Day 100: Leaning into the uncertainty.

Day +100.

Today was supposed to be a milestone in my BMT recovery process. It was supposed to be the day when all of my restrictions were lifted and I would be able to fully enter into society again as a “normal” person. I’d be able to eat what I want from wherever I wanted, wear contacts, take public transit freely, start working out at a gym again, and even have a drink at a bar. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality today. Instead, I’m still restricted, fatigued, waiting, hoping for some sign of improvement or stability. Something that may take another 8 months to occur, if ever.

If you know much about me, you know one of my character strengths is that I’m a doer, a man of action. When there’s a need for something, I provide or get it done. This trait originates from, frankly, my lack of patience. I get anxious if I have to wait too long for something. I get antsy at the thought of dragging something out without taking some kind of action. I’m quick to make an efficient plan and I execute it promptly. So all of this waiting around to see what happens with my marrow business hasn’t been easy for me at all. I’m really being pushed to my limits, really being tested for all I’m worth.


To help me cope with these feelings of frustration, anger, and depression, I recently turned to channeling my energy towards embracing this unknown and uncertain time. I picked up Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times because, well, I’m going through a difficult time, and there are some pretty good bits of wisdom that I’ve been chewing on lately.

In dealing with my fears of the unknown future, of losing sharp mental faculties and ability for critical thinking, of losing physical strength and stamina for everyday activities, or being merely human, this passage really smacked me in the face and opened my mind to think bigger:

The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought. I can say that with great confidence. Emptiness is not what we thought. Neither is mindfulness or fear. Compassion — not what we thought.

Reading this made me think about how I was approaching the BMT and recovery. I had expected the transplant to go smoothly and the recovery to be relatively simple — both of which were true but mainly because the transplant didn’t work. This wasn’t what I expected and I was upset about it (naturally).

In my frustration, I was losing parts of my curious and adaptive self that were good at handling stressful situations; understandably so because, well, my life is on the line here. I was losing sight of the bigger picture and letting myself get wrapped up and consumed with the negative emotions whirring around in my body. [Spoiler alert: not conducive to physical recovery despite lack of substantial scientific proof.]

I’m shifting my focus to accepting the things that are out of my control and trusting that the outcome, whatever it may be, will be what is supposed to happen, what fundamental Christians call “trusting in God’s will.”


Another passage from Chodron’s book:

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs.

There’s a scientific concept about equilibrium in chemistry where in a closed system, though changes can occur, there is no net change within the system, thus the system is in an equilibrium state. But, the universe is an open system; therefore, equilibrium can never be achieved and change is constantly occurring. This is true about life. It is always in flux, always in motion, and we have to roll with the punches as they happen.

I’ll admit I lost a lot of this pliable flexibility when all of this started and became fairly selfish in an attempt to try to take control over a spiraling, chaotic, and scary situation. I had stopped rolling with the punches because the punches were too erratic and too painful. I had stopped being open to the possibilities of life and started demanding and expecting for events to occur in my way at my time. Clearly this has been an effective way of living stress-free. :/

Moving forward, I’ve decided to let go of what will be, something I thought I could control with my knowledge and understanding of science. I’ve decided to embrace the fear and lean hard into the uncertainty of my future. I may never be able to multi-task five things at once again or run a 5k without getting winded. I may never be able to do quick mental math or read for hours on end. These are the harsh realities of my life. But I’m preparing myself to accept what will come and I’m hoping for the best outcome.

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Day 98: This is not where I’m supposed to be right now.

Day +98. Sitting in the clinic waiting for yet another two units of blood and neupogen (hemoglobin 7.1, ANC 0.60). I’m going to be down right honest with you: I’m fed up. I’m tired. I don’t want to do this anymore. Aside from being physically draining, emotionally debilitating, and psychologically crushing, this whole process has been nothing but frustration strung along by small nuggets of false hopes and long hospital waits. This definitely takes the cake for the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, with no guarantee that I’ll even have a chance to do anything else afterwards.

I think the worst thing about my current state is that we (the collective “we” including my entire care team) don’t know what’s happening or what to expect next. We’re in a chronic state of let’s wait and see. Well, we’ve been “waiting” and “seeing” for the past three months! It’s difficult to remain patient and not frustrated when you want answers, but the reality is there aren’t any. At least not yet.

My marrow is doing this weird thing where it will seem like it’s slowly climbing in counts one week, and then crash out the next. I’ve been trying to connect this trend to my habits, what I’m eating, anything to provide an answer or something to me to do to make this better. But of course, there is no rhyme or reason to it. Frustrating.


