We had fun yesterday when two of our friends from the Bone Marrow Transplant unit and their spouses came over for lunch. Wednesdays work for all of us because our clinic appointments are always scheduled as Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday leaving the middle of the week the only day we are all available.
On the positive side, we're all sharing encouragement and progress with one another. On the negative side, we're like a 12-step recovery group trying to make it through one-day-at-a-time!
We've decided that at least in the short run, we'll try to get together every Wednesday while two members of our group are still restricted by the less than one hour driving distance from the hospital that the Karmanos team insists every new transplant patient observe. Both couples live near Lansing or Jackson so are just barely beyond what the doctors feel is a comfortable distance from immediate treatment or intervention should it be needed this early in the recovery.
There is Guest Housing on the Karmanos/DMC campus for recovering patients to live in or apartments nearby for rent until your doctor releases you to go to your actual home in between your scheduled appointments. By then, you're down to once-a-week appointments and can manage the drive. And you're past the most acute phase of the recovery period. Although, like Winnie the Pooh, you're never quite out of the woods!
(We are all barely 30 days out from the actual transplant procedure. Remember, the first 90 days are the most critical.)
On the day of the scheduled lunch, we greet one another warmly, visit for awhile, sit down for lunch, complain of "fullness and nausea", get up and bundle up in lots of warm clothes -- they're always feeling on the cold side -- and head out the front door for a leisurely walk down the street.
Then we head back in, jockey for the chairs closest to the roaring fireplace, and settle in for more conversation -- heartwarming stories, comparison of side effects, nostalgia over time spent together on the Karmanos unit.
At about 4 o'clock pm, everyone says their goodbyes, knowing they still have their IV magnesium sulfate infusions to administer when they get back to their rooms and must now negotiate the rush hour traffic back towards downtown Detroit until next Wednesday.
Don't know how long we'll carry on this new little tradition, but certainly until each of our transplant friends are "released" from their one hour driving distance restriction and can be settled back in their own homes for the remainder of their uneventful (hopefully!) recovery.
Eating with our friends
Followed by a walk outside.
These reunions help.