Aug 27, 2012

Day 15

It's day 15 and things are more familiar now.
Each day is pretty much the same.

She gives blood in the morning...
then goes to a number of appointments.
You never know how many or where they will be.

They give you a schedule that you have to follow.
They change it sometimes daily.
Everything is dependent on the last blood count
and the last test you had.
So you really can't plan ahead
because you never know if they are going
to change it...which they usually do.

You really aren't in control...they are.
At least that's how you feel if you are a patient.
So when we have a free afternoon
we go for a walk...check out as many
areas as we can.
Our exploration area gets bigger and bigger.
We keep walking a little farther.

I'm learning the lingo...
Infusion, (getting blood)
Conditioning, (that's chemo and irradiation you get
before your stem cell transplant),
Engraftment (this is after the transplant,
still not really sure what it is...I think it's
when your new stem cells begin to take hold).

We have to take classes...
food handling class, which is how to
clean foods, counters, etc.
Nutrition class, so we know what
she can eat and what she can't eat,
Managing Care at Home class, this is
what she can do and what she can't do,
where she can go and where she can't go.
We have to learn how to flush her lines
and how to run the little pump that will
give her fluids so she doesn't dehydrate.
Apparently you can dehydrate even if you
are drinking enough water.

All in all it is quite a different life altogether.
A life that you aren't in charge of...
A life where you don't feel in control...
yet, you are there because you want to be.
The SCCA is crowded with people
that one hundred years ago would
not have had a chance at life.
But now, their chances are very good!

Aug 19, 2012

First Week

I have been in Seattle for 6 days now
with a friend who is having a stem cell transplant.

They take her own stem cells out...
pretty much kill everything else going on in the body...
then put the healthy stem cells back in.
Pretty amazing.
I'm getting quite an education.
And a healthy respect
for the people going thru this.

There is a home you can stay in.
We're now in the Pete Gross house
after being in the SCCA House for a week.
Each house has a rooftop garden.
The SCCA House is like a motel.
But they have kitchens downstairs
for patients to use.
After you are done...everything
has to be sanitized.
We decided it wasn't really worth it!
And luckily, her grandma lives in town
and sends new meals every day!
The Pete Gross House is like a little apartment.
Kitchen and all!
But Grandma still sends food every day.
Bless her little heart!

SCCA stands for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
They're world renown
and I can see why.

They have their business down to a "T".
They treat the patients and caregivers
very well.
There's nutrition centers everywhere.
That's a little mini kitchen with all
kinds of snacks...for free!
(And not always nutritious...which is a good thing)

We spent the first of this week
waiting for her blood counts to go up
so they could begin to harvest her cells.

She has to be at the clinic every morning
to have blood taken.
after that, she waits an hour
to find out what the counts were.
Then she had to have a shot
to help her counts go up.
Then usually she had to have
blood or platelets put in.
This takes quite awhile.

When her counts were good,
it was time for harvesting or collecting.
That was a celebrating time!

So the first day of collecting
she was at the clinic for 12 hours,
way longer than we thought.
We had to move into the new house,
so I had to run all over getting keys,
packing up stuff, going back and forth
between houses.
I also managed to leave my purse
on one of the shuttles.
Almost had a major 
meltdown at this point.
But the shuttle guy brought my purse back.
I almost kissed him and gave him all the money in my purse!
(Not really on the kissing, and giving him all the money
in my purse would actually be the opposite of being grateful!)

Once we got in the new apartment
things smoothed out a little.
Her uncle brings us stuff from the store
as well as the cooked meals from her grama.
He has a jaguar...
I got to ride in it today,
and get to ride in it tomorrow.
Pretty much the highlight of my week...month...year...
well, you get the idea.

We have managed to do a couple of fun things.
We went to a little coffee place called Row House
and had a Iced Hazelnut Mocha...and...
we finished a 500 piece puzzle in about 2 hours.
Yes, we are a wild bunch!

We are both struggling with the fact
that we are without our families
and find we don't have a lot of drive
to do anything that we normally like to do.
She has an excuse to feel that way...I don't.
But its getting easier
and we are sure to spend plenty of time
in God's Word and we are praying
every day before going to the clinic.
She's very brave
and treats every day
as if she's going to the office
for a day of work!

Aug 12, 2012

In The News

So apparently they just finished up
a very lengthy, expensive study
and found out that if you let your children
watch filthy stuff on TV...
they'll become promiscuous
at an earlier age!

Wow! Really?

I could have told them that for half the price!

Also, in the news...
They found a 600 year old bra!
Yep! This is apparently news.

Looks like one of mine!

You heard it here first!

Holy Ground

I have a girlfriend
who is going in for a stem cell transplant.
Her own stem cells
that have been harvested.

She left last week for Seattle.
I will be leaving tomorrow
to be with her during all of this
so her husband can be home with the kids.
We'll be gone til Nov. 1st. approximately.

This is 'new ground' for her and I both.
Going through things you've never been
through before.
Fear of the unknown.

Her fear is much greater, of course.
Yet she laughs, she jokes...
she sets me at ease with her
easy manner...

Cause she knows God will work thru this...

So this 'new ground'
can be 'holy ground'
for her.

Aug 7, 2012

The Stuff That Will Matter Forever

Our old Pastor used to say
Read every day til you get something from God.
I try to do that every day.
But you know how sometimes you read something
and it sticks with you for much longer.
You think about it every day
cause it touched your soul.

Psalms 1 says...

"...he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit
in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so:
but are like the chaff
which the wind driveth away."

I read that and said to myself...
Yep, that's true.
Yet, in my heart I'm thinking
Why then do I sometimes feel like chaff...
Empty, dry, blown away
by every dreadful life circumstance?

I know how I need to be...
alive, flourishing, fresh,

A song by Keith Green says,
"My eyes are dry,
My faith is old,
My heart is hard,
My prayers are cold,
And  I know how I ought to be,
Alive to You and dead to me.

I'm too much alive to me,
and dead to Him.
I need to turn it around.

Quit thinking about me all the time...
and my 'stuff'!

Think about Him and His stuff.
And the only way I can do that is to
be in His Word.
His Word is all about His stuff!

The Glorious Stuff!

Not the stuff that Satan puts in our way
to trip up our flesh...

But the Stuff that will matter forever!

Must be why in verse 2 it says,
the Blessed man's delight
is in the law of the Lord...
and he meditates in it day and night.

When I'm in His Word meditating on His Stuff...
I don't have time to worry about mine.

I love how God's Word has all the answers
for my seeking heart!