Birthday wishes for Alyssa

Birthday wishes for our girl

As many of you already know, Alyssa has been and still is in-patient at Northside Hospital for the first high-dose chemo ablation. This is a four day process followed by several days of monitoring in an isolated area of the hospital to maintain her health in her highly compromised immune state. She will remain there until the stem cell transplant next Monday.

She remains in good spirits, despite having experienced nausea and extreme fatigue. The amazing part is that her mind is still as sharp as a tack despite the heavy chemo, which is truly a testament to her will. This is fairly incredible since a 40% chance exists of her going into some form of encephalopathy.…or swelling of the brain (coma-like state). For those of you who know her best, we would expect nothing short of miraculous from Ally P.

Today is Alyssa’s birthday and although this is not how she or I would choose to celebrate it; we are looking at this as a metaphoric re-birth, with a cleansing of the old rogue cancer cells and an ushering in of the new healthy stem cells. It is hard to explain but we have both felt a sense of relief that this process has begun as it was such a crucial step in the continuum of securing permanent healing.

If you feel inclined to simply drop her an email or send her a card in the mail (which she will receive when released from the hospital early next week) it would brighten her recovery. It really does mean so much to her that all of you are moved by her writings, inspired by her perspective, and care about her well-being. Sharing her journey through the website has truly been a mutual blessing both for her and for all of us who read it. Wishing her happy birthday provides the perfect opportunity to express those sentiments to her and thank her for the person she is….. As an aside, you may want to mention that a return thank you reply is not necessary :-)

I want to reiterate how humbling it has been to experience your extreme generosity and concern for our circumstance. Alyssa and I are forever changed as individuals as a result of your love, your support and your prayers.

With gratitude,

Neil

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