Monday, July 5, 2010


As I boarded the Delta Aircraft for Detroit on Friday, July 2, the cockpit door was open so I stopped to speak to the pilots. "I am a bone marrow transplant patient, 57 days post transplant, on my way to see my husband Joe who is delirious and restrained in the hospital in Lansing, Michigan. The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance must really trust you guys because they don't let anyone out before the required 100 days. They gave me 48 hours to get back to the Clinic."
As transplant patient, wife and mother, I was more afraid than I had ever been in my life. My infant immune system is only as strong as the medications that are pumped into my body. To be with Joe, I would enter the infectious disease world of a general ward hospital. Joe didn't know his name nor where he was. I now had parenting responsibility for all six children.
"I think I need some wings," I said. "I'll go talk to the steward about it."
"You won't need to do that," the captain answered. He unpinned the gold wings from his uniform and handed them to me.

1 comment:

  1. Valerie, I am thinking of you this week, all week, and wondering how you are feeling, and what is going on for you as well as how Joe is recovering. May you rest in knowing that so many of us are holding you close in heart. I hope your body is resting and recuperating well, and that the counts are doing better all the time.
    Love, Joan Howard