Yesterday my thoughts were on how it’s been 20 years since we said goodbye to my grandma. I almost forgot until tonight that is that yesterday marked 4 months for me.

4 months ago yesterday we got the call from my Doctor that we needed to go to the James. That I was sick. That I had leukemia. That I had cancer.

Even though my official diagnosis wouldn’t be until a few days later. That day my life changed.

The lives of my family changed. Life how I thought would be for me went out the window. Although I know I will beat this there is so much of my future that is still unknown.

For instance. I don’t know if the transplant that I will get here in 2 weeks will leave me unable to have kids.

I’ve always pictured myself being a mom. And I know I will be a mom. But I may never get to experience being pregnant. There are days this saddens me more than I can even begin to express. You hold an idea of what your future will be and then poof it’s gone.

Or how it will take me two years or more for me to grow my hair back to the length it was before this all happened. That I will have to have “boy hair” as I call it for months before I may feel girlie again. And the fact that my hair color my no be brown.

I do the best I can to smile and look for the blessings in all this. Most days are not easy but good enough and happy. But there are days where it is very hard to smile and put on that brave face.

I am so blessed to have my amazing family at my side. I couldn’t imagine going through this without their love and support. I know this hasn’t been easy on any of them.

There are days that I worry about my mom not working so she can take care of me and drive me to appointments. There are days where I worry that my dad will be too focused on me while at work and something bad will happen. I worry how I will be able to afford not being able to work for another year. How will I or my family pay bills if two of us can’t work.

But then I think about how I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to share my story. To spread the word of the need for donors through Be The Match. How I may be able to change the world and help others while I fight the hardest fight I will ever know.

So as I write this tonight I hope all of you embrace what you gave in front of you. Don’t take for granted the small things in life like being able to drive a car, to walk, to breathe comfortably, to being able to work and make a living, or knowing you can one day have your own family. Don’t lose sight of what is in front of you. Because one day you may wake up and everything has changed. Enjoy life. Make a bucket list and live your life. No regrets.

I hope out of all this ugly cancer that is for sure no damn fairytale that someone out there finds peace or hope or whatever it may be for my story. I hope my being sick and my fight is good for something or someone. So tomorrow head into your Monday not with dismay because it’s the start of another week. Go into Monday knowing you have a new week to embrace life and live it to the fullest every chance you get.

Tomorrow my mom and I travel to Columbus to be there for my Biopsy on Tuesday. I know all signs still point to remission with me but I still worry about it throwing and hitch into my transplant plan. Keep me any my family lifted up in your thoughts and feelings prayers as we prepare for battle.

Love you all! God bless. Goodnight.

Pre-Transplant Weekend

I hear so many new meds and procedures, I can’t keep them all straight. So I got out the binder the James provides to try to learn some of them while I sit here and wait for Jen come back from her last round of radiation.

Jen has been routinely getting a drug called Ativan to help with the nausea from radiation. She hasn’t had any vomiting (yet) from the radiation but seems to be nauseous pretty quick after treatments. The biggest side effect she has experienced from this drug is sleepiness. But she also is tired from the radiation itself.

Jen’s radiation has been twice a day, for three hours each time. She has had three days of this. She is at her last round as I write this. I expect she will come back to room and sleep most of the evening away. The radiation Jen is getting is part of a clinical trial in which they have mapped her bones specifically and are targeting just those areas to protect her organs and mouth. Jen is only the thirteen person to undergo this trial here at the James.

Tomorrow will start the second part of her pre-transplant treatments, an iv drug to help protect against rejection (GVHD) and chemotherapy. The anti rejection drug, Anti–T cell globulin (ATG) will most likely make her feverish and give her the shakes. She did this with her infections in December and it was very difficult on her. Hopefully she doesn’t get like this and if she does, it doesn’t last long.

Once this is complete, she will start a chemo drug (Cytoxan) which is intended to wipe out her existing marrow, but along with it, her immune system. This will also cause the little hair growth she has had to again fall out, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, diarrhea, and sometimes bladder irritation/bleeding. They will give her some premeds to limit the amount of nausea/ vomiting (given compazine for this), mouth sores, diarrhea and bladder irritation. They also find if they get her up to urinate every couple hours, the bladder irritation is less significant.

These two steps will be repeated on Sunday, with side effects being more apparent tomorrow. With that in mind, Randy will be joining me in Columbus this weekend so that I have his support as I often don’t sleep or eat well when things get rough and I’m on my own.

If you could please keep Jen in your prayers as tomorrow will be a rough day. For now, she is resting comfortably and saving up her energy for what tomorrow will bring.

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