Humor, love get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor through stem cell transplant

They were inseparable for nearly a month, but Kate Arnold definitely felt more hate than love for Sheeba, her “constant companion” — and IV pole. “I insisted she have a name,” Kate says, laughing. “I don’t know how I came up with Sheeba. It just seemed fitting.” While Sheeba was a critical part of Kate’s allogeneic stem cell transplant, she also was Kate’s way of injecting a little humor into the difficult and painful process she underwent in 2008 to treat her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “There’s no way to tell someone or prepare someone for how difficult it really is,” Kate says. “But if that’s your option, the risk makes sense.” Start the stem cell transplant process on the right foot Kate says it’s easier to make it through the stem cell transplant process when you pick a hospital where you’re absolutely comfortable. “You have to trust the staff that’s taking care of you, you have to trust the doctor, and you have to do everything that they tell you,” she says. “Whatever they tell you to do, you do it, and you have to be able to trust that.” And you’ll need a vision. “What’s going to motivate you to get through this?” she says. “For me, I just wanted to be healthy so that I could watch my daughters grow up.” Have a sense of humor If there’s one thing that you’ll need every day, it’s going to be that sense of humor, Kate says. She suggests watching a funny TV show or movie. “Or name your IV pole,” she jokes. Lean on love to recover from the...