My chores are finished, children, horses, goats, chickens, ducks and dogs have all been fed. Walking onto the rear porch I look back as our ranch lays peacefully under a dusky sky, the sun bidding a final fair well. It is perfect.
Everyone has their own end to the day, a moment when the world stops and we are able to take a deep breath. Walking into the house the kids are chatting it up after dove hunting, and a hum of laundry shaking our houses foundation rattles off from the basement. Taking a moment to converse with each child, I relish in understanding the what, where’s and how’s of each of their days. My oldest has done another fine job of making sure homework is finished for me to check, their stomachs are full from the wonderful meals arriving and they have showered, washing away the days grime.
Ahhh the shower. Hot water rushing down my body, soap, a shave, it is all I look forward to each and every night. Its cleansing properties revitalizing me, relaxing my stressed out brain and allowing me the comfort of shorts and a t-shirt. My idea of pajamas.
I never realized just how much we take for granted the prospect of having a shower. While in Haiti showers were a luxury, yet our group was allowed a cold bucket shower each and every night during our first trip. The second trip to Haiti a year later left us an even greater asset, actual bathrooms with tiled showers! So we never really lost that sense of what it is like to not shower, to be clean.
Now there is always camping but I say; Camping doesn’t count! Most camping trips it is a rite of passage to see how many days one can go without showering! Of course being the manly men we portray ourselves to be, it never matters what our mouths and egos have arranged for a final shower date! In the end our wives, girlfriends or significant others ultimately pull the “you stink” card demanding a shower now or sleep alone, outside with mosquitos the size of VW Bugs. Yes dear!!!
Yesterday morning my wife called me. Now first off I was super excited that she could see the phone well enough to locate my caller ID! But then she tossed out this very exuberant statement: I took a shower on my own today and it was heaven!
You see Jacy hasn’t been able to see or get out of bed due to lack of muscle strength and motor skills, so to hear her say that she had in fact taken a shower on her own was, well, heart stopping! After congratulating her my first question was did you need any assistance? She said no because she was bad ass that way! We laughed and while she recounted every water drop and how wonderful it made her feel as she sat there basking in its warmth I thought to myself. How long has it been?
Before I could ask, she blurted out how much she missed being able to shower for herself, to wash herself, to feel independent enough to care for herself! It had been roughly 17 days of sponge baths, bath wipes and lots of cream or powder. 17 days of having multiple people handle you, wash you, and manipulate your body for efficiency while undertaking this task. Yes the nurses there are phenomenal, yes they care for each and every person like they were family. But when you barley have enough energy to eat let alone wash yourself how quickly would having multiple people handling your hygiene get old? Not to mention leaving you feeling just a tad bit defeated?
She went on and on, it was awesome to hear her happy, her voice still cracking, sounding horse and dry, but happy. Who knew the simple act of a shower (something we take for granted) would become an extraordinary event, allowing her to regain control of her life if even for just a few moments.
Which leads me to an update: Jacy is getting stronger, her doctor told me the day before yesterday they will continue weaning her off of steroids. The experimental drug Jakafi is still holding its own which is a good sign for now. There is still a plan B drug in place should there become an issue with continued use of Jakafi. Her eyesight remains blurry with bouts of clarity. Even though she won’t recognize it out of sheer frustration, it appears to me as though she is having more moments of almost being able to see than not, another good sign! Random misspelled texts lend proof to my theory! Her sense of humor is improving with each little victory and as of this very moment she is on a phone call with a BMT, GVHD survivor who like her had stage 4 GVHD, was in the hospital for a very lengthy stay and in the end he survived. He is a teacher who is currently back at work and living his life to the fullest. More to come on what transpired during that conversation. She is a fighter, and doing so the only way she knows how, with grit. Thank you all once again for the continued support and prayer.