Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Nov. 30th

I receive a package today from my good friend Silvia. This package has been following me around for 3 weeks. It's a glittery shiny Carmen Miranda turban complete with fruit! I'd put it on now if I wasn't tucked into the couch with James. Suffice it to say, it was MADE for me! Thank you Silbia!
My friend Laura cared for me today. She was great. She made a great turkey burger for dinner- so far so good! I go to the clinic tomorrow so I'll fill you in on numbers then. I lazed around today..what a baby! I'm enclosing a little 15 year old cheesecake complete with braces!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday in Richmond

I'm in the clinic today for a long day. It's past my naptime! I had labwork done, got a chest xray and am getting some magnesium and a little blood. My hemoglobin dipped! The freekin nerve! I'm getting some fresh hi test. Last night james and I drove to the Ivy Post Office and dropped off some stuff at our house. It was fantastic. The christmas lights are wonderful and my house is perfect. I still have roses blooming. I knew I would! I was so tempted to prune them BUT I didn't. Those babies have bloomed in the snow- I swear. I'm going to have James prune them for me in late winter so they'll kick butt in the spring. I planted over 250 tulips and dafs this fall before I went to Richmond so I am expecting a spectacular spring showing. I miss my house so much. It's BIG!
I'm off tomorrow and my friend Laura is coming to stay with me. I hope to refrain from heavy online shopping!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sorry for the delay- no big story- just doing the regular stuff- growing bone marrow and blood cells. We had a great Thanksgiving. Bridget made an outstanding meal with support from Katie and Lyle and Ian. James also baked a pumpkin pie (high adventure) and made a great salad. I ate and rested, rested and ate. I laid on the couch like a carp! I was like a baby! A lazy, selfish baby! Rob and Anna came by for a visit yesterday. They looked great. Anna looks gorgeous- she's full of baby energy. I should get some of HER blood! She's freakin vibrant!
Today I'm in the clinic getting labwork done and some mag. There's talk of giving me magnesium in pill form so I would come in even less! I had two days off and enjoyed every minute. I had TWO naps yesterday!! I am living so large.
There's talk of taking a little drive down to cville to look at the Christmas lights on the Ivy post office and nursery. If you've never been- it's pretty magical. I look forward to it every year. (such a bad, bad Jew, but it's true.) My fiend, Gloria is recommending the Richmond Tacky Christmas light tour. I'm excited about it!
That's all from me.
Take care,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weds. Update

I'm in clinic today. James is of getting me refilled with meds. This place is BIG and I would get soooo lost- It's up to james. I was just looking at yesterdays photo and remembering how I use to set my hair with orange juice cans. Gianormous rollers! How did I sleep with those on my head. I love the way my hair looked. Good thing I'm bald or I'd start drinking frozen OJ again and collecting cans!
My numbers are good and I'm going to get TWO days off. I'll chill thurs and fri and go back in on saturday!!! Bridget and Katie, along with Lyle and Ian will be doing the cooking. James and I (mostly James) will bake a punkin pie and salad. I'll be on the couch enjoying the aromas.
have a lovely thanksgiving. I'll be full of turkey AND gratitude!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm sorry I missed a day. I may have been taken aboard a space ship and probed. I think something like that happened or maybe I was a lazy bum. Either one....not so good. I went to clinic yesterday- just got a little magnesium. All my counts are looking good. My platelets went down about 10 points but that's normal. Today I walked for the first time. James and I walked about 1/4 mile followed by a climb up the apt steps. May I say I am VERY glad we're on the second floor, not the third. I'm going to start visualizing me as Rocky on the steps of the capitol in Philadelphia, jumping up and down like a wild thing. Maybe I can skip the actual exercise and just visualize...no???yes???? I also did a little yoga (really- not just in my head). So I'll ret to increase a little each day until I have some stamina.
Stay well!
PS The photo is of me and my brother in somebody's cutlas. Maybe we stole it- that part of my life is a little hazy....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday at Home