In order to keep myself occupied and distracted, I’ve been seeing friends and trying to get out of the city as much as possible. Last week, I visited a dear childhood friend of mine Jenn in Chicago. We had such a good time! Catching up, eating all the things, and cruising around Chi-town.

secondcity

We saw a Second City show called “Game Night,” which pitted the East side of the room against the West side of the room. Led by a snarky but sassy host and four Second City comedians, we, the West side, laughed through a number of old game shows and came out on top as the victors. #champions

bean

You have to visit the Bean when you’re in downtown Chicago. And eat Giordano’s deep dish. And Garrett’s popcorn. And a classic Chicago style hotdog. Did I mention how much we ate?

fountain

A little selfie in front of the Buckingham Fountain.


I had a nice quick little trip to Bolinas, CA with my friend Dan. We did a good bit of walking and seaside cliff hiking around that beautiful, small town. Did you know that most of the Point Reyes National Park is on a completely different tectonic plate than the rest of the US? #sanandreasfault

fog

Karl was in full force that weekend. Misty, calming fog.

pacific

Right off the Point Reyes Lighthouse.


Despite all of the frustration, I’m still humbled by the amazing friends who have been nothing but supportive and encouraging. They’ve really been the fuel to help keep this fire burning. I’m so, so grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life.

With that, I leave you with a few pictures that make me smile.

ferry

The Ferry Building lit up at night is like the North Star. Flanking one end of Market St., it’s a stunning sight for sore eyes.

waldo

A childhood dream come to life! I think I know where to find him!

singleladies

Rodin definitely knew what was up before Beyonce. #singleladies

Day 84: On hold. Still.

Day +84. Two blood transfusions (four units worth) and weekly Neupogen shots have been the latest for this guy. My counts over the past two weeks have been nothing but a source of confusion and frustration. Ups and downs, much like a game of Rollercoaster Tycoon, minus the sadistic tendencies of a teenager who builds an incomplete roller coaster to watch the simulated park patrons crash a burn.

While my counts have peaked and dipped all willy-nilly, my care team has remained fairly consistent with their treatment plan: let’s wait and see what happens. What was originally thought to be a few weeks of “hurry up and waiting,” has now stretched to two months, with the possibility of extending to six or even twelve months of responsive treatment (e.g. getting blood or platelet transfusions and Neupogen shots) before making a call on a second transplant. There have been cases with other aplastic anemia patients where it seems like their donor cells have “disappeared” only for them to “reappear” six to twelve months later. So, while my body has been doing a decent enough job at barely keeping a loose immune framework together, there is still a possibility that my donor will come back in full force and steal the show.


I digress. Onto the more interesting things that have been filling my time in the past two weeks.

I had the awesome opportunity to stay the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa over Memorial Day weekend with Ricky and his visiting brother, Jake, and sister-in-law, Lindsay. We enjoyed the really nice weather and super sweet amenities of the resort while going to a handful of very nice vineyards.

Kicking my feet up fireside.


We went to Franciscan, Barnett, and Alpha Omega wineries. We had a reservation at Barnett and pulled up to a gated lot. #bourghey. The wine tasting was absolutely fantastic led by a very charming guide. The last wine we tasted was actually pulled from a barrel six months before it was ready to be bottled. Seriously one of the best cabernets I’ve ever had.

The wine cave at Barnett. It was at least 20 degrees cooler in here than outdoors.


At Alpha Omega, we had a good number of different wines and really enjoyed the hot summer day.

You can’t see it from this picture, but they were doing some heavy construction right in front of us. Oh, the wonders of photo editing. #Instagramperfect

napa


This past weekend was pretty phenomenal. Two great friends Matt and Joey got married at the Lawrence Hall of Science. They had everyone hashtag #gaysciencewedding on all social media to be able to track the night’s festivities. It was such a beautiful, fun, science-y ceremony followed by a tasty dinner, a night of dancing, and freshly made mini-donuts! That was the first time in months I had danced and had so much fun. I was definitely the sore the next morning, but it was absolutely worth it. I’m so excited for Matt and Joey in this next chapter of their lives.

gayscienceweddingLooking dapper, per usual. 🙂


The next day, I went on a hike with my friends Susie, Kyle (who is visiting from Boston), and Ricky. Susie, who’s an elementary school teacher, is taking her kids on a hiking/camping trip this week and wanted to plan out the trail beforehand. What a perfect way to gauge if a 10 year old can stand a hiking trail than to bring your immunocompromised and really-out-of-shape friend!

