Oh? One of those calls….

Why must you ring? Why?

One of “those” calls, the phone call we all dread.

We all know the story, have heard it recounted a million times whether through a friend or family, on television or in the movies. This haunting recollection is always recounted like an old wives tale and for some strange reason it chills even more so simply through its timing. Midnight to 5am.

The phone rings, its 4am. Nothing good comes from a phone call at 4am. No one I know lives on the other side of this big round world just waiting to chat my night away, no one I know has been counting down the minutes to converse with me during what would be considered to any other normal human being, bedtime? No one. Not one, single, solitary person.

So that means when the phone rings at 4am it is without a doubt bad news, it always means at 4am that it is bad news. Right? Publishers Clearing house is not calling to inform me I just won 10 million dollars at 4am! Although they could, seriously PCH call anytime, PLEASE!!!!!

It rings, I don’t hear it. Sound asleep, weary from a long emotionally charged week my body is in deep REM sleep. Somewhere in my dream there is an apparition yelling at me to arise, screaming to wake up, something is not right! I wearily crack an eye to a very dark bedroom only to recognize the sound of a voicemail populating my electronic gadget of life.

Heart rate doubles instantly like an electric shock, as though the bell has just gone off at the fire station and I hear the words “Structure Fire”. Bam! I am awake! Searching fumbling for the phone, fear instantly grips me, thoughts, horrible thoughts of what may be; enter my brain! They keep coming as my fingers can’t quite grasp this stupid phone! Nothing is working! Squinting hard, no recognition is working and I can’t find my damn glasses to see since my fear induced jolt knocked them off the nightstand. Like Ralphy from a Christmas story I carefully search the floor praying I don’t take a misstep thus hearing the cracking of a shattering lens.

I have them! I can see, hitting voicemail a somber, I am guessing through dialect Asian gentlemen calmly explains Jacy has been moved to ICU. Her O2 saturation is poor, her breathing is labored, her red cells are down and she is in need of one on one care. If I have any questions to call.

Thank God! She is still ok!

I lay down for a moment to stare at the ceiling.

Once the emotions are out of my system, my heart rate has returned to normal and I’m done being scared, a thought crosses my mind. Why? Why does a late night call always bring the worst instantaneously from our subconscious? I know history, tales of woe and an assumed perception of the worst has everything to do with it. But I just wish there was a way I could shake that thought process from my mind. Anywhoo, this is how my week was to begin, with a single, heightened, middle of the early morning phone call.

After arriving to the hospital, doctors announce she had contracted a form of pneumonia giving her grief which explained why her breathing had been so labored. Her doctors said the GVHD was still responding well to the experimental drug Jakafi and their hopes remained positive as far as continuing to slowly wean her from all steroids which would help with her continued muscle deterioration. She has recently developed diabetes which is being treated accordingly and is also one piece of the picture in regards to her continued loss of vision. On Wednesday she participated in a bronchoscopy which did not make our girl happy at all, having a camera shoved down your throat when you have no strength to fight left her feeling a bit more helpless. By Thursday for some reason she had reverted completely and was back to feeling a failure in her recovery. She needed all our love and care to snap her back into her super woman fighting spirit!

I contracted some form of a cold and have not been able to see her which has been difficult to say the least. It is hard when the woman you love wants you with her more than anything and there is nothing you can do but stay on top of your medications and pray this stupid cold goes away quickly.

She wants to come home, it is all she thinks about! She wants to see her children, to hold them to watch them, to simply sit down and do homework, participate in their lives. On days she feels like quitting all it takes is reminding her what’s waiting for her at home and we can usually snap her out of a funk.

As of today Jacy is doing much better. This incident happened on Tuesday morning and although there have been a few bumps in the road for the most part she has held her own. The tests came back from the bronchoscopy and she has HVV6 a herpes virus we all carry to some extent, it masks itself in a few ways including pneumonia. Good news is she was already being treated with the appropriate medications so a minor adjustment and we shall see in a week. Jacy can no longer walk as her muscles have finally weakened. She still has limited use of her eyes which has been the hardest on her. She works very hard at staying mentally strong which after 67 days can be a bit daunting for a person who is used to doing everything for herself. Thanks to the help of her family she can sit in a chair for about 45 minutes without assistance, she is participating in physical therapy daily which includes the use of bands giving her muscles some resistance. She recently was placed on a special air mattress to help with her bed sores. She is seriously one tough cookie and my hero.

Our family thanks everyone who continues to pray, help, and care. She is the light of our lives, the toughest woman I know and she will come home. It just may be a while..

Hopefully I don’t get another one of “those” calls…

12:11 Sunday: Just in as I place the final touches on this latest edition!! HVV6 responding well, her lungs are clearing up! She is off oxygen and finally saturating in the high 90’s on her own. She has also been moved from liquids restrictions and will be able to consume fluids which means solid foods are not far behind!

Keep those prayers coming, she needs prayers of strength to help her mentally feel like she is improving, keeping her spirits high!

14 thoughts on “Oh? One of those calls….

  1. Thank you for the updates. It helps remind us to continue our prayers and to know that they are working in one form or another. James you truly have a gift of words and know how to make us feel like we are walking this journey beside you. Keep up the faith and when you are both down know that we are tirelessly keeping the faith going for you. Hugs and support always.


  2. I was at Stanford yesterday and thinking of you all wondering how Jacy was doing. I met someone that had a Bone Marrow Transplant 5 years ago and thought that would be Jacy in the future. I also shared her story with the person I was with. I am amazed despite all that is going on that your style of writing is still humorous. I hope your cold goes away soon and that you are able to be with Jacy. My prayers continue.


  3. I was at my wonderful dentist’s office (who is also a very dear friend) and heard an update on Jacy Wednesday morning. I have been praying for Jacy continuously since then and am so glad to have this update. I am praying also for you and your family. Our neighbor’s daughter had a bone marrow transplant at Stanford about 6 years ago and she is doing well. Her mother, our neighbor (retired) was able to stay in one of the approved living units near Stanford for three months while her daughter went through recovery. Her daughter’s own sister was her donor.I pray that Jacy will return to the quality of health recovery needed to be able to come home soon please Dear Lord… and I pray that you will get the rest you need and I also pray for the stamina you need to keep your spirits up. You are a very talented writer and compassionate man.
    God bless you! Susan Joyce.


  4. Saying my prayers for your Jacy and your family continues to be a daily ritual. Our God has given you strength and hope on most days and for this I am thankful. Your words remind me how very thankful and blessed I am. May God grant Jacy strength physically, mentally, and emotionally. May God grant.you the same dear James. Take care of yourself as well as the children, you are strong and you have your faith plus lots of us praying for you. You got this one day, one hour,one minute at a time. Hugs to you and your family. Debbie Duncan


  5. Thank you for sharing, James. I’m still praying daily, and yes! Jacy is completely big home….it just may take a while 🙂


  6. Hi just wanted to see if anyone would like to do a leukemia walk in Napa in Sept there is a group of us walking and the more the merrier;)


  7. I pray for you, your wife and your family. The power of love is an awesome thing. I understand your struggles, as my spouse is also ill and has been since we married. I live my life trying to think positive, one day at a time….so far so good. I hope the good news continues , stay strong.


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