Yo Ho

Ahoy, me hearties!

Preventin' Scurvy
Preventin’ Scurvy

Fer all ye land lubbers’ information, I went under t’ cat o’ nine tails n’ got me poxed port side eye fixed.  Me cap’n, Dr. K, n’ her crew did a great job n’ now aft me surgery, me eye can clearly see sails on t’ horizon.  Arrrr.  Shiver me timbers ~ blimey!  ‘Tis a bootyful world! Thursday morn I awoke n’ ate me grub, fer i couldn’t eat fer 6 bells ‘fore me surgery at 1 bell aft noon.  I arrived at t’ surgery center n’ was given a bag o’ loot, includin’ a new spyglass fer blocking out t’ sun, a new hat that was not me typical tricorne, n’ some medications t’ prevent inf*ctions from plunderin’ me eye.  Me newest matey, Dr. G3, poked me arm n’ gave me some rum made me feel funny.  I caught me some winks while me bilge-suckin’ cataract walked t’ plank t’ Davy Jones Locker n’ I got me a new lens.  Next thing I knew, I was bein’ swabbed, then they put me Jolly Roger sticker i drew fer t’ occasion over thar borin’ eye patch.  I wanted t’ celebrate National Scurvy Prevention Day t’ followin’ day, May the 2nd:  National Scurvy Prevention Day   I told me mateys godspeed n’ fair winds n’ I’ll return back thar fer me starboard side soon!  Me pirate name is Cap’n Helga Firecrotch.  Get yarrs here:  Pirate Names

Yes, my first cataract surgery went very, very well!  The vision in my left eye is staggeringly astounding.  High def.  Vivid colors.  Sharp focus.

I drew the skull and crossbones on a sticker and asked the nurses to place it over their patch, so I could wake up a pirate.
I drew the skull and crossbones on a sticker and asked the nurses to place it over their patch, so I could wake up a pirate.

No fog.  No double vision.  No hyper light sensitivity.  No blur.  No graininess.  No glare.  No halos.  No darkness.  And it will just keep getting better as the new lens settles in.  I wake up in the morning and can’t believe what I see!  I haven’t been able to drive for the past 2 months, but I’m hitting the road today to conquer a long list of errands that are way overdue.  It was a little sore and red the first couple of days, but it’s improving quickly.  I have a shiner from the shot of anesthesia that went in my eye, in the crevice right under my orb ~ I know, kinda sketchy, but kinda cool to have a shot in the eye!  Can’t you just hear little Kevin on the playground saying, “I got a shot in my eye,” and the other kids saying, “Liar!  You can’t get a shot IN your eye!”  I absolutely adore Dr. K!  She is brilliant and makes me feel very confident with my vision plan, and at the same time is incredibly sweet and gentle.  My anesthesiologist for this surgery, Dr. G3, was terrific, too!  He held my hand to keep me relaxed throughout the procedure and he was fun, not at all making me feel like I was a freak wench for playing pirate games.  The only annoying thing is that my vision does a bouncing/flickering thing intermittently when I move my eye up and down or side to side.  I asked Dr. K about this at my follow-up the next day, and she said it is common and is caused by my new implanted lens trying to settle into the space my diseased lens occupied, which was larger.  The new lens will vibrate in there until the tissue surrounding it grows in to hold it, like shrink wrap 🙂  Post op requires 9 drops a day, following a tight schedule, for a month.  I’m looking into leasing some industrial space to accommodate my ever-expanding pharmaceutical stockpile.  The irony is that my previous high doses of Prednisone (Vitamin P), (which I first took to try to stabilize my blood counts and avoid a transplant, then took again when my Graft vs. Host Disease was attacking my mouth, eyes and skin), caused my cataracts, and it’s Prednisone that I am now back on to get my ocular Graft vs. Host to calm down enough to allow my cataract surgeries!  This miracle procedure is absolutely phenomenal and without it, my sight would have just continued to decline until I went blind.  Here is more about it:  Cataract Surgery

Can you see me now?
Can you see me now?

I just love the staff at Harvard Eye Associates!  They don’t mind me f-ing around during my appointments 🙂

Which one?
Which one?

Thanks to my new ability to see, I no longer brush my teeth with Cortizone 🙂

I have been able to get out and do stuff a bit more recently…

SUP?  Not much, SUP with you?
SUP? Not much, SUP with you?

Todd and I went to Mexico with my family, where I did a little stand up paddling and snorkeling, after a 2 year absence from the ocean.  Felt great!

Dear friends telling me to take a hike!
Dear friends telling me to take a hike!

We also spent a heavenly weekend in Palm Springs at Bruce and Mary’s awesome pad. We went on a beautiful 2 hour hike to Seven Sisters Waterfall with them and Bill and Kathleen. It was so nice to get some exercise and fresh air, and I only ate sh*t once, due to my poor vision missing the branch that tripped me and dirtied up my Lulu Lemons 🙂

During my last appointment visit with Dr. Fantastic, Todd and I walked around City of Hope’s beautiful grounds…

5 0 0

I recently celebrated my 500th day post-transplant!

