I flew in from Mexico’s 85 degree weather to Utah’s 23 degrees and a blanket of snow. Winter is here. I love the snow in December, but by March it gets a little old. I am comforted by knowing that it can’t last forever.
Knowing that things don’t last forever is my source of hope for the next 6 weeks. I came back to Utah over the weekend to start the process for my second transplant. I left my husband and kids. I was just starting to feel better. My hair was growing back. And now, I will do it all over again.
My treatments started yesterday with a full day of tests. The testing marathon began at 7:30 a.m. with a heart test where I was injected with radioactive material for a scan. Next was another bone marrow biopsy. (Memo to self: get the double dose of conscious sedation like last time because there was still a lot of crying this time.) I had labs drawn. My next stop was a PET scan. It is slightly nerve wracking to be led to an isolated room with a radioactive material symbol on the door and to have a dangerous substance be pulled from a lead-covered canister and injected into me. Something about that just feels wrong. My last test was a pulmonary function test with an arterial blood draw (worse than an IV but better than the biopsy). I finished the day at 5 p.m.
It was a hard day for me. I tried not to let my challenging day spill over onto the people around me. They could still have a great day, but I gave myself permission to have a bad day on occasion and to be guilt-free about it.
The best part about bad days are that they don’t last forever. Time passes, we do hard things and we get through them. Today is a new day and I can see a light at the end of the treatment tunnel.
I can have a rough day and still be grateful. I have gained the weight I needed (thank you empanadas). I am healthy (thank you for your prayers). I had a friend’s hand to hold (thank you Sharon). My family is coming for Christmas (thank you airlines). With the doctor’s go-ahead, I will start chemo in the next few days. In the coming weeks I will feel crummy, but in a few months my two transplants will be over. I will start to feel better, I will be reunited with my family and my hair will start to grow back.
I am discovering that enduring is more than just waiting. I have to grab the opportunities I have in the circumstances that I have them. It is time once again for more reading, more resting and more learning.
Eventually the snow will melt, the flowers will grow and I will be able to wear open toed shoes once again (with hair).