Stem Cell Transplant

It’s the day before I move into the Hilton Americas for the International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. It is also my birthday.

Sunday my husband and I went to James Avery after Sunday school, church, and lunch. I had chosen the wide Crosslet Ring for my birthday gift from him. While he was paying for it and giving instructions for the engraving, I went to Chico’s next door. fullsizerender-007-001

Really, I was looking for one item at our local Chico’s that I hadn’t found at the Chico’s near our office. One thing led to another, with a helpful, knowledgeable manager, and I came out with four new outfits to wear to the Fall Quilt Shows. Happy Birthday to me.img_3256-002

The Hilton and the George R. Brown Convention Center will be my home for twelve nights and thirteen days. However, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday my husband will pick me up at 6:30 am to go to MD Anderson Hospital for blood reviews, PA and oncologist visits and platelets and blood transfusions. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) in 2007, but did not need treatment until March of 2015.

Those of you who have seen me running the Education Department for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival for the last 40 years, have no fear. I will be there sporadically. I feel fine and have energy as long as I have a current platelets and/or blood transfusion.

The shows are in good hands with Jill Benge as Manager, Barbara Cline as her assistant, Marcia Barker, who takes on all our special projects and new developments, and Shannon McGaw who works part-time for Education and a great help to me.fullsizerender-005

Part of our show team will arrive for Market and the remainder will come during Festival. We couldn’t do the shows without them.fullsizerender-007

Man or woman cannot live on transfusions of someone else’s blood products indefinitely. For a while one of the chemo trial treatments worked for me. But, after seven months of no transfusions we came to a dead end. My oncologist tried other treatments, but my bone marrow just won’t function properly.

So the only thing that is left is to have a Stem Cell Transplant. When my oncologist is satisfied I am healthy enough to go through the high dose chemo process, to eliminate my existing bone marrow cells, I will be admitted to the hospital for three to four weeks. After the conditioning phase is complete, the collected stem cells will be infused in my body. My blood counts will be monitored daily and any side effects will be managed. It will be a tough time. Initially I said I wouldn’t put myself through this voluntarily, but when that’s all that’s left, I had to change my mind.

Once I have engrafted, meaning that my white blood cells have recovered, and I am eating and drinking well, I will be discharged from the hospital. For 100 days I have to have a caregiver 24 hours a day. I will be monitored at the hospital generally every day for follow-up initially and that will adjust to every other day depending on my health and needs. I’ve been told to plan on a year to get back to how I was physically before the transplant. Needless to say, I am fearful. I am sad.

I won’t be able to be in public for quite some time because of infection possibility. I will have no immune system initially. The family gatherings I treasure so much will have to wait for a while.

During this process I won’t be able to be around grandchildren who are under 14 years of age. That breaks my heart. We have a 16 month old grandson and another baby on the way.

img_3209-002

I will be strong and follow the rules so I can recover and have good times again with family, friends and TRAVEL. My faith, family, and friends will be of utmost importance through this process. God will be my constant companion. I won’t be alone.

Will you say a little prayer for me? God bless you and love, Judy

 

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

54 Responses to “Stem Cell Transplant”

  1. GerryART Says:

    You have Many Positive Thoughts and Energies directed your way.
    May your span of recovery move along smoothly.
    Your are in my Thoughts and in my Heart.

    hugs xoxo
    Gerry

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kay Sanderford Says:

    I will be saying way more than a little prayer for you, Judy. Unceasing big prayers, that is. I know you’ll soon be back and better than ever. What a mighty God we serve!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ellenmccaulley Says:

    Will definitely keep you, your family, and your doctors in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shiborigirl Says:

    Judy-know that we will be with you as you travel along this path. Courage,passion,tenacity,love-you have it all! See you next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Dear Glennis, yes, it has taken courage and a few other things to cope during these 22 days of isolation. The love of family and friends and a caring nursing staff have been tremendous support. Thank you for yours. Only a week more to go.

