A Transplant update.

Seven days ago the wonder of transplantation coursed through my brain resonating in my soul. Medicine working in ways we could never imagine 25 years ago! Modern medicine is ever evolving and with technology jumping by leaps and bounds in what feels like Nano seconds, medicine of today will become barbaric by tomorrows standards in no time at all.

Seven days has passed slowly for my wife, no wonderment for the miracles of medicine because she remains sick. Very sick..

Being an ever curious man I am constantly seeking new information about Leukemia and its effects, my brain absorbs every bit of information that surrounds me with an ability to understand what, where, when and how which comes from years in a profession demanding we evolve or be cast aside. There are others who don’t see or understand all that is happening to my wife right now and that’s ok, although I believe it to be partly my fault. Whether lost in translation, my inability to properly explain or an annoying habit I have; portraying things to always be a little better than they are for fear of worrying someone, anyone, I feel I have failed to expound the proper information.

Those following my blog understand much about this journey as time has been taken to carefully break down the finer aspects of each portion of this miraculous procedure along with all its uncomfortable after effects. But even with all of the writings many are left wondering and fearful as too all my wife is experiencing. I have tried my very best through each individual explanation anytime someone asks, it makes my heart happy to know so many care about my wife and I never mind the explanations. The curiosity of it all is not lost either. Many who don’t even know my wife have heard of her and want to know more! A little like a reality TV show only the reality is it’s my family not someone we don’t know, cast for whatever reason in a town filled with more drama than character. It is a privilege to share this information with everyone as I hope it opens hearts and minds to what every family battling any form of Leukemia are struggling with deep inside. I am working very hard at not letting any of you down.

What are we struggling with right now?

Like I said, she is sick, very sick. Everyday her body hurts, she is having tremors that last for hours on end, her throat is swollen and raw with sores developing, her bladder is filling with blood and spasming every 15 minutes or so, she has a catheter that comes out for fear of infection then goes right back in for fear of infection from her bladder spasming due to being filled with blood. She vomits daily from the immunosuppressant which is needed allowing new cells an ability to adapt to their new home and her body temperature has been bouncing from 99-104.5! Of course this leads to steroids, ice baths, more nausea medication, more pain medication, another bag of fluids and oh by the way she has gained 11 pounds since the transplant! Unfortunately those 11 pounds are fluid she can’t keep in her cells so a hefty dose of Lasix is onboard which by the way means she needs to urinate every 15 minutes against a spasming bladder. Phew that was a lot!

Jacy has no white cells and this fine tuning of medication will continue until her body either accepts or rejects the new cells. Having no white cells also means she risks becoming life threateningly sick over the simplest of germs entering her system. So every time she spikes a fever everyone (doctors,nurses) worries leaving her worried as well. I become worried too, but that my job, right? She told me something today after an especially hard episode last night where she was seizing and blowing up to 104.5; she said there is no place she would rather be, these were the best nurses anywhere and she has never doubted their ability to keep her going. That is a brave, solid statement from a woman who was frightened not more than a few hours prior with a 188 bpm heart rate.

It is incredibly hard to not be by her side. My worries are beyond control. Jacy had me promise I would be a father to our children first and a husband to her second. She wants nothing more than to have our children busy the entire summer so they don’t have a chance to worry about their mom and I am doing my very best but when I know she is suffering how do I just load up the car and go camping? How do I act like I am having fun when in reality I just want to sit by her side, hold her hand while she sleeps? I never need to do anything when I am with her but smile, kiss her hand and let her rest. I can do that for hours without flinching and it feels like I am making a difference!

For better or for worse, richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health till death do us part.

Those words mean something to me. So I will do what has been asked of me, by a woman who wants nothing more for her children than to be happy. I never in my life thought our marriage would end up here in this place. The strong well spoken, athletic woman who taught two spin classes a day, biked a centurion, ran a tough mudder and always looked for a way to make fitness a part of her day. The mother of four who never said no, running from one sports venue to the next while still maintaining a job, would be so unlucky as to contract Leukemia.

