Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Supposed to Happen to Somebody Else

It dawned on me the other day that these things are supposed to happen to somebody else.

Up to this point in our Journey we have called Joy, we have been along a path that has had its ups and its downs.  We have seen the agony that has come from initial diagnosis.  A few weeks later a jubilee of excitement due to the doctors not seeing what they expected and a wait and watch approach.  We saw a wonderful year go by with energy and life, to be followed by one that seemed to slow down, ending with pain in her spine and a tumor found in her back.  Early last year, following the concerns of pain and elevated blood counts, we had the devastating find of leukemia and the low dose chemo treatment that followed.  And in that time we had hope for the good life dashed at times with shingles, tiredness, and fevers.  Then came the descent of her blood count and the relief that came with mostly normal levels and the retirement of the chemo pill.

This was life.  We have ups and downs.  Like everybody, we have our ups and downs.  And as much as we want the ups, we have to have the downs, because without the downs, you really can't enjoy the ups.  Life would be too boring if we never hit bottom, because in the rise to the peaks we find that beam of light that shines bright because we know from whence we came.  Overcoming is the eternal purpose of mankind.  And we have embraced it... at least for a while.

You see - there have been some recent developments that force us to really look hard at life and what it all means.  Oh, you want to know what?  Let me tell you.

Since last I updated the ongoing saga we call life, Tiffany has had continued pain in her joints, fevers, and the concern of doctors.  That concern the doctors have, caused Tiffany to have a what we shall call, Tiffany's Best Day Ever (though it isn't what you think).

It started at 6:10 am on January 23rd.  We had just left our kids in bed, driving Tiff to the train station.  There she would ride to Huntsman for her Dermatology appointment early that morning.  I would get kids off and finish some work, before I headed down later that morning to hold her hand during a bone marrow test - one she has dreaded for a long time.  This time, she asked for something to take the edge off, and that, my friends, is really where her day became the best ever.  Suffice it to say, the rest of the day was a haze and she really doesn't remember any of it.  As her bone marrow test ended, she was fawning over the PA who had done the work and thanked her numerous times as she slipped in and out of consciousness.  Each time waking up and essentially asking what had happened (again and again and again).  At one point she woke up and asked me why I had touched her arm... of which I had not.  She swore I did, but as soon as I gave her a smile and a laugh, she was out again.  We waited in the office for an hour or so while she tried to come out of this phase, but she didn't turn much of a corner when it was time to leave to go to another hospital for a CT Scan.  Note - normally, they would have had us stay there to do it, but because the doctors wanted it soon, the only available location was another clinic on the other side of the city.

I walked her in to this clinic and all the nurses just looked at her with this 'yikes' face and one of them ran to grab a wheel chair for her, in which Tiffany sat and fell asleep.  It was in this stupor that I helped prep her for her CT Scan and sent her into the lab.  And as soon as I sent her in, she was done and back into the car and back to Huntsman.  We were supposed to be done at that point, but earlier in the day, prior to getting the bone marrow test, she had given a blood sample and the results came back suggesting that she needed another transfusion, the third one in just over a month.

We stayed, she got her transfusion.  The nurses smiled at Tiffany's lack of ability to stay 'with it' after such a small dose of drugs, many hours earlier, most of them joking that it's a good thing she doesn't drink, 'cause she wouldn't be able to hold her liquor.  :)

Well, after 14 hours away from home, we finally made it home.  It was a long day.  Much was accomplished.  We are hoping good things come from it.  But time will tell.  Results will tell.  But really... this is not supposed to be our life. 

So he whose life we are living - please come and claim your life back.  We would be glad to give it back to you!

But alas, I do sin in my wish.  I ought to be content with which the Lord has allotted unto me.  He has blessed us with so many blessings that I would be ungrateful to suggest this is a path that we shouldn't be going down. 

So, then, it's on to bigger and better things!



Friday, January 3, 2014

Good Things to Come, Right?

I am on the train right now, heading down to Huntsman. 

Tiffany received a call from the doctor earlier today to ask her how she has been doing (great doctor, right?) And, to tell the truth it has been a few hard days (weeks?) she has been dealing with. She has had constant headaches, fevers, always tired, all of which points to anemia. But when she was at Huntsman on Christmas Eve, checking into the sickness the doctors believe is virus related, her blood count was at a 9, which is low, but a transfusion won't be considered until she was below an 8. History has suggested that she wouldn't fall a full point within a week, so the fatigue and fevers and headaches she has had we were attributing to the virus we believe she is still fighting. 

But when the doctor called to check on her, after they heard her symptoms, they told her to run up and get checked out.  I had a few meetings I was attending to for work but we both decided she needed to go and I would catch up later. 

A while later, after the blood tests were done, we found her count had dropped to 7.2, well below the 8, and a transfusion was ordered. 

She is now sitting in the transfusion room enjoying the benefits of somebody else's blood. We hope any who read this take an opportunity to give blood from time to time. Truly, a great miracle in today's world.  Once she gets a transfusion she shouldn't be driving (mostly because of the drugs they give her) and hence, I am on my way via the train (rather than driving) to be with her and drive her home. 

More will come from the test results today. What that is we don't know yet. We were hoping the cancer would have been put at bay with the treatment she has had. But the docs are now considering many options going forward. 

Options, my guess, are options we really wish weren't really options. 


That means there are good things to come, right?