is that she is not much of a complainer.  I know that unless I actually visit her, I cannot know how she is really doing.  I am not sure if she is trying to spare me the gory details (usually she doesn’t have any trouble sharing any info) or if she just doesn’t see it.  I know that she has said that her hair is still intact and despite the nausea, mild headaches and tiredness, it isn’t bad so far.  I believe sometime this week she will be getting the shots again to stimulate her stem cell growth and because they caused her pain the last time, they will cause her pain this time as well.

Thank you for continued prayers and well wishes.  Please note that while she does have her computer with her, she does not have access to the internet. I believe they want to charge her have this service and you have to sign up for a year?  Seems like a scam to me, but maybe my technically challenged folks didn’t understand the process.

Much love…….

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And so it begins

Well, mom has arrived at U of M and can receive cards and well wishes at the following address:

Romona Gainey
C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital
Patient Unit 7Mott/Room #37
1500 E. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI   48109

It looks as if she will be starting the chemo tomorrow and will be resting on Thursday.  Friday she will receive the transplant and for the next couple of weeks will be pretty rough going.  They say that she will probably have a lot of intestinal distress and she may be sick to her stomach.  Hopefully and with many prayers, her cells will generate quickly and the side effects will be minimal.  Dad said that any food she eats has to be cooked, no raw veggies (which she loves) or fresh fruit for risk of contamination.  She has access to email and a computer so if you have the address, I know that she would love to hear from all of her friends.  I am not sure she will respond much if she is not feeling well, but just the visual should lift her spirits.

Please note that she cannot have any flowers or plants during this time or after she comes home because of the mold and any other things that could cling to plant life. is to another phase in our lives that hopefully will have a much needed happy ending.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year

Here is hoping the new year will bring health and well being to all.  Now that we have started the new year, mom has a new date for her stem cell transplant;  January 12.  She will be allowed to receive cards and letters and even a few visitors if they are healthy.  I will post the address but will not have her room number until closer to the day so please remember to look again for that to put on any card you may wish to send.

As a family, I cannot tell you how much the prayers, wishes, etc have meant to mom and dad, as well as Chip and myself.  Knowing you are loved by many is such a blessing and seeing it in action has brought me to tears several times especially over this holiday season.  People that don’t even know mom and dad have read the magazine article and sent cards and prayers and her church family has done so much for them both.  Mom has a wonderful group of friends that she has known since school and they have also been generous with their time as well as financially.

I believe there was a quote by Helen Keller that says, “"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."  May we all walk among friends.