      Like

      • Gayla Whitaker Says:

        Judy, Your Christmas and Valentine photos are wonderful. Hope all is still going well. You are beautiful! Before Christmas, I mentioned to you I needed a bit of advise regarding a quilted wall art piece. Do you know or remember the artist Trudy Billingsley from Australia? Her piece “Wait For Me” was featured in the quilt festival years ago. I would enjoy talking with a minute or two regarding this. Thank you. Continuing to left you, Tom and all your sweet family up in prayer. ~ Gayla Whitaker

        Like

  5. bbquiltmaker Says:

    Love, faith, family, and a wonderful medical team will see you through this. So very eager to see you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Serafini Says:

    Dear Judy You have been in my daily prayer petitions for many months now and I will continue to pray for you. I’ve know very difficult times in my life and the Lord has comforted and sustained me during these times, and I know he will do the same for you and your family. With love and prayers, Mary Serafini

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Thank you, Mary. Yes, I have depended on the Trinity during these 22 days of 28. I have asked for strength and peace many times. How would I make it without Him. Thanks for your reminder. Blessings to you.

      Like

  7. SarahAnnSmith Says:

    Sending sending sending! Please let us know when you head in for the treatment so we can double down! And thank heavens for easy video on our phones and internet chats…hopefully that will help you feel a bit less isolated. You are so strong Judy—you are simply amazing! Hope to see you and (if it’s ok for your health) give you a hug as I whiz in and out of the teacher’s room! Sending MASSIVE healing and light and comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Glad I was able to see you a couple of times at Quilt Festival, Sarah Ann. I’m on Day 22 of 28 days in isolation for chemo treatment instead of stem cell transplant. Thank you for your sweet attention.

      Like

  8. kristalwick Says:

    Sending you healing prayers and know you are being taken care of my the big guy upstairs! I sure miss you at Quilt and am so pleased to see you’re still running things. Quilt Fest and Market were my fave shows to teach at EVER!!! That’s all due to you and your FAB staff! So hang in there, soak up all our love for you and recover quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sara Hochhauser Says:

    Dear Judy, I am sending you so many prayers and wishes for you to be well. Looking forward to seeing you in Houston.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Stokes Says:

    Prayers and good wishes are going your way from one of the Piece Corp. workers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kathleen Stevens Says:

    Dear Judy:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I am hoping the 100+ days

    will pass quickly for you and the transplant will do wonderful things for you.

    I am so happy for the shopping fun you had for your birthday. Wishing you

    many happy hours in Houston at Market and Festival. That must be a

    wonderful experience.

    I hope the loving thoughts of fellow quilters, friends and family will sustain you

    through the difficult days ahead.

    Kay Stevens

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Kathleen, instead of 30 days for a stem cell transplant, I am in isolation for 28 days at MD Anderson. This is Day 22. Except for mean sores in my mouth and swollen feet, my stay hasn’t been too bad. My prayer is that when this is over I will be in remission sometime soon. That’s the goal. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Judy

      Like

  12. Morna Says:

    Prayers and healing vibes! Looking forward to seeing you in Houston in all you new clothes!

    Like

  13. D'Anne Parker Craft Says:

    You are a strong woman and, although it is certainly tough, you can get through this and then go back to living your life after the transplant is completed. You will be very well cared for at MDA. Aren’t we fortunate it’s in Houston? You are in my prayers and thoughts. Hope to see you at Festival.

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      D’Anne, I am in the hospital for 28 days, but not for the stem cell transplant. Instead I am in isolation getting chemo. My bone marrow is completely eradicated in hopes of killing the cancer. If all works, I’ll be able to produce my own blood products once again. My care here has been excellent. Thank you for your prayers.

      Like

  14. judy gonzales Says:

    Best wishes and prayers. I may track you down at QF just to give you a hug.

    Like

    • judymurrah Says:

      Hi Judy. I was at Quilt Festival for such a short time because of transfusions and then had to leave on Thursday in preparation for my hospital stay. I missed seeing so many people. Hopefully, I’ll be back next year much stronger. Thank you for your prayers.