It's been a quiet sunday at home- no clinic. James ran around like a wild thing shopping and doing laundry. I put together a shelving unit to help organize the apt. The apt is very comfy- there's almost a place for everything which helps in the day to day.
It makes me anxious to not know where things are and we don't want baby getting ANXIOUS!!!! I worked a little on school stuff too. Th art club is doing a tote bag instead of t-shirts this year and Rob just sent me the file of the student artwork that we'll use. The student is VERY talented and the image is killer. It starts production tomorrow and should be in VA before the semesters over (I hope). I can't wait to see it. I've also been buying up design textbooks on line. Older editions of a good book so we have a classroom set for design. This is the sort of tedious stuff someone who has time on their hands does. So.....I'm doing it. So far I have 8 books! Some I got for as cheap as 1.94!!!!!! This is going to be great for the students. The current edition is 120.00 ish! Too much!
That's it for me.
Hasta manana,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday in Richmond

I hope you all are well. I'm in the clinic today getting "mag" magnesium (hospital hip talk) and some red blood cells. My counts are a little low so they are pumping me up. I'll be here a little longer than usual but I can take it! JAMES IS with me today- we're both on the macs, getting stuff done. Regarding the platelet numbers- the nurses/Docs use the lower number to talk about the counts THe real count adds 3 zeros so my platelet count of 238 is really 238000. More hip talk and I'm determined to be hip!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another day off!

Hello Blog Monkeys,
I had a another day off from the clinic today. So far it's been great. I showed some stuff to Bridget on photoshop and then she made us lunch and shopped while I napped. I napped for 2 HOURS! Now I'm working on my Obama project and it's coming along nicely. I'm going to lift a little weights and I've done a little yoga today already (thanks Jofe) Tomorrow I'll go to clinic and see what's up. I've been keeping up my visualizations, meditations, affirmations and eating. My friend, Susan, wrote me a funny little thing she says when she thinks about me. It harkens back to the 70's culture- a time of wonder and magic. She imagines my bone marrow growing and thinks "Wonder twins powers, Activate". ISN't that the best? You know I'm loving that. Now I say it too and I imagine Wonder Woman clinking her gold power bands and saying "Wonder twins powers, Activate!". God, I love that!
I'm attaching a photo of me and my brother Joey. He was 17ish almost 18 and I was 16, I think. Jeez! MY cousins LEE and BARRy sent this to me. I'm feeling the love!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

blog Monkey!

It's another big day! Lyle (my son) is my caregiver today. He updated my mac and took me to the doc. My lab work is good...ok great. Platelets 238, WBC 3.8 Hemoglobin 8.1.
I have tomorrow OFF AGAiN AND I'll be back on saturday. I feel pretty good- def more energy and I'm loving spending timw with Lyle!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


NOTHing to report- my puter has a stuck cap problem so my typing looks like I"m having some sort of episode. My daughter-in-law, BRidget cared for me today. SHe did a million errands and made me a fabulous organic beef stew. SHE"S so amazing. AND PLeasant company too! I FELT OK today. MY Energy is not where I WANt it but I know I have to be patient. I Made 3 flannel pillow cases today. WHITe background with big pink roses on the fabric. DOES that have SOlla written all over it or what!!
TODAy is my mothers birthday. I'm uploading a picture of her and her younger sister and her beloved father- who I Was name for. HI AMerican name was BErnard and his hebrew name was BERYl. THANk you for contining to send me your good though and energy and prayers. I know it's one of the reasons I"m thriving. I Feel it in my....wait for it....bones!!!
LOVE and gratitude,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SO good, so good!

MY dear friend John Grant was my caregiver today. He was my first non-fam caregiver. He did great. HE took me to the clinic, made me lunch, got me snacks, took the laundry to the cleaners etc etc. It was a great day. MY platelets are now 218 AND I don't have to go to the clinic tomorrow at all because I'm doing so well. ISn't that amazing!!! This is a giant deal. I was just released 6 days ago. I AM flushed with gratitude!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not That I'm Bragging BUT.....

MY platelets are 200! My WBC is 3.5 and RBC IS 2.74. Respectable, no?
I'm in the clinic for magnesium today. It will be in and out. Then a little shopping and home and nap.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Platelet counts

182!!!! The normal range is 172-440!!!!!!

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!

