Sunday, June 14, 2009

My First

I am a 24 year old grad student working on my MBA part-time at UCLA while working full-time at the front office of a TV production company.  I have aspirations of completing my masters and taking over the world.  Or at least starting my own company.  Between work and school, there has not been much down time.  Yet, finals are over and I have a week off of work.  Seems like a good time to start a blog.

This week off finds me visiting Chicago, which would be all fun and awesomeness if it wasn't for the fact that the main reason I'm out here is to see my dad going through the worst part of the chemo related to his stem cell transplant.  See, my dad has been sick for the better part of the last decade.  It's hard to describe exactly what he has, because it is so complicated and so rare.  Basically, he has auto-immune problems.  After years of different treatments, he's finally going through with a stem cell transplant.  People I've told about this say 'how cool' it is to have this cutting-edge procedure.  Cool?  Well, I hope desperately that it works.  Of course, cool is not the first thing that comes to mind as a I sit in a hospital room with a father who is half conscious and pumped up on painkillers.  Cool is not having to wash my hands (twice!) every time I come to the 15th floor of the hospital to my dad's room, because he has about two white blood cells in his whole body.  Cool is not watching my dad dry heave.  When I first got to his room, I felt afraid to even breath.  

Dad and I - pre stem cell transplant

So here I sit at the hospital half freaked out with what is going on and half wondering was tasty restaurant will be a good choice for dinner.  Dad is on enough drugs that he's telling us about the dead people he saw (maybe in a dream?).  His grandfather, his best friend, our old greyhound, and the kitten I had who got sick and died.  They're all hanging out with him on the beach.  Just chilling.  Seems like everyone is having a good time.

Fortunately, every restaurant here in Chicago seems to be tasty, so that takes care of dinner.  Too bad the hospital part isn't so easy to fix.  And that's the crux of living with someone seriously and chronically ill.  How does one live their life, and enjoy it, while someone they love is so sick?  I refuse to not enjoy myself for the days/months/years he is sick, but it's difficult to find the balance.  Whether it's leaving the hospital for dinner or just getting up everyday to go to work knowing he went to the ER last night.  It's something I've wrestled with for years. 


  1. Hi Brandie,
    I think you write very well and this is a really good place to start in 'dealing' with all you have been through and are going through, just talking about it. About the only think I have in common with you is Greyhounds (of which I have and have had many), kitties....again have had a few and still do, auto-immune issues - have those though not on the scale of your Dad. Mostly I am a great listener, very understanding and if you need an ear....I will be around.

  2. Thanks so much for listening. Really, I am just looking for a place to share, be it dealing with chronic illness or a love of greyhounds and kittens.

  3. Here via Nighttime. So sorry about what your father is going through. But I must admit, I smiled when you said he was on the beach with the loves ones. What better way to spend your "sleeping" time then being happy? It's a great alternative to what he must go through while he is awake. I wish you and your dad luck.

    By the way, I LOVE the name of your blog!