Adventures in BMT: Day -3

“It’s rude to count people as you pass them. Out loud.”
– Adidas Ad

Every day in the Winship BMT Unit, we’re expected to walk a minimum of two miles. This translates into 42 laps around the unit – 21 laps per mile. The exercise is meant to keep our muscles and stamina strong as we prepare for the transplant and, then again, on the long road to recovery.

It can get pretty congested, specially when a few of us get out there with our IV poles. I did good time and felt strong until the final lap.

Within minutes I felt like I’d been overcome by the flu. I was cold, shivering and had unbearable body aches. A quick assessment by my nurse showed that I was running a low-grade fever and that my blood pressure had crashed to unusually low levels. This is a result of doubling the ATG dosage to keep my body from rejecting the new bone marrow. I’m expecting a recurrence tomorrow as the dose will remain high and new drugs will be added to the mix. Rough as it is, the alternative is worse.

I spent the rest of the day in bed lifted by visits from dear family and friends.


My Flirt, My Heart

 “Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
― Dean Koontz

Flirt3

On Monday, we said goodbye and released you from the pain and suffering that degenerated your strong body in the last six months.

Now that you’re gone, there’s an unbearable emptiness in our home and in our hearts that no other being will be able to fill. You were the most loyal, loving and intuitive companion. I still wonder what we did to deserve your dignity, intelligence and patience.

You were by my side and gave me comfort during some of the most difficult times of my life. You embodied all the wonderful memories of the years when we had a house full of kids, chaos and laughter.

Fifteen years with you just weren’t enough. I will carry you in my heart always, dearest Flirt.

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So Long 2012

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year.
It is that we should have a new soul.”
– G.K. Chesterton

Enough said.


Dear Autumn,

There ought to be a way to combine “autumn” and “morning” into one word,
the combination of the two is special enough to be its own entity. ~Terri Guillemets

Dear Autumn,

Today I had the first sense of you. The temperature is a crisp 59 degrees and our front lawn is tentatively speckled with fallen leaves. I saw Flirt mightily sniffing at the fresh new air this morning. He knows you’re on your way, too.

Oh Fall, how I have missed you! I love the promise that you hold of a more colorful, reflective and rewarding time of year. You are my favorite, and I can’t wait to see you again.

Love, me.


I Want A Tub Like That

On Sunday, the boys and I were watching “Dream House” starring Daniel Craig. In the movie, there’s a scene where he’s in a bathtub which I’ve been coveting in my latest House Beautiful issue.

So I said: “That’s the kind of tub I want.” And Gabriel answered, “The kind with Daniel Craig in it?”

Very funny.

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Hello, 2012!

I started the new year surrounded by my wonderful family, full of high hopes and aspirations and battling the flu.

Nevertheless, I have plans to accomplish great things this year – to beat my pesky medical issues, to run several 5 and 10Ks as well as a half marathon, and to grow a bit more as a human being. I want to continue on my health and wellness journey until it becomes second nature and engrained in me. I want to chill more, stress less, travel often and learn something new.

I would love to finish 2012 on the same high that ended 2011 and to proclaim again: “THIS was the best year!”

God willing.


2011: A Year of Blessings

2011 was a blessed year for the Velez family, replete with milestones and accomplishments. At a time when so many are struggling, we are humbled and grateful for being stronger, more united and better established. We are thankful for the gifts of love, health and abundance in our lives this year, and also for:

  • Katrina’s marriage to our wonderful new son, Christopher Hofius
  • Gabriel’s graduation from Johnson and Wales University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foodservice Management and subsequent employment as Pastry Chef at Buckhead Life Group’s Nava Restaurant
  • Ramon gaining ground toward attaining his career goal of Director in the healthcare industry and solidifying his athletic self
  • surpassing my goal weight of 130 lb., becoming a bonafide trail and race runner, and ticking off another year at my beloved Happiness Factory.

We look forward to 2012 and to all the opportunities for happiness and growth that will come along with it.

God Bless everyone.