Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Update and Upcoming Transplant - Mary Leonardi Kuchar

Ok folks this is it.  Mary Leonardi Kuchar sent an update earlier this evening and she does the chemo and transplant next week.  She has done so well that I have faith she can kick this in the butt, but I'm also scared for her.  Please, please, please keep her in your prayers.  I know many of you do have her in prayer.  Let's not forget Jim too.  He will be facing Mary's dark days with her and will be a part of her recovery process also.  God bless all of you and until the next update.....
Dear Mary, Family and Friends,
I just got back from Phoenix. I got good news that brought tears to my eyes. The test results showed that I am in remission with my cancer. Praise to God. No cancerous cells to be found in all of the test that they did. So, I have been given the green light to proceed with the heavy chemo and have the stem cell transplant. These final steps are needed to keep the cancer out. I will be moving to Phoenix (temporarily) this coming Sunday until I get released by my doctor. If everything goes well, I might be able to come back to Tucson at the end of October. I start the process on Monday (Sept.20th). They begin by giving me hydration (intravenously). Then on Tuesday I will get my first dose of the heavy chemo. It's suppose to be really strong and it will make me sick. The hardest days will be 7 days after I receive it. Please pray that I can manage it. I am scared, but I stay positive because I know I need to do this. I will take the chemo for two days. Then on Thursday, they will do the stem cell transplant. This is called "Day Zero." This is when they start tracking my recovery.

I will be an outpatient during the whole process, unless I get a fever or get dehydrated, then I will have to be hospitalized. I will be in complete isolation. Absolutely, no visitors! I will also be on a strict diet. The list is too long to list, but some of the items are: no fast foods, cold cuts, fruits, raw vegetables (including salads), plus a lot more. I can only eat food that is prepared hot and fresh. They won't let me eat leftovers. They won't allow me to accept any outside food. So, if you were thinking about bringing me some homemade soup, sorry I won't be able to have any. I'm bumming! I can't have any flowers or plants either. They are being really careful. They want to make sure I won't pick up any bacteria.

Since I will be losing my hair, I have decided to have my hair shaven off. I will probably do this on Monday or Tuesday. The counselors say that this will be less traumatizing. For the few of you that have told me that you will have your hair shaven off to show support, PLEASE DON'T DO IT! I love hair! I love the way it looks. I love the way it feels. If anyone gets rid of theirs, it will make me really, really sad. Instead, just pray that I get through all of this ok. Prayers are the best support you can give me right now.

That is about it my friends. The last step of this journey I have to go through. My wish is that I get throught his with flying colors and I don't suffer too much! It will be so nice to feel good for the holidays. I am planning on purchasing a lap top this week to stay in contact with all of you. Thank you again for all of the prayers and support you have given me in the past 7 months. They have made the difference in my life! I love you all and you are all in my prayers as well. Until my next e-mail, take care, Mary