My visits to the bone marrow clinic came to an end on August 10 and my last procedure was scheduled for August 15 so Ed and I decided to head out of the city for a few days.
We enjoyed an idyllic three days on Mayne Island. Early Sunday morning, we took off from Richmond floatplane dock in a Beaver floatplane. We flew ten minutes over Georgia Straight to land on Miner’s Bay on Mayne Island. Harry from Mayne Island Resort, http://www.mayneislandresort.com/, picked us up and delivered us to our well-appointed cottage overlooking Bennett Bay.
We had three days of tranquility in Nature: gulf island breezes, slow walks on the beach, some time exploring tidal pools with purple and orange star fish hiding under rocks from the sun, and strolls through the forest. We sat for hours outside our cottage just looking at the ocean, noting the passing of a few sailboats, fishing boats and whale watching boats as they cruised through Bennett Bay en route to their destinations. We arrived back in Vancouver last night, Wednesday August 14.
This morning at 7:30 I showed up at Vancouver General Hospital for my last procedure related to the stem cell transplant: the removal of the central line from just below my collarbone. The line had been inserted just a month before so the Doc expected it to just “tok” out but I warned him that my body has a way of hanging on to things.
The procedure usually takes twenty or so minutes. After twenty minutes, I was shaking all over and the Doc was getting frustrated. Eventually after forty-five minutes and much tugging, pulling and assistance with a wire, the central line released.
A nurse, Shannon, put pressure on the exit point to staunch any bleeding. Afterwards, they kept me under observation for an hour in case of bleeding. It’s just as well I could keep lying on the gurney – my legs were too shaky to get me anywhere for at least a half hour. After a little cry and some apple juice, I started to feel more normal. When they said it was ok for me to leave, Ed and I walked the two blocks to the condo; I ate half a sandwich and fell into a deep sleep for over two hours.
And now – I do not have ANY medical procedure in the foreseeable future. I’ll have to have follow-up blood work done on a bi-weekly basis – but that’s it!
I am very weak and my appetite is not yet back to normal. Not sure how much weight I’ve lost but I think I’d qualify as a runway model — if only I were eight inches taller!
The best thing is slowly, slowly, I am improving and making progress on all levels.
Tomorrow we are homeward bound. Can’t wait to get back to the pine forest up the mountain.