Sunday, March 14, 2010

i'm trying not to fool myself

This past week, I've gotten over the baby steps and made some great strides in wellness. I've gotten the trach tube removed and watched the hole in my throat go from a half inch wide to smaller than a cocktail straw in the opening. I've gotten over the pneumonia and started driving again. i've become comfortable in the kitchen again, and ventured down full length staircases. I have picked up a gold club and made swings without pain. Yes, I'm bragging. Geez, you would too, if you were in a coma two months ago. I'm starting to feel good, and I'm riding a stationary bike for cardio and leg strength. Perhaps i'm feeling too good, because I forget that I'm actually very sick and tend to over extend myself and then sleep for too many hours, worn out from what used to be a half-day's activity. Perhaps i'm feeling too good because I forget that I am to avoid crowds of people and illness centers such as the grocery store. Then i remember that I will have to be confined to a hospital for three weeks after my upcoming transplant and that allows me to enjoy these freedoms that i have now and prepare myself for the normal life that I expect to have in the upcoming summer.
Whatever sort of prescription plan that I'm on, courtesy of my medical team, with the Campath leading the way, is working wonders for me. My blood counts are that of a healthy individual, extremely healthy even. I just have to remain healthy for these next few weeks so I can make it through the hell of feverish days stuck in a hospital bed.
I'm going to let Leslie chat at you for a minute now:

Hey everybody!!! Wow, where do I start?? We haven't updated the blog in such long time really only because so many happy, positive things have been happening, and so quickly!! (Hard to keep up). This past month has been awesome. Mark's strength is just coming back so quickly, it's quite astonishing. I'm so proud of him. We even had our first restaurant dinner this past week. We went to Bella Notte on Grand Ave. and went on a real live date and everything!! It was awesome because we chose to do that on a Wednesday night so that it would be less crowded. Mark even drove; and it was the first time I've sat in the passenger seat, while he was driving, all year. I got to hold his hand again, while he drove, and we talked about our day, (one of my favorite things). It was really a nice, lovely, precious moment.

All week last week, he's gotten up with me in the morning, and has driven me to the el stop; and to see him so excited and happy to do that, is so cool. "It's an independence thing" he tells me. That's fine with me. As long as he can prove to me that he's not in any pain or exhaustion while doing it, I'll support it. ;) I try my best to keep him out of grocery stores too; but man, it's tough to do with this guy!! He LOVES being in grocery stores!!! I think it's the cook in him...well, I know it is. He loves being at close range of "great and interesting ingredients" at any given time, so I try my best to keep the house stocked with "interesting ingredients" so he can do his culinary creations as he likes. At the beginning of last week, I stopped by Whole Foods (a.k.a. "Whole Paycheck"), to buy these interesting ingredients so that I could keep as many of them as organic as possible (part of keeping people in cancer treatment healthy is consuming as organically as possible). While sorta pricey, it was great fun because my only instruction from Mark was "just buy anything you think looks good or interesting, and I'll come up with some way to cook it for us". How cool is that?? All in the last week he's made a delicious pot roast and root vegetables; grilled salmon with pineapple and yellow rice; and an awesome bbq'd pulled pork loin on a fresh french roll with outstanding mashed potatoes and a seared tuna steak with brussel sprouts...oh AND grilled pork chops with fresh fennel and apple. I mean, this dude can throw DOWN in the kitchen!! I think the cooking and the kitchen keeps him sane...and very very happy. How lucky am I that I get to reap the rewards of that?? It's pretty sweet.

So yes, we are taking advantage of this "healthy time"; and are gearing up for the journey of the transplant. The docs say it will happen within the next month. We're not totally sure when exactly; just within the next four weeks or so. So every single moment of strength, and happiness and any amount of laughter and levity is what's keeping both of us on track. And it's so nice that the trach's gone, the tubes are gone, the wound that the chest tube left has healed nicely, and I'm free to lay on him when we fall asleep without hurting him. You can bet the farm that those are the moments that I make sure to notice and appreciate more than anything.

We're on our way everybody. Thanks again for all of your kind words and encouragement. ALL OF THEM mean the world to both of us.

Love to you all.

-Leslie & Mark


  1. What great news that you got through the pneumonia and the trach tube is out and that your blood count is healthy. Also that you can be a bit independent and drive, cook, and being able to venture more in your home. Excercise is important but don't overdo yourself to complete exhaustion. I am so happy for the both of you that positive and happy times are with you.

    And Leslie I sure understand about reaping the rewards of a great cook. My husband Rick is also excellent in the kitchen and ejoys creating wonderful meals for us (that is why I am carrying the extra pounds on me!) I'm praying happy and healthy times continue for the two of you and that everything goes well with the transplant next month. Love to both of you.


  2. Hey Les, try and get him to make ya some Chinese Meatballs w/Napa Cabbage-so good-like you two crazy ass lovebirds!
    And wear a face mask for christ-sakes when your in the dirty Dominicks or germy Jewel or Whole lotta fingerprints on da Foods, will
    ya Mark?

    Thanks for sharing the vibe
    Peace and Strength
    Stomp and J9

  3. So happy for you guys. Mark you are always on my mind, praying for your strength in mind and body. Great to hear the happiness in your blog. Enjoy and keep at it. Talk soon. XXOOO Jamie

  4. Barb & Pat ( Mom & Dad)March 23, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Hi Leslie and Mark, So glad that Mark is feeling better! WOW thats great that Mark cooks for you Leslie, I would so love that ! Keep up with the great news Mark of you feeling better ! We miss the both of you so much! Love, MOM AND DAD, (Barb and Pat)