We’re moving rooms!!! Those exclamation points are for excitement not frustration by the way 😉 Excited about moving rooms?…what’s exciting you ask?…well let me tell you. Riley has counts therefore no longer requires the severe isolation back here in the pediatric BMT unit…we will still be isolated to a room but it will be in the hallway of 7 Long…we are only moving about 6 rooms down, nothing too extreme buuuuuut the room we are currently in will be welcoming little Elise as she starts on the next phase of her SCID journey. Kate (Elsie’s mom) whom I have talked about several times but here’s a quick refresher…she got the same damn phone call that landed us in this joint just 3 weeks after us, her and her husband have a 3 year old daughter as well and she has been my faithful friend, drinking buddy, shoulder to curse on (because I’m not much of a crier) from the moment we met.I remember promising her months ago during her first days in the PCRC that it would get easier, that it would get better and that I’d be here for her every step of the way. She didn’t believe me then but chose to trust me anyway and within a few weeks she was settled in to hospital life, gettin her yoga on at gym across the street as I suggested and being an absolute rockstar Mom to both girls despite the distance in between. The bond we have developed is something that no two other individuals will ever understand…we are living such similar journeys, sharing in this nightmare together but taking great measures to turn so many of the moments spent here into happy ones. We have laughed, cried, drank, gossiped and held each other up when the other knew we wanted to fall apart. I’ve said it a million times and I will forever feel this way…in no way would I have wished this on either of us but I am so thankful that we are at least going through it together. Even her family and friends have been amazingly supportive of us…you’ll remember her friend Shannon who gave me the huge gift bag of booze and carbs (yeah buddy) and other friends and family members of hers have reached out with kind words and donations including her parents. Seriously…Kate has got some good people surrounding her and I’m lucky to be in that mix.
Elsie will be starting her chemotherapy on Saturday with bone marrow transplant to follow I believe on the 14th (sorry if I’m off Kate). The fact that she will be going through all of this in the same room Riley did just feels like good juju (or something like that) to me. Riley has done so well tolerating all of the ups and downs of this process and I hope only the same for Elsie. It’s a really surreal place to be in with Kate…looking at her is like looking into a mirror image of my past self…everything that she is going through I literally JUST went through (there are a few small differences in treatment but generally speaking) and for her looking at me is a glimpse of what’s to come. The other day when Elsie got her broviac line placed seeing the look on Kate’s face right before they came to pick them up for the surgery almost brought me to my knees, the fear in her eyes was the same exact fear I had felt. It is so surreal to witness someone experiencing the emotions that you yourself just felt weeks earlier. I think thats when it hits me how hard this all really has been on me. Elsie is an amazing little girl and Kate is one helluva woman and they will get through everything that will be thrown at them in the next two weeks just as we did.
So to you Kate…Riley and I are filling this room up with all the good vibes we can squeeze in before our asses get kicked to the hall. I will be here for you every step of the way. The offer of “lets switch kids for a day” that I extended to you the other day when Elsie was NPO and unhappy about it extends throughout her chemo and transplant, day or night you need a break come find me in room 722 lady and we’ll confuse the shit out of the nurses by switchin’ beds 😉 You will be on the other side of this before you know it and let me tell you the view from over here is way better. I love you girl. xoxo
When you think of Riley, think of Elsie…especially over the next 2 weeks as she goes through her conditioning and transplant. To follow her story you can read updates on her Caring Bridge here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elsiebrooks.