Day +16: First days home.

Day +16. My counts are holding strong and some are slowly beginning to rise. Another day of great news from the clinic — my RBCs (and hemoglobin) have risen! Though my WBC count has dipped overall, including ANC and lymphocytes, I’m not worried. We’re still in a good range for WBCs and ANCs, and it’s encouraging the numbers are where they are considering I haven’t had a shot of neupogen in six days. Despite the drop in ANC, I’m still confident things are going well because the counts haven’t completely dropped out. The plan to keep doing what I’m doing is in store for the weekend, and we’ll see what my counts look like Monday morning.

I’ve been home for four days now, and it’s been quite a pleasant experience overall. I had some reservations about my mom being my caregiver, being in a completely new city and in a foreign space, but she’s done really, really well adjusting quickly. A lot of this is due to my amazing roommates Chris and Danika being so helpful and accommodating, making sure she has as many things as possible to help her feel more at home. ❤

I’ve said this before and I can’t say it enough, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Not just because I found a second stem cell transplant donor and have, thus far, had a success transplant, or because I have an amazing support system world wide made up of people who are really concerned about my complete well being, but also because of how considerate and how deeply thoughtful all the wonderful people in my life are. I’m constantly in awe of the selflessness, generosity, and love that continues to pour out to me from friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers during this trying time. I’m just so, blessed.

Thank you everyone, truly, from the bottom of my heart. There were some pretty hard, dark days when I was in the hospital when I didn’t want to keep going. But remembering all the people who were rooting for me, hoping, praying, cheering me on, helped keep me grounded. I hope the worst of the days are behind me and I can focus on the better ones to come!

Living with my mom again, after almost a decade of living on my own, has provided a few minor challenges. We haven’t had a single fight yet, which is a good sign. Instead, we bicker. Like sassy old ladies. And we chat. Like gossipy old ladies. Basically, we’re a pair of old maids. And I’m okay with that.

Most of our conversations are about food. “What do you want to eat? What’s going to be for lunch tomorrow? Did you like dinner? What else should I make you? The soup was really good, wasn’t it? And for dinner, what do you want? What about this fish I bought? When are we going to eat it? There’s no room in the refrigerator; we have to eat all of this!” All in Korean, of course.

It’s been so great getting to spend so much uninterrupted, undivided time with Momma Cho. (I’m just as shocked as you are that those words are coming from me). Over the past few years, I know how much my mom has longed to spend time with the son she lost touched with since he left for college. It’s been calming and soothing to have my mom here to assuage and address all of my aches and pains, and to make sure I take my meds on time. There’s nothing like a mother’s touch to make the aches seem less achy, and pains seem less painful. Also, home cooked meals? Yes, please.

The first few days at home were actually pretty physically rough. I was battling severe fatigue, stiff and achy joint pains, minor constipation, a number of tongue and mouth sores, and muscle soreness. There was one day I was literally curled up in a ball crying because my stomach hurt so badly (on top of everything else) and who but my mother could come in and save the day to make me feel better.

Each day that passes, I’m feeling better and better, and gaining more and more strength. My stamina is increasing each day and my appetite is definitely getting better. My personality (read: sass) is trickling back and my mental cloudiness is clearing up quite quickly. Overall a positive prognosis so far. Looking forward to seeing how the next few weeks turn out.


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