I am writing today from the comfort of my cushy couch, a fabulous cross breeze, a swath of sunshine and the everpresent sounds of birds twitterpating and frogs doing whatever is their equivalent of twitterpating.  It is summer, has been for a few days, yet it is only the first day of spring. Last Friday we were hoping at my appointment to be able to go home but the docs needed to sort out my tacro levels so we stayed through the weekend and on Monday made a road  trip to Wakefield, a beautiful little town just a half hour from Ottawa. We were certainly not dressed and I was concerned for the blazing sun, which I am to avoid for a year, so Pete zipped over to Tigre Géant to find me the biggest floppy hat ever invented. We sat at a patio and I had a few spoons of chili and some ginger ale. Then we drove ove to examine the covered bridge painted fire engine red. Lovely. That was all I could handle so I went to bed early hoping to be bright eyed and bushy tailed enough to convince the doc the following day (Tuesday) that I was ready to leave.

It may have been the hoodie that I not so surrepticiously kept on when they did my weight, but it appeared I had gained a pound, and that made them happy.  Katie, who is the nurse coordinator for outpatient (who I incorrectly identified as


an inpatient nurse, whose name is actually Linda), walked me through some things about going home. The dog is not a problem, even if it licks me, which I avoid at normal times, stay away from dirt, avoid crowds, etc. We talked about my fluid levels and how if necessary I could get home care from KGH to do that for me. Any strangeness, fever, etc, call Ottawa first. They will liase with Kingston, so that makes me feel safe, in case I need to get a quick antibiotic drip. Then Dr H came in with the big news, my WBC had surpassed 6 and my RBC were at 133!! Platelets still lagging behind but in the safe zone. He indicated that at this point hydration is more important than food, so if I don’t feel like eating, which is most of the time, that’s OK.  We had one more prescription to pick up before going to pack as much as we could and get the rest on consecutive Tuesday clinic days when we’ll drive up for the day.

While we were getting ready we were awaiting a short visit from our friend Bernie, from Balikpapan days. Her son, who Pete and I both taught, just graduated from engineering at Queen’s!! Feeling older now…. We left Ottawa around 1 and rolled into Kingston just before 4. We had an elaborate plan to avoid letting the kids know, but as we pulled up to our meeting place at Kev and Sal’s, it was obvious they had a sense of what was afoot, and they happened to be right on the curb when we appeared. If not completely suprised, the kids were definitely pleased. Jess had dance and two meetings for middle school, so I didn’t see her again till 9:30, but Pat drove me and Skyler home on the 5pm, and I saw no one on the boat I recognized, so my arrival was appropriately anonymous.  The house smelled great, everything smells great. No chemicals, no Javex. Just fresh country air, a dark night compared to lit up cityscape, and frogs to lull me to sleep. I was a bit nervous last night, however, when my temperature persisted in the yellow zone. It really was warm out, even with the window open, so I pushed off the covers and willed myself back into the green, which I did successfully. It would have sucked to come this far and end up at KGH. They have crappier beds.

I am still, and will continue to be, exhausted, so I lie down to read or have an actual nap. I have discovered so far two foods that taste normal: watermelon and cantaloup, so these are foods I ask for regularly. Today my favorite cereal didn’t like me. I guess I just need to snack on whatever is available and palatable. My internal clock woke me at 7:30 and it was great to be up with the kids before school.  “So,” Skyer needs to clarify, “when we get home from school, mom and dad will be here?” Yes. They must be so happy. And Lily, who has seen me less than Pete, zoomed straight for me when she came inside, but it was nothing compared to the whining and whimpering she did over Pete when he and Jessie got back later that night!

I just passed the third way mark, and will continue to count the days. Katie cautioned me that this is the “honeymoon stage”. I was not ready to find out more, other than it has to do with signs of graft vs host disease which could be anything.

So today is a day for unpacking (maybe), resting, counting my blessings. I feel the rebirth just as the Earth is going through hers how. If we stay in sync, we shall power on through the year.


16 thoughts on “Home

  1. We’re thrilled that you are back home Sus! And thrilled for your family. As for the melon diet, I am reminded of an article from the Globe a few weeks ago that, amidst its reflections about alternative lifestyles, makes reference to the powerful healing powers of watermelons. It’s kind of a funny article. Clearly your body is telling you what it needs.


    see ya!

  2. My goodness, this is amazing!! Bravo… you have such a lovely home setting for your continued recovery. I can just picture the scene from your words and my knowledge of your beautiful house.

  3. Hey you made it home!! Fantastic. Bet the kids were soooooo happy. I love the photos and it must have been heaven to be walking outside and surrounded by Spring unfolding her arms. Enjoy, enjoy. So glad I got the chance to see you both before you left Ottawa. Take care . Much Love , Bernie

  4. Wonderful that you are home. And that you have safeguards in place just in case. You’ll have to get those flowing sunblocking clothes that you used to have for the kids. Can you consider getting a person to come in to clean the house weekly?

  5. Been keeping up-to-date with your emails and blog! Thank you for dedicating such time and effort to it. You are a truly amazing and strong woman, Sus, not to mention a fantastic writer. I absolutely LOVE your healing poster. I have had tears in my eyes thinking of you having to leave and now return to your gorgeous children. Way to go to Pete for being there every step of the way too! I think of you all every day and continue to send prayers and wonderful thoughts for a joyful recovery. I do hope the info continues to come through and I look forward to many more captivating descriptions of life with the Bowers family! Lots of love,


  6. So happy to hear you are home! That sounds like quite a homecoming…love the description about the country air and the singing frogs. So thrilled to hear it all, Sus! xo

  7. Hi Sus

    I’ve been thinking of you almost daily for a while now, sending my best thoughts and wanting you to know how much I’ve been amazed by your courage, strength and positive outlook. I miss you and hope to see you soon. I am also so amazed by Pete and his obvious love and adoration for you. What a wonderful man that guy is!
    Lots of love,

  8. Hi Sus, so nice to have you back! Pete told me about how you (mostly) surprised the kids when you came home – must have been magical for them. Great to hear that things are getting better, day by day. Power on indeed.

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