Thursday, May 26, 2016

Appreciating smell of freshly mown grass

Breathing in the smell of fresh-cut grass, which I did just now, makes me appreciate the smell that I had to avoid for so much time after transplant. I might have overdone it but when taking a walk I would keep a mask handy and put it on or even hold my breath when walking where someone was mowing.

I also took a wide berth around any construction sites or areas where dirt was turned up. Gardening was especially bad, and although nobody knows for sure where I got the aspergillosis that required lung surgery before my first transplant, it could have been from pulling a weed out of the garden without giving it much thought.

The Cleveland Clinic explains, Avoid gardening, mulching, raking, mowing, farming, or direct contact with soil and plants. Creating plant or soil aerosols increases exposure to potential pathogens (substances that can cause disease) including aspergillus and cryptococcus. This does not mean you should avoid the outdoors. Walking, biking, and many other outdoor activities are not only enjoyable, but will promote good health.

Some of the restrictions listed are for 30 days post transplant, but I remember this being a rule for much longer, especially on subsequent transplants

My doctor told me during my first rounds of chemotherapy in preparing for transplant, "If you get sick it will really set us back." Well, it did set us back, so I was super careful after that.

I'm not one of those people who says that cancer makes them appreciate every day so much more than before. IT IS NOT A GIFT. I'm still my same old self. But I'm grateful for the many times like this when I'm reminded of all the things I can do that I couldn't do before.

I wish I hadn't looked this up but I did and now I have to tell you that the smell is actually a distress signal that the grass sends out after being wounded.

Still, it is reminiscent of spring and summer and so we can embrace that part of it.

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