We had a pretty good time figuring out what we were doing while catching up and enjoying the views. We even saw a horse!

ggI love the Golden Gate. Srsly. I do.

horseMister Ed.

Afterwards, we went to Off the Grid at the Presidio for a relaxing lunch at the food trucks, and then I napped hardcore.


For those of you wondering: yes, I did in fact drink at the wedding. And no, it’s not forbidden — I just have to exercise caution and restraint, ergo, two drinks or less. Did I find my way around the champagne for a glass? Definitely. Was Fireball maybe involved at some point in the night? My lips are sealed. All I know is that as of today my counts are no better or worse off than last week.

On a related note, I’ve been beginning to wonder if I can start integrating “normal” things back into my life. I asked my transplant doctor at my last appointment and it seems that, despite my low counts, I’m able to do more than I thought. So much so that I’m going to visit a dear childhood friend of mine, Jennifer, next week in Chicago! I got the ‘okay’ to travel domestically. Things are starting to shape up for this guy, even if the counts don’t seem to read that way.

Day 70: A pocket full of sunshine.

Day +70. Encouraging news from yesterday — my counts have increased (ever so slightly)! I was super excited and very overwhelmingly happy when I found out. The implications of this are two fold, assuming the counts weren’t a fluke since they can vary so much: 1) my immune system has stabilized and is no longer dwindling its way out the door; 2) my own immune system has started to flourish on its own, despite the chemo, and will eventually repopulate itself. Very, very exciting. And so relieving. I’m not going to lie, I was getting very discouraged and frustrated at the fact that none of the treatment had worked in helping me get better. But this, this is a sliver of hope, which at this point I accept with open, grateful arms. 😀


This week I’ve watched eight movies. Eight — I decided to keep track this time. They include: Selma; The Invention of Lying; While We’re Young; Insurgent; The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio; The Mirror; The Longest Week; and The Lego Movie. I never realized how much media I consumed until I started keeping track of what I was doing. Damn! So many TV shows, movies, aimless internet perusing. Granted my brain still isn’t at fully functioning capacity quite yet, but this addiction to constant stimulation via the interwebs is, quite frankly, unstimulating.

In an effort to revisit past hobbies and make better use of my time, I’ve been trying to force myself to do more whether it’s “productive” or not. Logic puzzles, coloring books, crosswords, sudoku, baking, all fun stuff! But to be honest, all of those things only hold my interest for so long.

I’ve spoken with my care team and it seems that I might be able to go back to work soon if my counts stabilize and/or increase over the next few weeks! This forced vacation, as luxurious as it has been ::sarcasm::, will finally come to a close for now and I’ll be able to go back to having something to do! I’m actually really excited at the prospect of going back to work, to establish a sense of normalcy and purpose again. Not to say that there hasn’t been a purpose in my recovery period, but I’d like to be able to focus my attention on something other than figuring out what to do for the day.

Here’s to a vibrantly robust, youthful body which is stubborn and doesn’t take help from a gracious donor! 🙂

Day 62: It’s still pouring.

Day +62. My counts are continuing to trend downward with my neutrophils dipping into the danger zone. I got a shot of Neupogen to help boost those numbers today.


You know the old saying when it rains, it pours? Whelp, I think my garden’s been drowned out with all of this excess water. I get it, Life, I really do. I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for living, loving, and forgiveness. I’ve come to terms with the worst case scenario through all of this — death — and I’m okay with it. I’m draining my insurance company for almost every last penny they’re worth with all of this treatment. I. Get. It. Can we now buck up and get it together? Can we move out of the storm and into shelter? The moon is cute and romantic and all, but when is the sun going to come back out? (According to Annie, it’s tomorrow but I’m not sure if I believe her anymore).

This week has been one of emotional upheavals and intense processing and acceptance. Aside from dealing with the frustration, irritation, and annoyance from my graft rejection, I, again, have been disappointed by my family, specifically my parents, in a time of great need. Sparing you the complex details, though they wish me good health, they have expressed that they will not support me in the only way they can right now, unconditionally. The situation is saddening and discouraging, but given my current state it is better to surround myself with friends who will support and encourage me than to expose myself to negativity.

