I’m sitting at the kitchen table. Mom is on the couch and Andy is standing next to the sink – the holiday weekend is winding down, with the dishes put away, and leftovers still in the fridge. It’s been lovelier than I could have imagined. In proofing photos from today, I selected the one above – my shaving Andy’s head. It was an intimate moment – He’s decided to be bald with me throughout my transplant, and I asked him why:
I shave my head because you’re going through this period of change and I don’t want you to ever feel that you’re physical appearance or lack of hair is hindering to you in any way. I want you to know that it’s OK to be bald and beautiful and proud. And I will stand beside you and represent My Woman.
It takes a lot of courage to choose to be with someone going through something like a Stem Cell Transplant. There are so many ups and downs, the distance and time apart is challenging, and also, there are no guarantees that transplant will even work. Add in a Global Pandemic, and it’s a recipe for a tough time. All throughout our relationship, Andy has known about my transplant, and instead of running away, he pulled me closer. It’s a beautiful expression of love, really, and I’m thankful for him every day. I will miss him tremendously when he leaves tomorrow – but I know it’s not forever, just temporary. And besides, we’ll go back to doing what everyone else in 2020 is doing – Zoom dates.
Overall, the weekend was nice and low key. I tracked my temperature (which remained in the 36-ish C range), ate yummy buttered noodles with Parmesan, had a fabulous date with Andy, picked up a few things from Trader Joes, enjoyed a soak in the tub, napped, read, took a lot of medications, FaceTimed with KK and Eli and Dad, and generally enjoyed excellent company. It feels wonderful to laugh again and be surrounded by loved ones.
Tomorrow starts a new week. Andy heads home to Asheville, and Mom and I get to establish our new Bethesda routine, whatever that looks like. I have appointments in the Day Hospital on Monday, and Clinic on Thursday. But that’s in the future, and it’s getting late. I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving – thank you for all of the support throughout this process. It means so much!
So proud of my nephew and you! One day at a time. Can’t ask for anything better than that –
with great pride –
Aunt Donna ❤
I ❤️ You guys so much!
Genuine intimacy is so hard to find and allow yourself to be open to feel especially after going through a few “bumpy” relationships before.
I admire you both and I’m inspired by your love and courage. 🥰
Yes I do believe that was a huge motivation for that big smile!!!