Monday, August 24, 2009

They say it's my (regular) birthday

Top, birthday girl, today with my sister, Diane, and
at my party around age 7.

In transplant land, there are two ways to look at birthdays. One is the date on which you are born. Your regular birthday? The other, of course, is the date of transplant, marking the day when you receive your stem cells and get the chance for a new life.

Well, today is my regular birthday. I guess I can just say it's my birthday and most people get the idea. I've since had four other birthdays, the last on Jan. 31, about seven months ago. (In transplant lingo, that's seven months out.)

I celebrated with platelets and cake. It was a good day spent mostly in my favorite haunt, the Dana-Farber clinic. Joe drove me to Diane's, where she made a great variation on a Nicoise salad that I was happy to be able to eat. She then drove me to the clinic. I needed platelets (they were 12) but not red blood cells (hematocrit was 29). White count was normal at 6.3. I thought it would be a short day. Turns out that now my sodium is low, which sometimes happens post-transplant. I got an infusion of saline solution, and so by the time I got out of there it was after 5. Oh well, that's actually a pretty short day, since I didn't arrive until 1.

My instructions are to eat salty snacks and drink beverages other than water, which I was guzzling in the heat. Lemonade and Gatorade are two good ones. I usually have to water those down because they're so sweet, but I guess I should go a little closer to full-strength. Melissa said changes in intake will probably fix it, but I need to get my blood tested in a couple of days to make sure.

While I was getting my platelets, the nurses came over with a cake and a bottle of sparkling grape juice and sang Happy Birthday. That was very sweet.

Diane drove me home and dinner was almost ready, courtesy of Joe, who was making linguine with chicken, broccoli and carrots. Yum. Then we all had chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. Katie and Joe dimmed the lights, brought the cake over and the three of them sang happy birthday, Katie surprising us with a lovely harmony at the end.

Tomorrow we head for Cape Cod, where we will meet Ben for three nights in Wellfleet. I'm looking forward to it.

I guess I forgot to say how old I am. Oh well, it's my birthday and I can do what I want to.

Home with Joe and Katie and the cake, and below, earlier
today getting platelets at the clinic, where Kerri and other
nurses have just sung Happy Birthday and delivered cake
and sparkling grape juice.


susiegb said...

Happy Birthday Ronni! And I hope you have a lovely lovely holiday down - up - whatever the coast. (Here we say up or down the coast - Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast!!)

I'm assuming Cape Cod is on a coast - it must be!!

Tri Mommy said...


Regular Reader from OH said...

Do you have any idea of beautiful you are, Ronni? Seriously! And just so you don't discount the comment by thinking it's one of your kids or friends, it's not. I read your blog fairly often because of my spouse having a SCT in his future. You are extremely attractive!

Susan C said...

I love that photo of you on your 7th birthday. Just enchanting! And what a crisp, beautiful dress.

I'd have no problem with the direction to eat more salty snacks. I have more of a salt tooth than a sweet tooth.

And happy (regular) birthday!

hockeychic said...

Happy Birthday! I just adore the picture of you on your 7th birthday and of your current birthday too!

Trish said...

Happy Birthday!

A lot of folks call it their belly-button birthday vs whatever else they are celebrating (sobriety, post-transplant, anniversary).

Just had one myself and had a bag of platelets too. I think there is a theme here.

Looks like it was a good one (upright, enjoying things, minor detours to the hospital).

Mikha'el said...

Have a great birthday week!

Howard said...

All the best for happy, healthy year, Ronni!

pam said...

Dearest Ronni and Diane,

The Gordon-Gals reflect your Mother's beauty, grace and charm!

Once again, Happy Any-and-Every-Birthday You choose to celebrate, every day, month, whenever, wherever...


Anonymous said...

I love that you were celebrated at the clinic too. How sweet! Your "regular" birthday didn't sound so regular to me...


PJ said...

Keep eating those cakes, and enjoy your trip to the Cape.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Wishing you a happy, happy, happy, happy birthday! And many more.
With hope, Wendy

Ann said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Carl said...

Platelets and cake - what a combination!

A very Happy Birthday!


Jim said...

Great photos and happy birthday, Ronni! Hope we get to see you in October.


Anonymous said...

Happy happy birthday! I hope your day was special and your year brings more smiles and sunshine your way. You deserve it and truly inspire.

Nelle said...