I am constantly overwhelmed with immense gratitude and humility for all of the wonderful, beautiful, loving human beings in my life, near and far. I seriously wouldn’t have the strength to get this far on this journey, dealing with all the crap I’m handling without each and every single one of you. ❤


Graham sent me a link to these beautifully designed and poignantly written cards for people to give to loved ones experiencing a health crisis when they don’t know what to say. Emily McDowell just launched a new line of Empathy Cards. See them below. I’m seriously loving them.

She’s a cancer survivor herself and has released a line of 8 cards. She plans on releasing more cards in the future. I want to contact her and submit card ideas.


Lastly, I’ve been indulging myself in a lot of pastry lately (obv). My most recent addiction: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. They’re famous for their cruffin (croissant + muffin), which is seriously, seriously out of this world! They have a different unique filling each day with two specialty donut flavors as well. The picture below is their “Madhatter’s Tea Party Cruffin” (chocolate earl grey tea custard topped with meringue and chocolate pop rocks), with vanilla cream and chocolate peanut butter cream donuts in the background. This picture gave me a little Instagram fame, nbd. I’m seriously addicted. Plus, it’s a short walk from Ricky’s! 🙂

cruffin

Day 59: Graft Rejection.

The two most dreadful words I could possibly hear right now: graft rejection. That seems to be what’s happening according to my counts and chimerism percentages. My last post was written when I stopped all of my immunosuppressant medications with the hopes that the donor cells would be allowed to grow and begin flourishing, keeping an eye out for GVHD. That was about 10 days ago. Since then, my counts have continued in their descent. Thankfully, not to a dangerous range, but still trending downwards. Frustrating.

I saw my doctor today and he leveled with me. It appears that the graft is not holding in my marrow. My immune system, despite having blasting it with a pretty strong immunosuppressive chemo regiment pre-transplant, is attacking the donor cells as well. Basically, my body ain’t got no time for no one.


So, what’s the course of action? My doctor said that we’re going to hurry up and do nothing. So, more waiting. The plan is as follows:

Min’s sAA Post-Transplant Treatment Plan, v3.0

1. Track my blood counts and donor chimerism percentage for a few weeks and see if they stabilize; ‘they’ being my counts. If this happens, then no other major course of action needs to be taken except monitoring my counts, until I die, and treating as necessary (e.g. blood transfusion, platelet transfusion, neupogen, etc.)

2. If my counts never stabilize and continue to drop, we’ll check to see if my body has developed antibodies against my donor’s blood.

2A. If I don’t have antibodies against my donor, we’ll try a stem cell transplant and see if that helps.

2B. If I do have antibodies against my donor or the stem cell transplant doesn’t help, we’ll have to find a new donor and re-attempt the marrow transplant. The chances of having a successful graft on the second try is low, but it’s better than doing nothing. Additionally with the second transplant, I will have to undergo full body irradiation in addition to the chemo regiment pre-transplant to ensure that everything single effing cell is obliterated and we start from scratch.


Needless to say, I’m upset about all of this. Particularly, I’m pissed. Mainly because I expected, wished, hoped that the transplant and this recovery period would be the extent of my treatment; all would go well; and I’d be back to my “normal” life come the fall. Now, it doesn’t seem like that’s even a possibility anymore. I’m so irritated with my body and how stubborn it’s being, rejecting both my old and new immune systems. I’m frustrated about the prospect of this physically, emotionally, spiritually, and fiscally draining process dragging on for many, many, many more months. I’m tired of having nothing but concerning and discouraging news to tell my friends and family who all just want me to get better. When will this end?


*sigh*


Despite all of the not-so-great news and boat loads of emotions, my friends have really stepped up and have been nothing but supportive. From brunches to coffee dates; homemade pasta dinners, full casseroles, and simply vegging and watching movies; house sitting, rides to my appointments, and feeding my addiction to froyo, they’ve been there. I’m so, so humbled by everyone’s willingness to listen, to comfort, to just be there during a time of great need. Giving without expecting anything in return, being a firm hand of support when I stumble. I’ve been blessed with more than I know what to do with and the only thing I can offer is humble, tear-filled thank you. I love you guys.


A few pretty pictures I’ve managed to snap over the past week. I should do better about snagging more.

sutro

The view from Graham’s dining room window. Stunning at sunset.

petaluma

Helen Putnam Regional Park for a midday picnic.

chrissyfields

Coffee and donuts with Kayla at Crissy Field Beach. The Golden Gate never gets old. srsly.

Day 48: The Chimera That Wasn’t.

