Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank You

Thank you to my new friends at handmadeMN for featuring my needle felted vase on their web page!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Proud Mom

As you may know I recently traveled to Washington D.C. to be with my son Peter. He has been with the military since before his graduation from high school and is now stationed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in Norfolk Virginia and has just recently returned from a seven month deployment to support our troops in Afghanistan. At some point in time while serving on "The Big Stick" he was asked if he would be interested in donated bone marrow, it would take very little time...just swabbing the inside of the mouth...and he agreed. The chances of being matched are small as most donations are made by family members of the recipient. But after several months he was contacted and told that he had been matched, and in fact the match was as perfect as possible considering donor (Peter) and recipient were unrelated. Was he still interested in donating?? You bet!! The donation process was handled by the C. W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Program based out of Washington D.C. The DoD program is one of 200 participating marrow donation programs with the coordinating center in Minneapolis Minnesota. The NMDP provides a national coordinating center where patients can become matched with volunteers who registered at donor centers like the C.W. Bill Young DoD Marrow Center.
When Peter called home to let us know that he would be donating his father and I were surprised and very pleased. He also let us know that the DoD would be willing to fly me out to be with Peter during his procedure. The program assigns a coordinator to work with Peter on setting up upcoming procedures and all travel plans. So on August 4th I flew into DC where I was met at the airport and transported to the Leavey Convention Center, a hotel and convention center attached to Georgetown University. Peter's flight out of Norfolk was delayed so he met me at the hotel.

On the morning of the 4th we were met in the lobby of the hotel and guided over to the Lombardi Cancer Center where the procedure would take place. Peter was prepped for surgery and off he went. I was told the procedure would take approximately 90 minutes and I could return to the hotel room where I would be contacted when he was out of recovery and back into a hospital room. During the procedure they made four incisions, two into each hip, then used a drill about half the size of a pencil to remove the marrow from the pelvic area.

At about 11:00 a.m. I went back to the hospital to sit with Peter. He was awake and doing well. That evening we were treated to a special dinner of steak and lobster, a little thank you for his donation. He spent that first night in the hospital and was released to the hotel the next day with pain meds. We spent that entire day and evening relaxing and resting in the hotel. On Friday we ventured into DC for a little exploration. He was told to take it easy and at the time we thought we were. We walked to a shuttle on the campus that would take us to the nearest metro station where we boarded a metro train that took us right to the Smithsonian Museum.

We took it very easy and just walked through two of the Smithsonian buildings. Peter was interested in the Space and Aeronautics museum while I was more interested in all the beautiful gardens surrounding all the buildings!

We later went through the American Indian Museum.

Both museums were fantastic!

We took the metro back to the University just in time to meet our ride to the airport. Everyone involved from the Dod program were terrific, from our coordinator Tim, to the nursing staff, to our driver! They all took care of us well and thanked Peter profusely! Back to Norfolk where Peter recuperated on the couch while mom cleaned the "bachelor pad".

The following Monday Peter reported for muster at 6:30 a.m. and then proceeded to medical where they wrote orders for a weeks worth of convalescent leave. And
he surely needed the entire week to recoup! The pain was not bad but the achiness and stiffness were just not letting up. By Wednesday his coordinator was becoming a little concerned that he was not bouncing back as he should...maybe we overdid it in DC?? On Friday I took Peter to the Portsmouth Naval Hospital where they did an xray to make sure that a hematoma had not developed and ran blood tests to make sure his hemoglobin was back to normal levels...everything appeared fine. MORE REST!!!

We did take a car trip on Saturday up to Colonial Williamsburg to do a little sight seeing and shopping, it was hot with occasional drizzles but we walked slow...

Peter was back to work the following Monday and I flew home on Tuesday...and it has taken me this long to catch up and get back into a routine.

I highly urge everyone to consider donation, not necessarily bone marrow... a donation of any kind can save a life, restore sight, etc.

For more information on bone marrow donation go to

Monday, August 3, 2009

DC Bound

I am heading to Washington DC then on to Virginia for a few days to see my son Peter. He is in the navy and is traveling to DC for a bone marrow donation procedure. The dept. of defense's CW Bill Young bone marrow program is (very kindly) flying me out to be with him durning this procedure. I will let you know how everything went in a future post...Kathy

Sunday, August 2, 2009