Do It Yourself Life . . . With a Cast of Thousands

Shann sun SentinelsShann sun Sentinels arms out.

Time has a way of moving ahead even when you could swear it was standing still. We are at Day minus 6. Five days of chemo, one of Total Body Irradiation (40 minutes worth) and then I receive the stem cells that have been harvested from Mariya. That is called Day Zero. My second birthday.

So today we meet the chemos with the oxymoronic term “conditioning”. I have always thought of conditioning as a positive thing: you condition your hair (if you have any), or your body. Conditioning in this world start with two consecutive days of 12 hour chemo drip and hydration at the SCCA. Cytoxan and fludarabine. We came in chipper and feisty but after about 4 hours, I could feel the nausea right through the anti-nausea meds. It will be my companion for many a day, so I can only hope to develop a regimen that will keep it tolerable. After that the chemo days will be shorter. Guess that peach fuzz starting to grow back on my head will go away again.

If you pray or mediate or send thoughts/energy out to me, please focus them on the next 6 days: that the conditioning and radiation are tolerable and don’t knock me for a loop, so I come in strong for transplant. I appreciate it so much and experience great gratitude for thinking of me.

The transplant, in and of itself, will be like any blood transfusion, and it will be anti-climatic. It’s what my body, mixed with Mariya’s immune system, does next that could be dicey. So I am praying for her cells to recognize me as part of her and to be nice to my system. This, I figure should be easy for Mariya, though our immune systems have their own minds.

I would like to dedicate to the UW Medical Center, the SCCA, the Fred Hutch center and all the donors, my companions in cancer here, Mariya my donor and bright spirit, Elena my energetic mover and shaker, and their friends, especially Will, who help them cope—Steve who makes me laugh and stay feisty, my funny dog, my devoted women’s circle, the whole wonderful and caring cast of friends and family near and far who send me so much, I can’t count the ways. Thank you.

So, we crammed in as much as we could cram over the last two weeks of freedom. Now it’s time to switch gears to a quieter and more careful time and really put the entire focus on a successful transplant with no complications.

Depending on how I am doing, this may be the last blog entry from me, personally, for awhile. Or not. However, Steve, Mariya and Elena are all eager and ready to write, so that should a treat.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I will close with photos of our trip to the Olympics. The whole family had to work together with our tight timing to make it happen but for all of us, it was something we really needed for the tough times ahead.  We went to Hurricane Ridge, Rialto Beach, the Hoh River Rain Forest and Sol Duc Hot Springs. I’ll let these photos tell the rest of the story.

 Hurricane Ridge

Family Hurrican RidgeMar and E hurricane Ridge

Rialto Beach

Elena rialtoDaugters RialtoSteve and Mar goofy Rialtoshann Rilatomar queen of rialtobeach rialtoVampire signRialto the girls

Hoh River Rain Forest

Hoh Tree1Shann looking up Hohtree moss HohSteve and Shann walkingElena yoga HohSteve hiking HohTree moss HohMar yoga HohShann with big tree HohBalancing of log Hohnurse log Hoh Steve balancing HOhMarsh HohMar photographerSteve and Elena HohShann and Mar Hoh2Shann and Elena Hohphoto 1

Sol Duc Hot Springs (taken through the screen window)

IMG_7700

21 comments on “Do It Yourself Life . . . With a Cast of Thousands

  1. Let the praying and meditating commence! Love, strength, energy all coming your way, family. Keep your eyes on that healthy body prize. xxoo

  2. THANKS FOR SHARING THOSE WONDERFUL, UPBEAT PHOTOS – I AM MOVED TO TEARS BY YOUR POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND HEROIC STRUGGLE – YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS OFTEN, AND I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST! HOPE TO SEE YOU BACK AMONG US VERY SOON! LOVE, CAROL

  3. Wow! Those photos sure brought back many memories of backpacking over there! So glad you all got to go there and the pics are ephemeral images. Our love and prayers/thoughts/energy are with each of you thru this next journey.
    Love, Lenore and John