      Like

  15. Cheri Dancak Says:

    My heart is so full of thoughts and caring for you. Of course you will be in all my prayers with all my hopes for a wonderful quilt festival and a completely successful treatment to follow. My love and admiration for you my precious friend,

    Liked by 1 person

  16. pati2015 Says:

    God has you in his arms and he’s got this!
    Stay strong and keep praying as we all will.
    Love and prayers to your family.XXOO

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cindy Parker Says:

    My heart is breaking that you have to go through this ordeal, Judy. Danny and I will pray together for you every night and you will be in my thoughts daily. Please keep me informed of your progress through this life-saving process. You are so special to me and to all your other friends and families.

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Thank you, Cindy. I am in isolation for 28 days, but not for stem cell transplant. I’m trying yet another chemo to hopefully get my bone marrow to work at producing my blood products again. I appreciate your concern and for your prayers. I have so many fond memories of us in Junior High School.

      Like

  18. Gayla Whitaker Says:

    Judy and Tom, Bob and I will pray for you and your family. Our God is good and He has you in His caring and healing arms. The beautifully quilted piece with the gold cross is hanging in the First Presbyterian Victoria entry as a sweet reminder of the wonderful Murrah family. All our love and prayers will be focused on you and your healing. Love to all, Gayla and Bob Whitaker

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      What a nice thought, Gayla. I remember you, Kay, and I making that banner. That was a special time. I like the image of me being in God’s healing hands. How comforting. This is Day 17 of my 28 days in isolation. It hasn’t been hard. The reward will be if the chemo worked to give me remission for a while. Thank you to you and Bob for your prayers.

      Like

      • Gayla Whitaker Says:

        Judy, I am very happy to hear from you and that you are over half-way complete with the treatments. You are truly an inspiration of grace, patience, strength and courage. I am looking forward to seeing you when all is normal for you again and to getting some expert advise on another quilting project. Trusting in and praying for our Lord to do great and mighty works. Love, Gayla

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Maggie Castleman Says:

    Many prayers for you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Laroyce Says:

    Judy I will be praying for you and your family. Hope to see you at the festival.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Katy Says:

    Prayers going up!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Betty Jo Elder Says:

    Wish I could be there to see you in your new outfits. I hope this is another great show for you. I admire Your strength & positive attitude. You are in my prayers for God to continue to give you the strength To endure all these treatments. I know being away from your family will be the hardest but hopefully It will go by fast & you will get to be with those beautiful grandchildren soon. Love & prayers, bje

    Betty Jo Elder Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      I am on Day 17 of isolation. Since it’s another chemo treatment for this month, I haven’t felt bad like I would with a stem cell transplant. Hopefully, this treatment will buy me a little more time. Thank you so much, Betty Jo, for your prayers. They are so appreciated.

      Like

  23. Lori D Says:

    I look forward to meeting you! I’m sure I’ll recognize the one looking snazzy in her new clothes!
    I’ll be praying for you too! It has to be a difficult decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Lori, so sorry I saw so little of you at Festival. I had hoped to spend my usual amount of time in the Education office. I wanted to meet and encourage our new workers. Well, that just didn’t happen. Thank you for all your hard work. It was much appreciated.

      Like

  24. pokeysponderings Says:

    Thinking of you, Judy, and in my prayers. I am so very sorry you are having to go through all of this. Take care and hugs to you and yours,

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Sorry I missed you at Festival, Pokey. I had hoped to see you. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I’m on Day 17 of 28 days in isolation in a protected environment. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as I expected. Congratulations on all your new endeavors.

      Like

  25. msmadesimpler Says:

    Dear Judy, I look up to you and will be so happy to see you in a few days. You are the face of Festival and an inspiration. May God continue to bless your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • judymurrah Says:

      Thank you. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to spend at Festival. I got transfusions two of the days and then had to leave the show on Thursday. I certainly missed it all. Hopefully, next year I’ll be back for the full show.

      Like

  26. Carolyn Nelipovich Says:

    Judy, May the Lord bless you. Carolyn

    >

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: