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Navigating the Middle

through adolescents, menopause, aging parents & other flying debris

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Days +1, +2: Forever Changed

It’s been a few days since I’ve had the strength (or desire) to write. My hopes to blog throughout this process were outrageously, overly inflated. Words like “goal” and “will-power” simply possessed no power.

Here’s the recap:

Wednesday, August 3 was Day 0. The stem cells arrived, carried in a cooler by medical personnel.

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After checking paperwork and confirming the puffy, pallid-looking patient laying in front of them matched the proper name, date of birth, and medical record number…

 

…the donor cells were hung. Gravity stood between me and my new stem cells. Jeff and I prayed. The nurse stayed. The bag emptied in about 20 minutes.

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There was no reaction; no gagging or fits. It was, as it had been described to me, rather anti-climactic. I felt well enough to get out of bed and take a couple of laps around the ward that evening.

That was Wednesday, Day 0.

Since then, things haven’t gone nearly so well. BUT, today is Day +2, and I am able to write. Prayerfully, this is the turnaround I’ve been anticipating. Doctors have assured me that my symptoms are a result of the preconditioning regiment, of which they do not seem to be surprised.

I, on the other hand, have experienced many surprises. Given my history of cancer, chemo and radiation, I’d thought I’d seen it all. But this IS different. And more than anything, I am convinced that no matter what happens next or what has already taken place, my life has forever changed.

 

 

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Home Stretch…Cycle 6: Day 4

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. It was also Day 3 of Cycle 6, which means I am nearing the end of the chemo part of my journey. Realizing this should have brought me great joy, but in truth, Day 3 is always the hardest for me. It is the day when I have to reach deep within to steady myself for chemo.

Day 3 is my saddest day.

I was trying to distract myself with Facebook when I came across a post about a college sorority sister who had succumbed to cancer. Her birthday was April 5th and her date with eternity was April 6th, Easter. I called up my pledge sister to reflect on Stacie’s four-year battle. When we said “good-bye” my soror left me with the image of Jesus raising from the tomb, taking Stacie’s hand in His own, and ushering her into eternity with Him.

It was a profoundly beautiful and comforting image, one that made me appreciate that not everyone gets a Day 3. Perhaps I should be grateful for mine…as I am grateful to all of you.

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