Journal entry by Corrine O'Day Hanan

What a peaceful day.  I slept a really long time.  Being in the hospital isn't really a place one can seriously rest a long time in sequence.  This clinical trial I am doing has several tasks that have to be done at specific times--vitals taken at certain intervals, labs drawn at exactly 2 hours post this, or at this time plus or minus two hours--so between vitals and labs and wellness checks, I came back to the transplant house very tired.  Woke up late, had a healthy breakfast, and chilled out.  We were going to go to a movie this afternoon, but the car had a dead battery.  I'm assuming it's a battery not intended to start a car in 5 degree weather.

This evening I made breaded chicken breasts, potatoes and gravy, and green beans.  It was good.  We have only eaten out 3 times in all the time we've been here, which saves money.  Before, I was still not strong enough to cook every day, so we ate out more.  Another thing to celebrate, right?!  Yes, right!

I'm beyond excited to report that my right leg hurts significantly less than the left one did, and I'm recovering much more quickly.  Both the hip and thigh are pretty sore, but it's more in line with a sore muscle than one that feels like it's tearing every time I bear weight on it.

Dr. Shah has me tentatively scheduled to get my central line out on Wednesday before I come home.  Of course, there's the caveat:  "if" my counts continue to trend up.  Specifically, if the platelets continue to trend up.  The white count is not horrible, and the red counts are almost back to normal, but these silly platelets just can't hop on board.  They were going up, but then they fell back down from 54k to 40k again.  Sheesh.  This is putting me at almost six months post-transplant never getting out of pancytopenia (where every single count is too low).  With the second injection of shots in the clinical trial, I am finished with treatment.  Now we just wait 4-6 weeks to see if it worked.  I'm excited!  The follow-up is so long (11 more months) that I was expecting to find out if it worked during the next 11 months.  But, nope, the rest is just following up on such things as if it works, then if it stays, if there are any side effects that pop up (so far, so good on that front), etc.

I had this weird reaction the other day, and we had decided what must have happened was that I touched my injection site while the Lidocaine was still on the surface of my leg, and then touched my eye.  I was talking to the nurse, and all of a sudden I got extremely dizzy and started seeing two or more of everything if I looked to the right.  It was very disorienting but only lasted a few minutes. The topical Lidocaine wouldn't do that just because it was on my skin, and I had received no medication or anything, so that's the only thing we could figure must have happened.  Well, fast forward to tonight, and it happened again!  Scott said I was hyperventilating, so maybe that's what it was, but I wasn't hyperventilating the other day.  Again, it only lasted a few minutes, but it sure was disorienting.  If I closed one of my eyes, it would stop.  But if both eyes were open, it would happen, and it got worse if I looked to the right.  So, if anybody reading has ever heard of this, let me know!  Right now it's a mystery.

I have mentioned before that we are in Mary's car while we're here.  Well, Scott got rear-ended a couple of nights ago by a youngster who admitted she got "distracted" while reaching for something.  He was stationary in the left lane, blinker on, waiting on his chance to make the left turn.  She looked up in time that she didn't hit him on full speed, but it completely ripped Mary's bumper off and tore a part of the underlying car (where the bolts, that the bumper was attached, ripped out).  Crazy!  Scott was not hurt.  Amazingly, Mary's car seems to have only minor damage, but the youngster's car's whole front end was smashed.  The officer said he was putting the cause of the crash as "inattentive driving," but didn't cite the driver with a ticket.  Scott thinks the office felt sorry for her, because she was so upset.  Scott also said the officer was very respectful and kind.  Plus, Scott appreciated how thorough the officer was.  So kudos to the Rochester Police Department!

Aaron called today, and he seemed to be in good spirits.  He said it's been a challenging week, but he also said it's basically typical prison life.  He spends a great deal of time in church-related activities.  He reads his Bible, he goes to church every time they have a service (different pastors come in and do services), he goes to Celebrate Recovery, and he attends AA.  And he reads a lot of self-help stuff, mostly faith-based.  I'm so grateful to God for waiting on Aaron to find his way back.

Who I need to touch base with is Bethany!  Haven't talked to her in a bit.  I will let you know how she is doing.  Kristy reached out, and I called her back, but didn't catch her, so I will have to try again.

I guess that's today's update.  Not a lot going on, but every day has something wonderful.  Last night it snowed and Rochester was gorgeous this morning--even though it was only about 5 degrees when we got up.  It's definitely a stay inside day tomorrow!  One, it will still be cold, and two, we can't go get a battery charger until Monday.  We have AAA but have already used up our service calls!

So, hope tonight finds everyone aware of their blessings.  I truly believe they are always there, but sometimes other intrusions and life events can be so overwhelming we can overlook the good that does exist.  Today I was reading about the Catholic boys, wearing Trump hats no less, who were taunting the Native Americans at the March for Life in Washington.  Then I watched the video.  It was terribly sad.  That youth, at that age, could have developed such insidious disregard for human life and all its differences, is appalling, and dreadfully devastating.  I also looked at the overwhelming response--of those who were also appalled and speaking out--and I see the positive.  There are still people who care, A LOT, about how others are treated, AND they are willing to speak up on others' behalf.  

God gave us a direct way to find hope.  Through HIM.  Pray in the name of Jesus, and you will find your hope.  He will never abandon us.  Enjoy your evening.  In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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