Facing Challenges, Uncategorized

Ramblings & Gratitude

img_1379-1Today hasn’t started off very well. Last night was of those hospital nights where sleep just wasn’t destined to happen.  It wasn’t for lack of preparation.  We knew we would be up early as B was supposed to be taken down for dialysis at 6am, so I got the diffuser going at 9 with sacred frankincense and lavender essential oils, rolled on some extra peace & calming oil, got all my many pillows just right, and made myself pretty comfy considering the accommodations.  So, what could possibly go wrong??  Hmm….11pm-vital signs check #1, blanket mishap, air in IV line alarm, blood draw earlier than normal, update from nurse: blood results show need for platelets prior to dialysis, stress over needing platelets again so soon, vital signs check #2: oxygen saturation low, blood on sheet from scrape must be cleaned and bandaged, roam around floor to get ice water and run into one of my favorite past nurses, Pre-meds for platelets, vital signs check #3, platelet transfusion, platelets complete,  status update on dialysis time, 10 minutes until transport comes, 6am! 😂🤣😴

So here I am, awake while he is sleeping during the procedure.  Bless him, he needs the rest.  His poor body and mind….Honestly, I don’t know how he does it.  If I ever dare to feel tired or sorry for myself, I only have to look at the patients here including my own exhausted husband.   I feel guilty that I did get to run away last week and get a pedicure, play with our dog, and go to Super Target!  I wish he could run away for a moment.

They are experiencing a critical shortage of platelets here right now.  Did you know that donated blood platelets are only good for 5 days?   Red blood cells can be stored for 30-40 days.  Cancer patients, especially leukemia patients, need platelets and RBCs A LOT!  My husband had 4 bags of platelets and 5 bags of blood last week; that’s ONE week.  Please give if you can, and give as often as you can (every 8 weeks for whole blood, every 2 weeks for platelets). To find a blood donor center or drive near you, click here or here.

Anyway, to continue my rambling….yesterday, I gave platelets. While in the blood donor center, I met a man about my age whose 24 year old son had been diagnosed with AML in November. They were from Kentucky, and the son and his wife were approaching their 2 year wedding anniversary.  The young man had received a 1/2 match allogeneic stem cell transplant a little before my husband received his.  Everything seemed to be going fine initially, but they discovered the Transplant did not work, and his son also had an infection.  Currently the doctors are treating the infection while trying to develop a plan to stop the cancer, so he might be able to do another transplant. His AML blasts are multiplying rapidly. They are fighting time and infection.  I have so much admiration for this father who was donating platelets to help his son and other cancer patients while so obviously struggling to stay positive.  I’ve been praying for this young man and his family that I do not know.

If you are not registered to be a stem cell/bone marrow donor, please consider it.  It’s easy and free.  Learn about becoming a donor right here.

Today is my son’s 19th birthday. Where does the time go?!?  I’m so thankful for him and that I get to be his mom. I’m thankful for my daughter and my bonus daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, my wonderful parents, and many other great friends and family members.  I’m so thankful for many things.

Saturday I received an unexpected and amazing gift from a college friend I haven’t seen since 1990!  I also got a card from my “aunt”, several sweet messages, posts, and texts from all over, a message with advice I needed from a new oil addict friend, and a Facebook request from a grade school friend.  I never appreciated or really participated in social media until our move to Houston.  Now, I do! I’ve remained connected to family and friends; reconnected, as well as gotten to know better, old acquaintances; and made new connections.

They say that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness.  I wholeheartedly agree, but I sometimes struggle with feeling overwhelmed and alone.  My husband needs my support 24/7.  Although I really like this city, and I’ve met some wonderful people, it doesn’t feel quite like home; I’m not even positive where my home is anymore.

It’s interesting how much therapy this blog has become for me.  I had no idea when I began writing where it would lead.  I still don’t know.  I DO know that when I started writing this post, I felt tired and overwhelmed.  The flight part of my fight or flight response was kicking in hard.  Nearing the end of the piece, I feel ready to fight again.  Now, we are back from dialysis, have heard some positive news from the kidney docs and the stem cell transplant rounding doc, I may take a nap……..it’s a partly cloudy day. ❤️