Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The French Laundry ... Again!

Although the kids have all gone back to California, this photo needed to be shared. Obviously we were all out to breakfast at The French Laundry. It's one of the few times Gil has ventured out in public and we cherished the morning together.

(Remember it's the first 100 days that are critical in the recovery process.)

Yesterday was Day 55 for Gil post-transplant. We were at the clinic yesterday morning and he was showing signs of beginning GVHD (graft versus host disease) so the team began aggressive treatment with steroids to get it under control. Realize, please, that we want a certain degree of GVHD which means that Genie's cells are doing their job in fighting Gil's remaining tumor cells.

I've often described the GVHD process as a war-like situation. There are skirmishes from each of the stem cell "camps" -- border-fights if you will -- when Genie's camp of stem cells crosses the divide and provokes Gil's camp of remaining stem cells that don't want to admit defeat yet.

After being attacked, Gil's cells rally themselves to mount a counter-attack. And on it goes. One skirmish after another. Sometimes it's an overt skirmish, with outward signs, and sometimes it's covert and we don't know it's going on.

The battles will continue until Gil is declared "leukemia-free." We're not there yet.

While the kids were here, they gave me a book of Haiku poems. I've learned that the 5-7-5 pattern of syllables in not absolute. Here is one I've recently discovered and wanted to share:


the packet of seeds,
asking, are you still alive?

Kiyoko Kotukomi

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