I'm back in the clinic this afternoon. We strolled in at 1:00 after a longggg sleep and nice breakfast. I don't know what my counts are yet. I feel great. I'm easily winded but I'm still moving. This afternoon James and I are going to dance.
I had a dream about a new piece of art I want to do. I 'm drawing in my drawing book I have so many ideas. It has been a long time since this happened. I also came up with a variation of a show James wanted to curate a few years ago. I'm in a state of excitement.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


So I heard the opening at PVCC last night was fabulous. STACEY"S show is so strong and powerful. The faculty show- sweet Mama! We have an amazing faculty and it's all visible on the walls of the gallery and the walls of student work on the 1st floor of the Dickinson Building. I heard the opening went like clockwork thanks to Fenella and her team of Susan, Jeffrey and Evan. The show is up until Feb. and I bet 50.00 I'll be able to slide in and se it before it comes down. At breakfast this morning I appeared bald and in my readingglasses. I asked James if I looked like a brainy Martian and he said, yes, as a matter of fact, I did. NOW he says I only "looked" brainy!!! WHAT!!!!
SO I'm in clinic today, I don't need any saline fluids maybe little magnesium. My kidney function rocks! James is with me today. After clinics were going to finish off th organic chicken soup Bridget made for me and go for a drive. I feel amazing and I'm grateful you guys are with me.
PS I"M rocking the Little Stephan look in my frency french scarf!

Friday, November 12, 2010

In THE World!

I slept like a tiny precious baby girl last night. I asked james to wake me every 2 hours but he refused!! Imagine? I'm in the clinic today.I"ll go everyday until things start normalizing and then I'll start skipping days. It's very chill. EVERone is dressed for the real world. I mos def am the cutest girl in the room. I'm rocking the boots and tights- a less tasteful version of my friend JENNy K> at school. I are breakfast and lunch without "event" So I'm happy. I HAve my cute linch box from CHACHAs. STill competitive!
MY platelets are...wait for it.....118 today. I could sell some I have so many!
MY art buds from school sent me a card from my students. They festooned it with feathers and glitter and wrapped it with flamingo paper and glittery ribbon. My people!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is it!

Hello Blog Buds,
I'm bathed, I have on my Gynun Hat (Star Trek Whoopie Goldberg, yes? No?) and I'm mostly packed. James came last night and packed up most of my stuff. I have a few things to sort out,home care, yucky stuff and I'm done. James will be here at 4:15 to wisk me and my HUla Girl Lamp (from Cha Chas!!) away. I feel excited and nervous!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cliff Told me This Would Happen

One more day left. I've been answering email, working on my big Obama project and I took a two hour nap. Can you believe it? I'm becoming really really good at naps. Who knew?
So,my great boss and great friend, Cliff Haury, told me when I lost my hair to chemo it would come back differently. he said it might be wavy or almost like lambs wool. It might be natural color (I have no idea what THAT is) or it might be a new color. Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I woke up from my nap. I know I'm doing well but I thought it would take more time to fully grow in. I think i was the organic juicing or maybe the mad chemo. Either way, this seems to be my transitional look.
I'm still set for release tomorrow!!!!!

PS May I just say....

My family is so important to me. Everyday my heart expands with love and gratitude for so much but mostly for James, Lyle and Ian Katie, Bridget and my brother Jofe. It's a rare blessing to be surrounded with so much love and support. One of my many lessons has been to allow others to "do" for me. It's very hard but I think opening up that 2 way door is a blessing to everyone. My family is doing everything for me and it feels so good and safe. My friends are calling me and praying, sending me things and taking care of business and holding me in their prayers and hearts. I saw a video from school last night and cried. My Dean and friend Cliff Haury, send me a gorgeous book that will help me so much. It feels cinematic- it's so full and satisfying. And (not to be shallow) my fashionista friend Laura is bringing me a pair of crazy cool shoes. I can't wait to rock them!! I will be the cutest girl in the clinic (depending on the clinic). Caramba! I can't help but be shallow...sorry!

Seriously How Lucky Am I???

