Monthly Archives: March 2013

going “old school” – via snail mail

This will be a short post, because I have exactly 15 minutes until this episode of Wild Kratts is over and the boys are running in here asking me “what do we do now?” (it’s exhausting being the social coordinator for these boys, and with their dad having been gone all weekend, I’m about out of entertainment ideas…)

Today I wrote a letter to my patient.  I’d agonized about it for a few days, (or was it almost two weeks?) trying to figure out just what I would say to this person who shares my blood.

What if she doesn’t feel as strongly about this as I do?

What if she’s doing worse?

Should I tell her why I registered?

Her note was very short.  I am (obviously) very wordy.  Will I overwhelm her?

How can I write what I want to say without telling her something I shouldn’t? (there are strict rules about what we can say in these letters to preserve anonymity)

So, finally, I sat down and I just wrote.  I told her my age, that I’m an engineer, and that I’m a mom of three boys.  I told her that I didn’t know how to write a letter to someone I have never met, and that I wasn’t sure what to say.  And then I told her about Bean.  Without mentioning his name.  And without adding a lot of details.  Because details are not for when you are writing something that is going to be reviewed, translated, and words possibly blacked out (her name was blacked out on the card she sent me).

I told her that I feel lucky to have had this opportunity (at least I hope I said that, because I meant to), and that I hope to be able to learn more about her and her family someday.

Two pages.  I could have written twenty.  Two is still a lot, considering I got three sentences from her in the first card she sent.

Oh, I hope I don’t overwhelm her.

Oh, I hope she gets this faster than that first card she sent to me (I got a Christmas card for St. Patrick’s Day).

Oh, I hope she’s doing okay.  Actually I hope she’s better than okay, I hope she’s doing great.

In the end – I am not second guessing myself, nor will I let myself review or rewrite this letter.  I am not even going to read it again.  I’m putting it in an envelope and mailing it off to DKMS.

Ironically, except for my husband, the last person I wrote letters to was Bean, way back in college.  Nobody writes letters any more.  We all send these instant electronic communications, without a second thought (or sometimes a first thought).  It’s kind of refreshing to sit down and hand write out a letter.  Those letters from my husband and Bean are some of my most prized possessions.  I don’t have the emails that Bean sent to me, those were lost with my university email account long ago.  But I have the paper letters, and I cherish them.

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A letter!

In stem cell donation news, I got a card from my recipient this weekend!  It said that she was doing well and was soon to be released from treatment!  I’m so excited to hear that – the note was from December, so I imagine that she may have now been home and healthy for at least a little while.  (I’m guessing the delay is due to the fact that all letters have to go through DKMS to ensure anonymity.)  I need to write her a return letter, as soon as I can get my head around what to say…  

What do you say to someone who has your blood running through their body?

I have a long list from the agency about what I can NOT say…


Sing it now…in-flu-en-za

Yeah, so I’ve been absent again.

What can you do?  Really, life just gets in the way, and in the grand scheme of priorities, the blog falls WAY lower than, say, providing for my family or spending time with my children.

So there.  Mom guilt > blog guilt.

So where have I been, you might ask?

Well, at the end of February you would have found me jet-setting around the world, from the US to Germany, to Paris, and back.  All in a whirlwind 7 days, and yes, for work.  I’d post pictures but they are trapped on my work laptop at the moment.  (Do you even want to see pictures, dear reader(s)?)

Work?  But, you say, it’s Monday.  Why aren’t you at work?

There lies reason #2.  Say it with me now…

IN-FLU-EN-ZA.  If you break it up it sounds kind of like a song.  Don’t be fooled.

I was broadsided by the flu two days after getting off that plane from Paris – Chicago.  It hit me so hard I finally dropped into a fever-induced coma sleep on Friday afternoon at 2:30 in the afternoon and slept until 7:30 the next morning.

It cancelled my husband’s scheduled trip to a symphony concert with his mom.

I was worthless for four straight days.

I didn’t even realize it was THE flu until today when I finally went to the doctor and got a positive diagnosis.  Of course today I am much better and no longer contagious.  Now I’m worried about anyone who might have come into contact with me last week.

Every year, religiously, I get a flu shot.  But this year, I didn’t get one.  Right.  This year, when I donated stem cells, the donor agency asked me to wait until afterwards just in case it made me sick.  Well, afterwards I ran into shortages of the flu shot at work, and a busy life with other things that seemed more important made me not go to the drug stores to get one.  That won’t happen again.

So today I’m home, working through a few minor tasks, the stuff I should have gotten complete this weekend instead of lying in bed.  I’ll go rest for a while when this post is done, because I’m still feeling a bit tired and out of it.

And a run?  I don’t even want to think about running yet…blargh.


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