Another week has come and gone. On Tuesday we head back for Jacy’s now weekly checkup. She is happy to be home and finally feels at ease with herself. Mentally there can be no place to better prepare yourself for this long journey than home. Home is a medicine that you cannot prescribe, cannot pretend to be a part of or ignore out of fear.
When she came home for the first time a week back she sobbed at its sight. I on the other hand hadn’t realized that I have come to take home for granted. Each day wandering its fence lines, complaining about every broken bit needing repair and quirky little abnormalities that drive me insane about our little house on the prairie. When I walk in the door each night I stare at the unfinished front room, sigh at out 30 year old kitchen with broken tiles and antique (by today’s standards) stove. Heading upstairs it’s obvious our carpet is shot, the staircase needs rebuilding and every room could use a new coat of paint. I know it’s no different than how most people feel when looking at what could be reinvented within their own homes but for me it’s become a sign of failure.
Then Jacy walks in, so happy to be inside our house she begins praising each and every goofy ass part of it! Why? Because it is her home. She has been gone for 8 months, she never thought she would see this recycled, eclectic domicile again! Looking at her swollen eyes, the happiness written upon her face, she stands, shaking, crying, appreciating every little bit of it! I feel like a blind buffoon. So worried about what others think when they come over, what they see when they come inside and for what? Nothing. It is our home, a place we have struggled to keep, a roof over our head my wife loves so much she fought the battle of her life, for her life to come back too. Seeing her so happy to be here, squeezing me and telling me just how important it is for her to be home. How could I be anything but grateful for all we have accomplished together? All that we have.
Jacy worries about her children and what not being home has done for them. They have learned to be self-sufficient, but they have also learned to be without a parent as Cody has taken care of them while I have been either at work or visiting her. Do they still need her, will she feel they still need her, and will she really be able to do anything with them while she is home are all questions running rampant in her brain. She stays inside every day, too scared to step out into our world of country organisms and spores so any activity must be house based. But to her, just being in the house as a presence is better than absence and reinforces there are two parents to love and care for our children.
She never wants to leave. Each time we load up to head back she becomes nervous. Scared that she may be sliding backwards or after a run of tests the news won’t be so good. Whenever we pull out of the driveway she becomes quiet and very focused as our home becomes smaller, hidden within road dust of our car. I cannot fathom what level of fear courses through her system as we get further from home and closer to Stanford. It is home that she thinks of during her appointments as well. Every question centered on the latest information and how that coincides with her being inside her house for an even longer period of time. Always searching for more to help her feel the healing powers of home.
This week when we go back on Tuesday they will permanently remove her eyelashes in hopes it will accelerate the recovery from GvHD of her eyes. Her eyelashes have grown inward and are scratching her corneas. We will also be looking for some hopeful weight gain as she has been hovering steady in the 114 pound range. I have worked hard at feeding her very well this week even when she hasn’t wanted to eat so my fingers are crossed! I figure she needs to gain some of the 20+ pounds I have gained through this process and I am more than happy to give her all I got!!
Everything else in regards to her recovery has remained the same. GvHD of the gut is still mildly there, same with the bladder, although the bladder is doing quite well. She is still fighting GvHD of the skin, lungs and of course her eyes. There remains a fine balance between steroids and immunosuppressors to keep either the GvHD at bay or any form of infection/virus that may try to engage her system. She has made great strides in her strength as she can now climb our stairs, although the Rocky theme music and dancing at the top is getting a little overdone!
So we trudge onward, little by little, day by day and through the generous thoughts of many we continue to win this fight.
I have seen something else under the sun: the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong. –Ecclesiastes 9:11