Hello Blog Buds,
It's early Weds morning. I woke up about 5 am and wanted to spend some time on my Obama project. It's coming along really well. I have 5 completed posters and more to work on today. I think a big part of my recovery is working. I'm lucky like a duck that I love my work. While trawling through facebook this morning I contacted several more artists to invite to the project. In the process I found a photo posted from 2000 years ago when james and I were in a Blues band. Fat Chance Blues Band. Oy. But I must say we were pretty back then. I'll post the pic. I'm on the left and James is right behind me. I was wearing a floral shirt. Imagine??? I'd snap thing up in a New York minute today. On health news.....My counts as of 11/9 10:48Pm are
WBC: 13.9 (sweet mama!!!)
RBC: 2.74

Seriously- These docs and nurses are miracle workers! The bubble of care holds tight!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guess who is engrafting????

Hello Blog Monkeys
Oh my God. The docs came in this morning and Dr. Toor (very serious very brainy and dear) said Ms. Solla, You are engrafting! That's the point of the transplant- you kill off the patients bone marrow, introduce a donors bone marrow and manipulate the event with a byzantine medical protocol that is precise beyond comprehension. The send your blood overnight to Seattle (The Hutch) the number one bone marrow center in America) to analyze the blood develop a specific streamed line protocol and adjust the meds by the next morning. This is big science. So with the help of big science, big God and the prayers, visioning and love of my family and friends, tapping, accupucture, meditation, Healers, EMDR...... this little monkey is engrafting!!!
And how is your day going?????? Here's another picture of me with new hair. This is how you really know I'm getting better. I swear I woke up this way!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Flash!!!!! This just in!!!!

This morning the docs were very optimistic, it may have been my cowboy shirt and mod hat BUT they are saying if things continue the way they are going i will be asked to leave the hospital THIS THIS THIS THIS Thursday.
Oh my sweet Mac!

Day +10

I'm posting early today. I work up at 6:45 and slept alot last night. I think I feel a little rested. I did NOT exercise yesterday but i WILL today.Okay my counts as of last night at 6:00.p m
wbc white blood count) 0.6
(red blood count) 3.19
platelets 29.10
hemoglobin 10,0
neuophils 69.9
This is the first time we've seen this number. In the past it said "unable to report". I think these numbers are astonishing. I haven't talked with the docs yet however my nurse (another in a long row of smart dedicated and charming caregivers) said I might be looking at going home in a week (next mon) instead of fri nov 19th. I can't tell you how excited I am. I feel so optimistic. In fact after I heard my numbers last night I was on line looking for a pair of glitter wigs (for obvious reasons) and found a site of very styiized hair sculptures for those who wish to express themselves in song and dance. My affinity should be obvious.
Your friend in hair,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day +9

Day 9. My latest counts are climbing. Slowllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyy climbing. Platelets 44 White Blood Count 0.1, Red Blood (my fav) 3.18. Boooya!
I'm having trouble sleeping still. I get up at about 3:30 and stay up usually. Maybe I should post then! Actually I often answer e-mails and work. Night before last i spoke with my friend in Spain. It's a weird magical time. I'm emotionally more direct and always spend some part of the time praying, tapping, meditating and listening to my Bella Ruth healing tapes. It's a very unusual time for me. Also I plan my garden in the side yard. Roses and berries for as far as the eye can see. I can't garden (am I repeating myself??) but I can design and hire someone to do the foundation. I'm getting a great bonus from school and it's going to pay someone to do the heavy lifting on this. Bam! Decision made!! My brother Joe (Joey) is on the prowl for a couple of used guitars. We use to play together as teenagers and we're going to play again. We rocked the folk scene. Puff the magic dragon, oh yea, 500 miles, get it!!!!!
I'm going to eat my apple sauce and cereal, continue shedding my stupid hair and dance around and annoy folk.
Thank you healing friends.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day +8

So I'm an 8 day old baby today. My white counts are starting to rock forward. Two days ago I had a white count of -0.1 and last night i had 1.2- I think. This is how it starts. The platelets start to build (I'm at 39 I think - yesterday) then the white blood count. I feel an odd sensation in my legs the past 2 nights. I believe I feel the bone marrow engrafting. I could be high on chemicals but that's what I believe. the docs and nurses are blown away by my progress. I just saw a fortune cookie I got about 6 month ago- I brought it to the hospital. It says "Mighty forces will come to your aid". Check!
My innards are starting to realign in a recognizable fashion and as you can see, I'm rocking the headware. My shaved head is starting to shed. I see it in my little caps i wear to bed. All moving according to plan. I exercised last night- only 40 minutes on the bike but i still feel pretty good. I spoke with my dear bud Mari today on the gmail video phone. So cool- Mari in Spain, me at the Richmond Hilton. So cool.
So I'm growing and shedding and feeling great. Please keep your good wishes, prayers visualaztions coming. I believe that is a big part of my healing success. I swear I feel your pull when I do my visualizations and meditations.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Plus 7