None of it makes sense and all of it seems so unfair.

Regardless, this weekend I am going to do what she has asked me to do. Running solely on faith the kids and I are loading up to go camping. Yes it means I won’t see her until Monday and its breaking my heart. Yes I will be worrying about every minute that I hear nothing about her progress, Yes I will make sure the kids have the very best time by putting on the happiest of faces so they never forget the time they went camping with just dad.

This is one of those times where you trust the one you love, have faith that God is looking over you all and pray that everything will turn out fine no matter what you do.

Thank you to all who continue to lift us up in thought and prayer. I hope I was able to adequately explain her current condition, please continue to pray for her spirits and wish us all luck.

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10 thoughts on “A Transplant update.

  1. James and Jacy….I may not see you that often, and we may not be as close as you are with some of your other friends, but I have always admired you as individuals and as a couple.

    I have always been drawn to you, James, not in a sexual way….but as a friend. Working calls with you gave me a rare insight that most don’t get…a look at a man who works hard, cares deeply about people, loves his family with all his heart, and powers through all kinds of adversity with strength and compassion. After meeting Jacy through you, I realized you are two peas in a pod….a power couple, supportive parents, loving spouses, each other’s rocks, community activists, animal lovers, and friends to all.

    I hate knowing that your family is going through this terrible, scary, gut-wrenching ordeal. I can’t tell you enough how strong and amazing I think you are, Jacy especially, but your whole family. I know you have the love and support of an entire community, but know that I am one of those in your corner. Rooting you on through your battle, hoping desperately for this treatment to be a success, and, although I don’t pray, I am wishing with all my heart that soon, I won’t have to read James’s blogs any longer. Not because I don’t enjoy reading them, but because there is no longer anything to inform us of, because your family is off enjoying each other’s company and there is no time to sit in front of a computer and type…there is only time to be with each other, time to catch up on lost family time, time to just love each other and “be”.

    Please know that you two are in my heart.

  2. James,
    I am amazed by you and Jacy. Your strength and perseverance, and your steadfast love and commitment to each other, to your family and to beating this terrible disease. My heart aches for you all to be going through this battle, again. And even though there is no way I could possibly understand all it is you have been going through, you have the most incredible way of describing your experience, through such heartfelt and eloquent words that help me to pray ever harder. I want you to know that my thoughts are always with Jacy, you, and your entire family. I am praying deeply for Jacy’s complete recovery, and for all of the strength you, Jacy & your family have had to muster to continue along the way. ~Nicole

  3. James,
    You don’t near much from me, but I want you to know that you and Jacy and your family are never far from my thoughts and prayers. Your wife is an amazing woman and has blessed so many with her dazzling smile and genuine love of people, including my daughter Erin. I will hold you all close this weekend.
    Sharon McCommas Burr (Erin Brothers’ mom)

  4. My niece Erica told me about her friend Jacy just recently. Although I have not met Jacy, Erica described her to me as being such a bright and helpful person. I’m very sorry for the pain and suffering she has to endure and I can only imagine the way you feel as you deal with everything.
    Hopefully you will find comfort in your children as they represent you and Jacy’s love for one another. Good luck to you, remember there are many people that feel your pain. I’m certainly touch by what I have read.

  5. James & Jacy,
    I have not followed your blog, but just fi6shed your beautiful words regarding your wife’s illness. First of all..I’m very sorry what your all going through!!
    My husband also had AML & a bone marrow transplant. Those days ran through my head as I read your story. Why..was my question also.. but I came to realize that we don’tt have time to ask Why..you need to stay so possitive for your patient(wife) ..it’s the craziest times I had gone through.. Yes, my husband is alive and well, just finally taken off his antirejection meds. …after 6years!! Lots of ups and downs..but we stayed possitive & prayed a lot!! He’s a real fighter, I knew he was strong..but this showed how strong willed he is!! I could go on and on, but just remember your doing a great job with your wife & children. We’re all in God’s hands!! Enjoy your camping trip and try to laugh, it’s a healer!! 😉
    I’ll keep her in my prayers.
    Theresa

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