Day +48. Just got the results from the most recent chimerism test of my cells (T, B, and neutrophils) and the percentage donor cells dropped from 42% overall to 5% overall. Not a good thing. This helps explain why my cell counts have been slowly dropping over the past two weeks, in addition to some of the drugs I’m taking which are known to lower counts. By the way, my counts have been steadily dropping over the past two weeks. Nothing is in the critically dangerous range, thankfully, but they have been trending downward.

The plan moving forward is to stop all immunosuppressants (the drugs Tacrolimus and CellCept) and weekly monitor the chimerism status in hopes of getting the donor cells to grow since we’re removing the “brakes” that are the immunosuppressants. Worst case scenario if my counts continue to drop and the donor cells don’t pick up is we’ll ask my donor for a hematopoietic stem cell donation and I’ll get a stem cell transfusion. The expectation is that the stem cells with help supplement the marrow transplant, differentiating into the appropriate sub-cell types and aiding in the repopulation of immune cells. The stem cell infusion is outpatient and fairly similar to getting a blood transfusion, e.g. being hooked up to a pump and receiving the goods, so non-invasive and painless.

I’m not worried at all. I have complete faith that my donor cells will pick up and I’ll start to rebuild a functioning immune system. Until then, I’m still holding tight and trying to recover as quickly as possible while maintaining my sanity.

On the upside, my RBCs and hemoglobin are steadily increasing! Which is fantastic. And I’m gaining more energy as the weeks pass. Which is wonderful.


Speaking of maintaining sanity, I apologize for not having updated in a while! The days just seem to pass by so quickly as of late. What I’ve been up to:

– I churned out another vocal arrangement for Resound of Mumford and Son’s Below My Feet. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’m super excited to hear it come together.

– I’m working out a few donut recipes! Cake donuts, yeast donuts, different flavor combos, the works. This is part of a potential business venture a friend of mine and I are considering embarking upon. More details and pictures to come.

– Home errands. Now that I’m gaining more energy and mental faculties, I’m finally able to do all those little home projects I’ve always wanted to do. So far I’m rearranged my room, cleaned my closet (a major feat), and sorted through a bunch of things in my “junk” box…es. Spring cleaning never felt so good!

– Working through a brain puzzle book my friends Dan and Logan T. got for me. Gotta work on those brain muscles as much as my body ones! Verbal, visual, numerical, and logical puzzles galore. I love tickling my brain and having to think again.

– Binge watching Game of Thrones. I’ve gone through all four seasons in the past 7 days. It’s a problem, but I love it. #winteriscoming


As my brain and body are slowly coming back to a functioning state, I’m finding myself craving to do more and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been able to knock things off my weekly to-do list. If I don’t make a to-do list at the beginning of the week, simple tasks and errands I want to accomplish during the week and/or each day, I end up squandering my time on pointless, mindless Netflix binging. So to be a more productive member of society, as much as is within my limitations of a recovering BMT patient, I happily make and complete my to-do lists. It’s the little things really. 🙂

Day 39: #year27

Day +39. My counts are all about the same as last week. Discouraging? Slightly. Concerning? Not so much. The results from the chimerism tests came back, and I’m roughly 42% donor (meaning I’m still 58% Min), which is on the low side for this many days post-transplant. I should be around 50%. To help the new marrow grow more, they’ve lowered the daily dosage for one of the immunosuppresants I’ve been taking (CellCept) by a third and will redo the chimerism test late next week to see if it helps boost the presence of donor cells in my body. Worst case scenario: if my own cells over take the donor’s cells, I get a stem cell transplant from the same donor to help boost the number of donor cells. I knew I was healthy and robust, but geez body, calm it down! You need to let the donor cells take over and do their thing. Seriously.

Like I said last week, I’ve been gaining more and more energy which has been pretty great! I’m finding that I’m able to do more things I used to do, within reason. I still look forward to my afternoon naps, but they’re becoming more of a luxury than a necessity. My body aches and headaches have subsided quite a bit and my mind isn’t as foggy as it used to be. I’m really looking forward to being able to read books again! Finally.


Today’s my 27th birthday. I’ve officially entered my late-20s. While I’m celebrating my life, reminiscing all that’s happened so far, being grateful for where I’m at now, and looking forward to what will come, I can’t help but silently mourn the passing of my youth. I don’t mean to sound trite saying that I’m over the hill and passed my prime, because I plan to fully enjoy and thrive in my 30s. I mean to say that the period of life where foolish mistakes are more admissible has passed and I’m “supposed to know what I’m doing.”