So I spoke with the Docs during rounds today and had a really great talk about healing and all the contributing factors. It was really satisfying. Most Docs don't want to hear anything put medicine and only medicine (don't get me wrong- thank you medicine!!!) So it felt meaningful and substantial. Dr. Toor coined the phrase "Compulsively Compliant". That's going to be my new middle name. In the picture to the right is my nurse Lily. She's so attentive and smart. I don't know how they get and keep so many good nurses here. Lily is a GREAT nurse. And she has hair! When I say her name I think about my bank of red and orange lilies at home. What a perfect metaphor.
So it looks like things are going really really well. Dr. Toor thinks we are on schedule for a pre thanksgiving release. He's thinking (God willing) November 19th. I'm pretty excited. I'm crazy excited. etc etc. So things are going well. Every day a little better. Last night they untied me from "Johnnny" by pole o meds and I got to dance around like a fool for 45 minutes. I thought of my Nia teacher, Susan M. and just went kookoo. I feel really good. James calls it Beryl 2.0- it feels that way to me too. My friend and colleague, Fenella, told me she thought this was going to change me. Her husband went through very serious and intense back surgery last year so she knows this close up and personal. When she said it I thought how could I change? What would that look like and feel like. She was right. I am changed. No matter what happens I've had the back of my head and heart blown out and opened up. I've been renovated. And I feel blessed like crazy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So it's two weeks in the hospital. It's been weird and magical in a very odd way. This process is humbling and kind of beautiful. I feel the substance of your thoughts and prayers. You know I'm not a spiritual kind of gal but I'm in flux- no doubt. I'm up all hours of the night- that's when they give you blood and platelets and watch you like a hawk. There's also excessive peeing- every 1/2 hour (I swear) so my sleep patterns are wayyyyyyy off. Along with that comes some very transcendental moments. So it's been interesting. The nurses and care partners are fantastic. They are charming and engaging and very professional. The transplant protocols are micro refined and everyone is on board. Lord knows, I am. I've been using every resource to help with the healing and it's coming along. I had toast today and it was transcendent. Who knew? I've been working on lots of digital stuff- Lyle and Katie's wedding graphics and the poster for the upcoming Let There Be Light with James. It's pretty pretty pretty good! I skype with my sons and the "girls" alot,(and grand kitties and pup) see James everyday, talk with my brother everyday and skype with my girl buds too. I feel very plugged in and am soooo grateful for the mac, the Ipad and the ipod. I love me some apple. So I'm doing ok. Please keep sending me your good thoughts and prayers- they are mos def a part of the bubble of care and hope that I live in. I think about my chemo nurses at Martha Jeff too and feel grateful they set the bar for care so high.
In It,
Ps Mr. Demille.....I'm ready for my close up!!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote you Monkeys!!!

It's me. I'm going to post a little and then nap. I voted early this year and sent in lots of $$. Please vote!!!
I received platelets last night (1:30) which is a big deal. This is how they begin to rebuild me. Bionic??????? ok! It went very well. This morning I'm my usual hot mess but a nap will help.
Please keep me in your prayers and see me in kick ass health. (Having tea with TomPeriello!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Good Low

Beryl is now at the lowest count of both platelets (cells that promote blood clotting) and neutrophils (white blood cells that fight bacteria) count which is effectively no immune system, and which is where the doctors want her in order to allow the new bone marrow to take hold. She's not allowed to blow her nose or brush her teeth to avoid bleeding. She's a little scared knowing she's so vulnerable. She doesn't want visitors at this time to make sure there's no danger of infection. With all of that, she rode her bike for a half hour and is mentally more clear. She's focusing on meditating, visualizing and listening to guided imagery CDs. Please send energy force fields her way to protect her at this vulnerable time. Thank you all for your continued concern and well wishes. James