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I am a survivor of two extremely rare diseases, thanks to over 100 blood transfusions and ultimately, a bone marrow transplant. My blog, joselynsbrawl.com, chronicles my adventures through medical offices, operating rooms, clinics, transfusion centers, hospital transplant floors, victory celebrations, and finally my bucket list items – all with a humorous and sometimes profane twist. My goal is to inspire others not to give up on life or anything else, and to understand that it’s actually possible to enjoy any experience, even battling a life-threatening illness (or two).

22 thoughts on “Yo Ho

  1. You are awesome – From one pirate to another. Although I have not had to wear an eye patch, I’ve brushed my teeth with Cortizone too! YUK!. Jos, we are so glad your surgery went well and you can see again. And, you are only half way there. With the next eye repaired you will be seeing like a teenager. Cool! We were glad to see you on a paddleboard at Las Cruces and that you are getting out in the fresh air of Mexico and Palm Springs. Thanks for sharing your latest great news – we are so happy for you and for Todd. Lynn and carolee


  2. The amazing saga continues and never wears you down! You are my personal pirate-hero and I’m so proud of how you manage to keep your sense of humor through all of this. So glad your surgery went well and you are able to see our beautiful world once again~XO


  3. So great that you can see now. I know this has been such a struggle and I think of you often, know you don’t know me but I’m Sondra’s sister and friend of your parents. God Bless You and keep up your bright, sunny outlook on life. I know it’s an inspiration to other.

    Joy Beck


  4. amazing me hearty! I saw your daughter clearly this week too..she is tooooo beautiful, inside and out. Keep up the amazing work and health xx


  5. Joselyn, Just when I think you couldn’t get any more amazing, you do. Amazing, awesome, funny, tough, strong, inspiring, brave, resilient, creative, educating, brilliant, courageous, determined, entertaining, completely beautiful and game for anything – how lucky am I to call you my friend?! XOXOXO


  6. Aye, great news indeed! Congratulations on your new view of the world, hope it continues to get even better. Love, love this post, thank you for continuing to share your amazing journey with us.

    Bubonic Gertrude Straw


  7. Well one eye down and one to go…well done Cap’n Helga Firecrotch. I too looked up my pirate name and it scared me a bit…Pirate Maggie the Drunk! Wow that’s a fine how do you do and a kick in the butt…As well as hilarious! Well Helga from Maggie…Arghhhhhhh!


  8. Darling Jos:

    Oh, thank you for your Shulmans Brawl Newsletter! It is full of pictures…of you smiling broadly and again I send my admiration and love for getting to this point and being so faithful and steady about getting us the news….

    My very dear dear, patient, faithful and beautiful Joselyn Ann….. things are almost at an end…. at last.

    God bless you and Toady…. kids and fambly

    Auntie Char

    Date: Mon, 5 May 2014 18:04:08 +0000 To: charlotte_mayfield@hotmail.com




  10. Joselyn, Glad to hear your are doing well. Always entertaining reading. Keep go go going strong you are an inspiration!

    Michael Cargile | Senior Vice President
    Voit Real Estate Services
    2020 Main Street, Suite 100 | Irvine, CA 92614
    T (949) 263-5338 | F (949) 261-9092
    mcargile@voitco.com | http://www.voitco.com
    License #00491668


  11. Joselyn it’s so great to see you doing the things you love. Many thanks to you and Todd for having the Stevens Family over for beach fun and Godfather’s Pizza. You guys are real life heroes–We are so happy to know you are on this side of 500 days. Stay hardy my friend. pete and cookie


  12. Oh, I forgot – smart, unique, irreverent, colorful, tenacious, hilarious, clever, grateful, honest.…..


  13. Joselyn,

    You are amazing! We continue to pray! Love you and thanks for the updates always!


    Sent from my iPhone


  14. YOU ARE and AMAZING LADY I am sending good thoughts and LOTS OF LOVE YOUR WAY…..and to Todd TOO Do not want him to feel left out….LOL john


  15. Todd just shared with me your courageous journey and I have to say I admire your spirit, fight and good vibes you send out. I love the Pirate dialect. Good work very entertaining. Kevin Turner


  16. Hello, I’m signed up for a Lasik surgery in Arizona and I’ve been reading about tips on how to combat pre-surgery anxieties, I was wondering if you have some personal tips you can recommend to help me prepare for the surgery? I would really appreciate it! Thank you!


    1. Hi Carmela – You’ll be absolutely fine! They will offer you some form of sedative (pill) to take the edge off, so be sure to accept the offer 🙂 Also, your eyes will be numbed with painless drops, so you won’t feel a thing. It’s over before you know it. I’ve always entered my eye surgeries with curiosity, amazement and excitement for what they are able to do. You won’t believe how awesome your vision is! It’s REALLY no big deal AT ALL ~ you’ll crush it and then realize there was no reason to feel anxious 🙂 Let me know how it goes!


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