Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whatever happened to Joel?

Do you remember Joel, the young Teletubby-Nurse hating, Studio 60-loving, father of three who was scheduled for an allo (donor) stem cell transplant on June 13? Last week I caught up with his wife, Heather, in the waiting area. Joel recovered so quickly from the transplant that he spent just 22 days in the hospital instead of the usual 28+. Amazing! One week after his return home, he was back in action with his Torah study group. Joel is preparing to become a Rabbi.

Yesterday I was thrilled to see Peggy and R, a couple from Hawaii who are living at Hope Village while R undegoes treatment. Last time I saw them, R was about to go in for an allo SCT. (A year ago, he completed two back-to-back (tandem) auto SCTs, but relapsed after just six months.)

R's been "home" for two weeks since his discharge and he looked as tall, dark and handsome as ever, even behind his obligatory surgical mask. He usually wears flip-flops, so I was surprised to see him trudging in heavy cowboy boots. "The staff is giving him a hard time about gaining back weight, so he's going to try to trick them by leaving his boots on when he's on the scale," Peggy explained with a wink.

It's encouraging to see how well these transplant patients have bounced back, both physically and emotionally.


Cricket said...

And you'll be one of them yourself!

Thanks for giving us this upbeat dose of real-world reporting from the CoH epicenter--great news.

Love to you--

Karen said...

Hi Susan!

I've been sidetracked tending to my mom's older sister, 85, who broke her shoulder last Wednesday. I'm glad to hear you're doing well and that everything is moving right along, and I'm also glad to hear that Joel is back at his studies and in such high spirits! You're right, it is very encouraging to see others who have gone through rough times doing well.

But I've got to say, the one who amazes me most is still you! I don't know where you find the energy to do all you do and not just "keep up" this blog, but do it with such style, intelligence and passion. You inspire us all! Thank you!

Mrs. Duck