September, 2009 browsing by month


Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Two days to go!!  Well, actually, one and a half days.  We leave Monday around 6 AM to head out to Seattle.  Aside from having to drop my babies off at the kennel tomorrow morning, I’m quite excited.  I did a little photo shoot with them tonight so I can have a good picture to take out to SCCA.  It will grace one of the many transplant survivor boards.  When I was at the clinic, I stopped and looked at each board while walking to and from my appointments.  Each face gave me hope, and I couldn’t wait until they asked me for my own mug.  I spent about an hour looking through photos to find the perfect shot, until I decided to get dressed up, fix my hair and makeup and create some new shots.  And I didn’t even go anywhere tonight!!  I wonder if other patients spend this much time picking that perfect picture-of-health photo to share.  :)

All is well here, aside from a weird jaw issue.  Lately, I’ve been waking up with a swollen left cheek (and sometimes right too).  When I touch my upper jaw, it feels like a bruise.  Ibuprofen and ice bring the swelling down, but it’s obviously not a permanent fix.  Strange, huh?  I visited my primary care this week, and he’s not sure what it is.  He sent me to get an X-ray to make sure I didn’t have osteonecrosis, a rare side effect from Fosamax, one of my pills…I looked up “osteonecrosis” on Wikipedia and found the phrase “dead bone from poor blood flow”.  Thank goodness the X-ray came out clear!!  My next step is to visit a dentist (which I’ll do in Seattle)…it could be that my mouth guard needs to be manipulated.  Yup, I’m a tooth grinder!…unfortunately.  I’m thinking good thoughts for my jaw.  =)

Is it just me or do medical waiting rooms make you sleepy?  I thought I might knock out while waiting for the X-ray.  I blame it on the whisperers sitting next to me.  Seriously, anytime people start whispering, I just want to grab a pillow and fall asleep…is that normal?  :)

Speaking of sleep, this is a short post ’cause I’m tired, and I have to get up early to drive the pups to the kennel.  If I’m not too busy partying, I’ll try and post from Seattle.  I hope everyone is doing well.

Lots of love,

There’s no bone marrow like a Seattle bone marrow.

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Happy September!!

You haven’t heard from me in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been compiling photos for ya’ll to enjoy!!!!  :)  Yes, I’ve been a busy girl.  Birthday parties, a race, the canine cruise and happy hour, walks in the neighborhood…you know, just generally good, fun stuff!

What a wonderful summer it was.  Now the katydids are quieting down and the thermostat is dropping (thank goodness!), so we know fall is nigh.  I know pretty soon my desire for iced tea will switch to apple cider and hot chocolate.  Tonight, while driving the pups around on our evening survey of the neighborhood (after our walk), I saw my first pumpkin.  Not ever in my life, but my first one of the year.  :)  Thank you Butlers for being the first to start decorating!

So, it’s hard to believe it’s September, don’t you agree?  I will be in Washington state in a week and a half.  I got my schedule a few days ago, and I thought I’d share it with you, because a lot of people are curious as to know what my one-year check-up entails.  So, here you go:  Monday, the 28th, I start at 7:30 AM.  I register, go to blood draw (and I’m sure they’ll be taking lots of tubes!), then head to the gynecologist, followed by a dentist, followed by a pulmonary function test, a meeting regarding a respiratory study I’m participating in, and finally a bone marrow aspiration!  My day should end around 2 PM.  Tuesday, I have an “axial skeleton with radiology”…a bone scan, perhaps?  After that, I have a two-hour meeting with a long-term follow-up physician, physician’s assistant and nurse, and finally an appointment with an ophthalmologist.  Wednesday, I have the day off.  Thursday, I meet with the nurse regarding vaccinations, the long-term follow-up physician and the pharmacist (separate meetings, by the way).  And that’s that!  I’ll have some busy days, and I’m excited about it.  That’s right…not only am I thrilled to be going back to Seattle, but I can’t wait to walk through those clinic doors and get the SCCA two-thumbs up, clean bill of health, thorough check-up!  Plus, there’s no bone marrow like a Seattle bone marrow.  Yup, you read right!  Picture yourself lying on a table with heated blankets and classical music playing softly.  You can have as many pillows as you need, and you’re encouraged to relax.  Sure, it’d be more relaxing if there weren’t any needles involved, but life can’t be perfect.  :) Dr. Kales, you will ALWAYS have the highest rating for painless bone marrow biopsies/aspirates, but Seattle beats ya on the ambience.  Perhaps I should suggest that my doc’s office provide similar luxuries.

On the job front, well, there’s nothing on the job front.  As I wrote previously, I just did it, as Nike recommends, and I called Rachel from Washington Women in PR.  She never called me back.  It’s possible she’s on vacation, but considering it’s been almost a month since my e-mail, and taking into account that her contact information is on their website with regards to the volunteer project, I’m pretty darn sure I won’t be hearing from her.  Some PR person she is!  :)  Anyone have a friend in PR?  Remember, it’s all about contacts, contacts, contacts.

I did fill out the Myers-Briggs assessment test today, as well as the Strong Interest Inventory, both offered to me for a small fee through UVA alumni career services.  Now I’m just waiting to hear from someone in the office who will interpret the results.  I’ll let you know what I discover…it’s exciting, isn’t it?

This is a relatively short post tonight (although you have lots of pictures to peruse).  Laura, if you’re reading this down in Costa Rica, Indie is quite happy here!  We’ve been taking walks every day, and she especially enjoys the car ride aferwards, when we tour “English Hills Game Park”.  I thought she was going to jump out the window when she saw a groundhog…in fact, they all went crazy!!  Now, why does a little groundhog get them more excited than the many deer we see every night?  Bella’s been a bit more bold, showing herself in broad daylight.  Indie fixes her eyes on little Bella-bell and sits very still, her muscles tensed.  I don’t think they’ll ever be BFF’s.  :)  In other Indie news, she is frustrated that she can’t sleep in bed with me.  She puts her enormous paws and head in my face and just sits there.  I put a purple bandana on her, and one of our neighbors commented on how stylish all the pups were.  I think I’m mastering the art of walking three dogs at once, and I’m having a lot of fun!  To be honest, Indie, myself, Mom and Dad will all be sad to see Indie go back home with you and Tiso.  Jameson and Guinness might be OK with it though.  hahaha  Although Guinness has had several play sessions with her!

OK, I best be going.  Laura and Tiso, enjoy your time in Costa Rica!  Indie’s very comfortable here with us.  In fact, she’s lying beside me on the couch right now, and she says something about how she loves me the most now.  But don’t worry…I’m sure she’ll remember you when you get back.  I hope so anyway.  :)

Hope everyone is doing well!

Oh, one more thing!  Here’s a link to the “Connection” article about “Bark for Life”.  My comments sound rather childlike, but oh well!  Check out the picture on the top right-hand page of the article.

Lots of love,


PS Laura, don’t get all upset about Indie jumping out of car windows…I exaggerated a bit.  =)

PSS Another message for you, Laura…Indie is quite a loud snorer!  :)  Somehow it doesn’t bother me when dogs snore though…just people.