Eight long months Jacy has been away from her home. She has wondered many times if she would ever set foot upon this ground again. A place set deep in her heart where we laid a foundation for family. Many sleepless nights filled with fear, never knowing what’s lingering around the corner in regards to treatment. Waiting, sometimes not so patiently for her life to change, either succumbing to this nasty beast raging inside or feeling a warmth associated with victory shining upon her tired face.
Today all that changes
This morning after a series of appointments inside Stanford’s Medical Center Jacy Mirelle Franceschi will climb into our family mini-van for a two hour drive back home where she will step foot once again firmly on Blue Sky Ranch ground! Jacy has been given a green light to a three day pass! A required experiment to see how she handles being a little further from her Stanford safety net. To date Jacy’s numbers are holding and Stanford is doing their best to slim down her appointment schedule. Jacy still has severe GvHD and needs regular treatment, but there comes a point where it’s better to throw caution to the wind, allowing her to come home for small segments so she may become mentally stronger. Hopefully this will boost her spirits, work a little on some depression and help her body to heal faster. It is and will be a momentous occasion, and at the risk of sounding cliché; to say we are excited is an understatement!
As excited as we ALL are we are also completely terrified! During this last week we have been working on sterilizing a farm house! Let that sink in for a moment, two words that just don’t go together, sterilization and farmhouse. It has been an extremely hard project, and thankfully we have been blessed with some awesome assistance! (Thank you Alisa, Isabelle, Cody, Jake, Jessica and Lynette)The house is clean, neat and smells fantastic! Yet the house is only one issue we must face, from this point forward we must work to keep it hospital clean in combination with watching what we bring into this rickety old structure! This is going to be no easy task. But the alternative is unacceptable.
Here is a little explanation of how things will change. Starting tomorrow whenever a family member goes out to the barn and works horses, show pigs or sheep, they must strip down and shower putting fresh clothes on before coming in contact with Ms. Jacy. Why? Because spores, organisms and germs can enter our beloved family member through her lungs, causing her GvHD to expand sending her on a one way trip back to the hospital! Our dogs must be bathed constantly as to not cross contaminate or carry any spores into her area. Jacy must be protected from the sun at all times, continue with a regimented treatment of 23 medications 3 times a day, two breathing treatments a day and oxygen therapy at night while she sleeps as her saturation levels drop during this period due to GvHD of the lungs. She is still dealing with GvHD in her intestines as well so her diet is being watched as food doesn’t seem to stay with her, leaving her unable to gain any weight. She is also dealing with GvHD of the eyes which leaves her vision incredibly blurry one day with moderate vision the next. Later next week she will have her eyelashes permanently removed hoping to limit damage being done to her corneas. This along with her tear ducts being plugged will hopefully promote more inner moisture and further the healing process. It also means we need to limit the amount of dust and dirt her eyes come in contact with and keep on a regimented medicated eye drop treatment. Oh by the way speaking of dust and dirt, if you have been to my house/ranch then you know we are BIG on recycling products for re-use! Guess what? All the reclaimed concrete that constitutes 3-4 inches of depth on all our drivable areas? (Driveway, pathways, barn circle) well she can’t be exposed to it. The doctors are worried about all those nasty little bugs and germs crawling around in the dust associated with concrete breaking down. Yeah it’s going to be a scary tough go, but those are just some of the things we must consider to keep her healthy.
Ok enough of the scary stuff, now the good stuff.
None of us can wait until she is here! Just the thought of walking onto the property after all this time is more than I can comprehend. Today my wife will finally sit with her family, eat her own food, and laugh as she tries to wear her old clothes (she currently weighs 110). She can sit in her own living room able to look out at the ranch and see all her beloved animals spread across our property. Tonight, she will shower in her own bathroom, watch TV in her own bed, sleep next to her husband and wake up the next day wondering if she has won the “I get to be home” lottery.
Just think about it for a moment. Think about what that would mean to you, if you had traveled the very same path. I think about it all the time, night and day. I think about what she must be feeling, where her head is at right now and how can I make a difference. With that being said; since I know my wife occasionally reads my blog I say this.
8 months ago you headed out of our driveway knowing you would be home in 3-4 months because you were going to conquer this thing called Leukemia like you have conquered everything in your life. With style, class, a smile on your face and the ferocity of a lion! 5 months ago you stay positive but things really weren’t looking so good. Multiple problems and a case of GvHD the likes very few had seen. You began struggling mentally and physically because the odds were stacked against you and it looked as though options were running thin. Four months ago you weren’t any stronger and terms like Power of Attorney and DNR or Do Not Resuscitate orders are being thrown around with a palpable seriousness no one could fully comprehend. You still fight; Scared and tired, some days wanting to throw in the towel yet you continue enduring pain, nausea, poking and prodding with that same patented smile we all love so. Meanwhile the only sleep you receive is either drug induced or through sheer exhaustion from being woken every hour for meds, a B.P., temperature check, physical therapy, Infectious disease consults or doctors just making their rounds. Three months ago a glimmer of light, your body turns around just enough to give everyone some hope, especially you! Almost two months ago a New Year’s surprise, your doctors have said we think it’s time for you to go. And go you did, with the very same determination and ferocity you strolled into Stanford with 8 months ago. It is one of a million reasons I admire you as a human being, not just as my wife.
I have no doubt this next chapter starting with three days home here and four days home there will be handled the very same way you handle everything. You are an amazing woman with a family that loves you. It will be difficult and very trying on us all, but mostly on you. But it is without a doubt the last step towards your permanent residency back here where you belong and I cannot wait until the day we saddle up head out across the back 40 and either laugh or cry about this dark time in our lives that we survived together. It will be glorious..
I love you
To everyone else, please say a little prayer for my wife tonight as I am sure this afternoon will be emotional beyond our wildest expectations. Once again for those who have supported our family through these last two years without fail, I cannot thank you enough! We still have a very, long road ahead of us and we are still very scared, but there is no doubt in my mind without all of you praying and caring for us the way you have we wouldn’t be where we are today.
God bless you all,
More to come….