We shared so much …

In March of 2008 I was to bring my friend, Pam, to Dana Farber in Boston to harvest her own stem cells to be injected into herself. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chemo didn’t do the trick. The next step was stem cell. This procedure could take up to three visits on three consecutive days.
Her appointment was at seven AM. I woke up at four, showered, and was at her home in Lincoln at five to be on time for her admission.

Mary Ann (L) and Pam

When we arrived, we walked in and I thought, “This is where you come when chemo doesn’t work.” I ran to the ladies room across the hall from the ward and had dry heaves which I’m sure reverberated throughout the hospital. This happened again within five minutes. I was frantic. I couldn’t have my friend worried about me when she was trying to save her own life. St. Francis is my favorite saint, so I prayed, “St. Francis, please help me.” He certainly did. I calmly walked out of the bathroom and looked at her in the hospital bed. I said, “Move over, there’s room for the two of us.” I crawled in bed and we started laughing.

I fell asleep with the blanket over my head. A while later, a woman walked in to take her lunch order. I popped my head up, startled her and said, “Can I have one too.” I got to order also. Later in the day a doctor walked in and saw the two of us watching TV, took a double take and asked which one was the patient. We all had a good laugh.

With Pam a lawyer and me a court reporter, we never had a chance to watch daytime TV. We were like two dummies trying to figure out how to play Let’s Make A Deal and The Price is Right. We were laughing so hard at our lack of knowledge, that a nurse had to admonish us to keep it down as there were sick people trying to rest. We were having the best time.

At around three o’clock Pam was told we could leave, that they were able to harvest enough cells in one day and that she wouldn’t have to come back.
Pam had a rough road getting through the arduous process of several hospitalizations, but the best news is … SHE BEAT IT … now in remission for over ten years.

I am proud to say she is my friend.