To a degree, I can say that I do. I know waaay more about “adult things” like insurance, taxes, liabilities, and finances than I did five years ago. But I can’t honestly say I have a clear idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life. That’s not to say I don’t have any idea of what I want. I know that I want to get married, have a family, and eventually retire having lived a happy, fulfilled life surrounded by people I love and who love me. I know that I want the work I do, whether my career or hobbies, to have a positive impact on others. I know that I want to spread love and positivity, and foster inclusivity and acceptance wherever I go.

Huh. I take that back. I guess I do know what I want to do with my life, myb. For most of my 20s, I’ve obsessed about finding the “right” career or studying the “right” field to satisfy all of these things I want, when in reality I think the way to attain these goals comes from a way of living, of being, of existing. A way of treating people with respect, of not jumping to conclusions and passing snap judgements, of investing time in the people around you. Maybe my 20s have taught me a thing or two and I’m not as clueless as I thought…


I’m celebrating my birthday fairly low key this year. The day has restful and productive — chores and errands. Tonight, a few friends are coming over for bbq dinner and dessert from one of my favorite bakeries, Tartine! Pictures to come.

It’s truly a great day to be alive. Be well, friends. #year27

Day 32: Growing pains.

Day +32. My counts from my appointment yesterday are all in the normal range except for my red blood cells and lymphocytes. So insane! I don’t know how they climbed so quickly! Neutrophils, white blood cells, platelets, all in the normal range. The RBCs usually take a while to get back to normal, but each week they are increasing slowly. The lymphocytes (T cells, B cells, NK cells) will take a while to come back too as I rebuild immunity to everyday antigens or pathogens.

The CMV viral load is about half of what it was last week, which means the meds are working well. I imagine I’ll be out of the “dangerous” range later this week. But I’ll have to continue on the antiviral meds for another 4 weeks just to make sure it doesn’t come back guns a-blazing. I still have the annoying congestion but the cough is better and the mucus is thinner and less abundant. Yay for getting better!

I’ve slowly been regaining energy as well! I try to make a goal to walk to a different spot in the city (and back), to different parks, cafes, etc, just to break up my routine and sort of feel normal again.


Sometimes in life, you’re disappointed by people you most rely on. Sometimes your own family members are the ones who disappoint you. Sadly, this is the case for me. For reasons I’d rather not discuss here, my dad decided to leave to go back to Texas. I spoke with my NP asking if I really need a 24/7 dedicated caregiver since I’m self-administering meds, can make my own food, and can take cabs to my appointments (since I still can’t take public transit). For him, he thought it was okay but he would have to get the okay from the care team before giving an absolute green light. Until then, my friend Graham has graciously offered to be my temporary caregiver helping where he can and where I need any assistance. But let’s be real, I’m more than self-sufficient to be able to take care of myself.

I’m very saddened by this turn of events, but it was clear that my dad wasn’t comfortable here and after talking to my sister, he felt like he didn’t know how to take care of me. Whatever his reasons, I’m incredibly disappointed and really hurt, heart broken even. I understand and empathize with him so I’m not mad, but that doesn’t take away the pain and sorrow. I know it’ll pass, but until then I’ll just keep carrying on receiving support from my amazing friends and “chosen family.”

I’ve said this time and time again, but when life gives you lemons, squeeze out the juice, mix in some gin, simple syrup, and champagne, and enjoy yourself a nice French 75!

Day 27: Baby steps.

Day +27. My counts are all slowly on the rise! Woot! Oh, happy day. (OH HAPPY DAY). If we keep this up, I’ll be recovered to normal levels in no time!

I told my NP Derreck about the narsty yellow mucus I’ve been coughing and hacking up, and he flashed me a look of concern. He then promptly sent a prescription for a Z pack (azithromycin, a common antibacterial) to my local Walgreens. Derreck’s the best. 🙂


It’s amazing how much better life is when you stop trying to jump from the bottom to the top of a mountain, and instead take steps along the side. Less bruises and cuts, and much less failure. Reaching my tangible, daily goals has really helped boosted my esteem and overall happiness incredibly. Such a simple solution to bothersome problem.

Today I completed a 16-page arrangement of Everybody Knows by John Legend for seven voices for Resound Ensemble, the group I sing with in SF. I love this song and have always wanted to arrange it. I’m very happy with how it’s turned out and can’t wait to see it performed!

P.S. The music video is a bit dated. I mean, look at the cell phones! No touch screen? 😉


A snapshot from the top of Kite Hill in my neighborhood from my walk this afternoon. I love this city!

kitehill