Round 3

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).

4 thoughts on “Round 3

  1. I love the seasons. They remind me of periods we go through in our life. My two favorite seasons are spring and fall. Winters are usually pretty tough but we know we can get through it and spring follows with a rebirth of life. When I was a teenager at times when one of my friends or myself were having a bad day we came up with the practice of when seeing each other in the school halls saying “maintain – maintain”. It was simple but comforting knowing someone cared. So Jenny maintain-maintain. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. It is beautiful to witness how you have surrendered you life into the arms of the loving Christ. I know he will fill you with the grace and courage you need through this time until you can be united again for Christmas with your family. Hooray for empandas!
    I pray for strength and healing for you always.

  3. I love Kyle’s quote to friends. “Maintain” is a good one. There are sunny days ahead, I know it!
    PS Note to self “be there for the next bone marrow biopsy” so I can gently encourage more sedation….

  4. It was really nice to have you back in Mty, even for a few weeks. Christmas is just around the corner and you’ll enjoy it. We’ll be waiting for you next year (with some empanadas). I wish you the best.

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