A Time of Giving Thanks
Hoping this finds everyone having had a wonderful Thanksgiving. For me, this was a great Thanksgiving; I was able to be home to celebrate with family. Doesn't really get much better than that.
This past week was my toughest so far, yet at the same time was filled with so much love and care. I was hospitalized in Houston on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this past week with extreme pain that needed to be controlled by some very heavy medications. Tests were inconclusive at finding anything more than the obvious; crazy and sometimes inexplicable things happen to a body with cancer.
I had flown down to Houston on Sunday by myself, as planned, to get my last of my serious of 4 weekly Rituxan infusions. However, once it was obvious I would be staying in the hospital for a few days, Jody made arrangements to fly down to be with me. Adam was also fortunate through a most generous family, to be able to come down as well. I cannot explain how incredible it was to see these guys walk through my hospital room door! They both stayed in my room through the night and really never left my side. It was such a Blessing to have them with me.
I have mentioned before about the amazing people I have met along my journey and this week was no exception. I had a several hour wait in the clinic to be seen by my doctor prior to being admitted. There were numerous people, strangers, who would go get warm blankets to cover me, to help me walk from my chair to where I needed to go, to carry my backpack for me and to basically do anything they could to assist; it was obvious I was in incredible pain and could hardly move. It was also obvious I was alone. Again, going down alone was pre-planned and my getting so sick was not. I would hate for anyone to think less of my husband or family; trust me when I say, I can be fine in the morning and end up in the ER by evening. This is so random, my health that is.
While in the waiting room, there was a family whose dad/husband also has the same diagnosis as me. He ended up getting admitted for his treatment at the same time I was admitted. This lovely family knew I was alone and took it upon themselves to make sure I had company while waiting for my family to come down. Trisha, Tommy and Bridget (the family of the gentleman, Rodney, who was in for treatment) came to my room to check on my and keep me company on a couple occasions. My lovely new friend, Diane, whose husband Ray is fighting his own fight, also made her way to my room to make sure I was okay and not alone. The feelings I have for these families who took time out of their own intense, emotional and difficult situations to make sure I was okay, is hard to put into words. The selflessness and compassion they and so many others have shown during my journey is like nothing I have ever seen.
I have definitely changed a lot since diagnosis, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I completely believe there is good in the world and in people, I have seen it and experienced it. I believe that I have become a better person because of my diagnosis and I believe that compassion and love really can help heal.
I leave again tomorrow for Houston, my last trek to Mecca until Christmas Day. I only have to get a check by my doctor and pick up my Ibrutinib pills (the experimental part of my trial). I know that one family mentioned above will still be at MDA and I plan to make sure to visit them as they have visited me. It is the way it should be; pay it forward. As cliché as it may sound, it really does matter.
My specific prayer for this part of my journey is that I continue to be healthy enough to hopefully make a difference to the others that I meet along the way.
I appreciate all of you for your continued support.