Monday, December 24, 2012
♪ Next Year ALL our Troubles will be out of sight... ♫
Merry Christmas Eve. It's been snowing here all day, and normally I love a white Christmas, but this year it's keeping my family from driving up to see me. I have today and tomorrow left where I can go out in the family lobby to see my kids, so I'm hoping tomorrow the roads will clear up and I can spend some time with them before transplant day. I do have to say how happy I am that they have been able to come up and see me these last few days. It has helped me a ton emotionally just to be around them.
Yesterday there was a family Christmas party in the lobby, so the kids all came up. They had face painting, crafts, food, a live band. They all had fun. My nurse let me unhook from my chemo pole for the party because I was in the middle of treatment, and when Hope saw me she said.."Oh, mommy..where's your stroller that's helping you get better? I was going to push it for you". So dang cute. I try really hard not to use the word "sick" around my kids. I always tell them I'm here getting better. I think it makes it a little easier on them to think of that way..and that's exactly what I'm doing.
Today has been a quiet day, for the most part. We did have a group come up and sing Christmas carols in the hall, and then they left a gift. I have actually had quite a few gifts brought in , mostly from families who have been here before during this time of year and want to send a little something to lift those up going through something similar. It is so kind, and I can't wait to do something like that in the future.
I do have my sweet husband Larry here with me today. He keeps me company, and listens to all my complaints. The last day and a half were sort of sick days, I slept most of the day. But today I feel pretty good. So we have been up, going on walks. Problem is--I'm only allowed to walk around the 4th floor. Half of the 4th floor is a small circle in between 2 double locking doors (BMT UNIT), and the other half is just an in-patient floor with the family waiting room in between. So far, I'm allowed to roam around all of the 4th floor..so long as I wear my super heavy duty green mask. It's to keep all the germs out of my system (or paint fumes..I'm not sure). Anyway, I'm on a bit of a short leash (thanks to my "stroller"), but today I just felt like I needed to walk FAST. I'm so tired of sitting around, and I really want to keep up my strength. So Larry and I were power sprinting down the BMT hall today. Not sure what the other patients thought when they saw us power walking by :)
Well, I have to say so far this has gone better than I could have expected. The doctors and nurses keep telling me that 2 -3 days after transplant is when it starts to get bad. My immune system is completely being knocked out these last few days, and the effects of that will hit me next week. But honestly, I'm going to try to continue to get through it as strong as possible so I can get out of here as quick as I can. I know I've said this before...but it is so strange allowing yourself to become so sick, when the cancer itself never made me sick. In fact, the last year I've felt better than ever! And now in one day I will be preparing for a transplant that if I don't get, I would not survive from all the chemo this week. On one hand I'm amazed at the technology, and on the other hand I'm astonished that this is my life (health). But the very second I start to complain (to myself or out loud) I just remind myself that others out there go through things much more difficult than I am. I know everyone has been listening to all the events of the tragedy in Connecticut, and here in Utah there has been a lot of news about a little girl, Emilie, that's family was originally from Ogden, Utah. And I know the grief and pain those families are going through is something I could never endure. But this is where I feel like we have one thing in common. We all have to lean on Christ for support through our trials. He knows what we can endure, and he will help us through them no matter how hard they seem. He KNOWS first hand what we're going through. I have gained a stronger testimony of what the atonement really is. And for that, I am so thankful.
I just saw my blog has hit just over 22,000 views. And while I started this for 2 main reasons (to document my journey and to update friends and family) I hope that there have been a few people that have come across this blog and found some strength if there going through something similar. I know I've been able to read others blogs and find that little bit of encouragement that can be desperately needed.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Love, Jen
PS: On the title of this blog post: I went with my mom to see Kurt Bestor in concert last week. It was amazing Christmas music. One of his special guests was Alex Sharpe from Celtic Women. She sang the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", and as soon as she sang the line... "Next year all our troubles will be out of sight" I had tears come to my eyes. I've never paid much attention to this line..but this year it's a little line from a Christmas song that brought me lots of HOPE!
(Here's a link to a version of this song by a group I love -Coldplay) Merry Christmas, Friends!