The Face of Leukemia cont….

(Sorry everyone I am a little exhausted today and my writing shows)

The next day brought a tsunami of nurses and doctors. They filled into Jacy’s room, each with a different explanation, each with an intended purpose, each wanting to ensure we knew what was happening and why. They were fast, they were thorough, they came and went just as quickly. They were also some of the nicest people I have ever met.  I mean seriously generous, kind-hearted, nice people.

You know what I am talking about, the kind of people you see in a small town where everyone knows everyone and when someone is down they all rally behind that person with empathy, generosity and love.  Wait that sounds familiar? Nawww that doesn’t happen anymore these days. (sarcasm)

Anyways the first nurses we became acquainted with were JoAnne and Wayne.  Wayne is a 40 year veteran in the nursing profession and it shows right away. His knowledge and approach with patients is mesmerizing.  This man could teach a very successful class on customer service.  JoAnn is hilarious and does her absolute best to keep us in good spirits from the moment she strolls through the door.  She is absolutely adorable, her and Jacy hit it off right away, a new friendship is born.

The morning is filled with more needle pokes, more blood drawn, and an echocardiogram of Jacy’s heart. This was needed to ensure her heart was healthy enough for the Chemo meds as they are extremely toxic to heart muscle. So a baseline for cardiac output is measured, tolerances devised and the green light given for treatment.

Dr. Truong comes in to discuss possibilities and probabilities in regards to Jacy’s treatment of chemotherapy.  We sit together in awe as numbers, types, statistics, age, medicines and death are all thoroughly covered.  In the end Dr. Truong tells us it doesn’t matter what current statistics are, what matters is you the individual.  You, your brain and your body will determine the outcome of this procedure. She emphasizes a positive attitude will get Jacy along way during treatment.  She looks up to see Jacy smiling her patented big radiant smile and instantly knows attitude isn’t going to be a problem.

Within minutes the I.V. stand becomes loaded with several cocktail mixtures for inter venous consumption.  Lines go in, Jacy lays back and before long my lovely wife, who three days ago thought all was right with world is now a Cancer patient in treatment with chemotherapy.

We spent the better part of the afternoon talking about the last ten years together, where we came from and where we hoped to be when we retired.  Promises made to slow life down when we walk out of this hospital, but I know deep inside that isn’t going to happen. It takes a lot to hold down two jobs, run a ranch and save little puppies from death (Coopers Good Dog Rescue) then raise four children while participating in kids sports, 4-H, FFA, high school rodeo and well good old life in general. Truth be told it has created memories we will cherish together always. We talked about everything under the sun but do you know what we didn’t talk about? Letting cancer win! Thats right, positive attitude all the way! Every one of our conversations about the future had the two of us in it, no death, no separation, only triumph and togetherness. Our conversation started winding down, we made fun of cancer a few more times, even held each other and cried one or two more times.  Then we sat back and began to wait. For what I did not know, but we waited…

While all this was happening,  behind the scenes at home an army was taking shape.  A collage of human spirit weaving its way slowly together getting stronger and stronger by the minute. It was amazing, I had received a few phone calls from loved ones and very close friends within minutes of Jacy announcing her condition of Facebook.  But those few phone calls started a ball rolling that like a snowball tossed gently down a fresh snow covered hill, grew larger while gathering size and speed until it would become an avalanche of love and support so great that people wanted to be consumed by its force and power. Humbling to the say the least.


Night rolled into day and I awoke, rolling off  the couch from hell to watch the nurses change out a fluid bag on my wife’s I.V. stand.  She awoke feeling fine, just a little tired and still ready to kick cancers ass!

By 11 the Dr. Truong had re-emerged bringing her infectious smile to our room.  We had a very nice conversation where she explained the importance of a spinal tap on Jacy to retrieve spinal fluid. The Spinal fluid would be tested to ensure no cancer had spread to jacy’s brain (this of course would be devastating) or was trapped within the spinal column. If so this would lead to a chemo treatment directly into the spinal column itself.  No one wanted that…

Jacy is still bouncing off the walls with positive attitude and posting pics of herself on Facebook.  This is good for her, as the higher her spirits for a longer period of time the better mental state she will be in when the chemotherapy really does make her sick. I sit patiently by her side, knowing that moment of nausea will come soon.  She has three “pushes” of high does chemo drugs to go through and the first is tonight.

At 5 pm the nurses assemble for the first “push”, they are covered in gowns and face masks, it looks as though this process should be a scary thing not a positive one. It lasts for 30 minutes, is monitored by nurses for any abnormalities within jacy’s vital signs and the nurses kick me out of the room when it happens.

Walking the halls I am sick to my stomach! I still can’t believe this happening to us! But I promised to be positive, so here goes. I am positive we are going to beat this! I am positive my wife is going to be fine. I am positive I will love this woman to the very end! I am positive I can handle all of this for myself, my wife, my family, and my friends.  I am positive we are going to kick cancers ass…

And it all starts right now!