  4. Great pics, thanks for sharing your lovely trip, know you are in my thoughts and prayers during this next part of your healing! Love and Blessings Be Beth

  5. Not hearing from you for awhile, I was wondering it you had the transplant. Wonderful Rain Forest shots. Full of life. One and all. Prayers for the six days are a given. Deep love to you. Sharing this journey is and will be a precious gift to others going through the process. Love, Nancy and David Jones

  6. What a beautiful family! And what a beautiful person YOU are Shann! I feel so much love for you all and send you my energy for the journey before you. I trust we will all embrace in the future and we will laugh and remember these amazing and memorable hurdles. Much love and a big polar bear hug.

  7. Shann, Janet has sent a prayer out for you every week. I will especially focus on your renewal and healing this week. Love reading your updates. Wishing you the very best, Weyshawn Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 02:51:40 +0000 To: weyshawn@hotmail.com

  8. After work today, I walked up the hill by the harvest ready fields of wheat to the corner of a quiet green field near some woods, and there I sat in the sunshine and meditated on you. I saw a shield of golden light around you protecting you from harm, letting through only that which will nourish and heal you – the light of everyone’s love and their strength willing you back to health. I watched the sun set behind a gold-rimmed cloud and then noticed a small herd of deer standing at the edge of the woods watching me. Sending you a golden shield to protect you on the back of the sun from here in the UK with much love from me and the deer …

  9. My continued thoughts, healing energy and prayers will be with you this next week and more. I really enjoyed seeing those photos of the your trip to the rainforest. I love that place and hope to visit there soon myself. Love you! Cindy

  10. Hey Shann, I have “put you in my pipe” and am sitting with prayers for your healing and return to a new/healed life in harmony with everything. Every day, every day… be well.

  11. I will be sitting and praying in joyful quiet for your strength and acceptance. I am constantly inspired by your briliant mind, your scope of consiousness, and you and your family’s heart. You are a great teacher! I love you!

  12. No trouble focusing positive thoughts and energy in the next week, especially when I know Scarlet is there to do it in person too. Absolutely loved the pictures and honor so much your decisions to prioritize your time together and in nature to renew your energy stores. I, of course really loved the yoga asana in the wild, those are yoga journal poses if any, in light of the story behind—-No Doubt!!! Keep up the
    good work body & mind and connect with the spirit and giving of Mariya –Be Nice to me! Luv Julie in Idaho

  13. Dear Shann,

    I have saved that first link of you welcoming the sun to my desktop for directing my thoughts and best wishes for you to come in strong for transplant, as I wholeheartedly believe you will!

    We’ll look forward to reports from Steve, Mariya and Elena but most look forward to your saying that Day Zero was indeed your second birthday with many more to come!

    Hugs, Alice and Ed ========== Alice B. Acheson, Book Marketing/Publicity Specialist P. O. Box 735 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360/378-2815 http://sites.google.com/site/alicebacheson Do It Yourself Life wrote on 8/15/2013 7:51 PM: > WordPress.com > Shann Weston posted: ” Time has a way of moving ahead even when you > could swear it was standing still. We are at Day minus 6. Five days of > chemo, one of Total Body Irradiation (40 minutes worth) and then I > receive the stem cells that have been harvested from Mariya. That is” >

  14. No wonder you seemed energized when I saw you, these pictures say it all. I am so thankful I had the chance to come through and witness the indescribable strength that is you’re everyday reality, and to encourage the beginning of the transplant process to be the rejuvenating lifeline you need. Mariya is doing an amazing job of hanging tough and I hope her and your stem cells and immune systems can see that! Love coming your way everyday ❤

  15. You are such a loving family, it is a joy to see you together. Big hugs go out to all of you and I am sending positive thoughts your way!

  16. Dear Shann,
    I have been reading your blog and each time I am so touched by the honesty and depth of your perceptions during this impossible time in your life. As you go through this next phase of treatment, I hope you can visualize the beautiful smiles of your family and feel the love that surrounds you. There are many of us praying – each in our own way, as we know best – that your inner strength and courage will help guide you through this next challenge.

    With love, Lori

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