Lee injured his back on July 20, 2012 and has been working with a Chiropractor, Family Dr., and an Occupational Dr. We had an MRI on July 31 which showed a bulging disc in L5. We went back for a follow up appointment Aug 3rd and were told to go directly to an ER. Lee was pale, had numbness in his feet and into his face and left hand. The ER did a blood tests and more scans. The blood draw revealed his platlets were at 14,000 and a normal counts are in the 150,000 range. We have been admitted to the Oncology unit and have begun the treatments for accute Leukemia.
February 20, 2013 Lee had a successful unrelated 9/10 match at University of Washington. With less than 10% gvhd we went home with nothing more than new marrow and a small viral skin rash. By May 31, 2013 we were home and in remission.
September 19, 2013 we found leukemia had returned. Lee's blood counts became low for two weeks and were our first sign of bad news. 7 months of peace and now we are back in the fight of our lives, starting at square one.
_______________________________________________ Lee turned 36 in June 2012. We have been married 3 years and have known each other 4. He went to school at Rogers High School and served in the Army. He served overseas in Kuwait and El Salvador before 9/11. After serving in the military he came home to his family and started working for the City of Spokane. He has been with the City for 10 plus years and is a Crew Leader of a Wastewater Construction Team. He has a lot of pride in his work and of his crew. This year he tested first on the District Supervisor Test and the Inspector Test--he was beyond elated.
Lee enjoys raquet ball and the occassional beer and wings with his buddies, fishing, mountain biking, hunting but his main time is with his baby girl Leah. They do everything together. Lee is the type of Father who is apart of each task..hair, clothes, bath time, bed time, reading, school, and Leah loves to play with him. "Chase me Dada" is one of her favorite sayings. We love to take trips to the park, camp and fish together. Froyo is also a favorite family night out...(frozen yogurt). Last year we went to Yellowstone and this year we camped at Porqupine Bay.
Lee has 3 brothers, Perry, Robbie, and Chad. They are the closest set of brothers I have ever seen. They kid and slap and get together on every holiday and birthday. Lee also has three sisters, Tiffany, Julie & Jenny. These three ladies are also really close with Lee and he is very soft towards his sisters. We have attended Church at Lifecenter since we were married and this is where Leah was Dedicated. Lee is a gentle soul and the type of person whom everyone likes to be around. He enjoys gardening and taking care of the yard. His dog is a little 11 pound yorkie named Bella, and they are quite the pair.
I have to say, Lee has prepared our family well for alot of things-structure, finances, and routines. We have health insurance, a good home, we don't live outside our means and thanks to Lee have food stocked and minimal bills. He is a financial savy person and has always guided us to be smart and prepared. I think he worries about medical bills, but he is getting the care he needs and that is the number one priority. Lastly I will say, ...Lee is my best friend in the entire world. He has been an incredible husband from day one. I love that he prays with me & Leah...bedtime, dinner time, anytime.
Yup. That's a question I get at work from customers. I am so grateful people remember our conversations and remember him....and then I take a large DUMP on their day and tell them he died. They say "I'm sorry", I say "thank you for your condolences", I pat their hand and they leave.
I've had about enough grief. YUP. I'm done. I prefer sunshine and rainbows flying out my ass to tears and that hollow feeling in my tummy. I would prefer to swim in the ocean and have a shark bite off a large portion of my torso than continue to feel like I watched my best friend be poisoned and diseased to death.
I read back through my journals and see the encouragement I wrote as I told people to LIVE life to the fullest. To HUG and LOVE your families to pieces and here I sit wanting to strangle GRIEF. I know I should be loving my healthy body, safe home and totally awesome daughter, but what I feel is SAD.
I want to tell myself to suck it up, but at 8 pm I am going to read a princess book to Bug and crawl into bed and stare at the stupid f'ing ceiling. I share a bed with an 11 pound yorkie and she is a bed hog. Lee was much bigger and always let me hog the bed.
It's quiet here, and I like it....but I don't like it. It's this weird trade where I get my quiet life back and no Lee. No more hospitals, but no Lee. No more temporarily living in Seattle, but no Lee. No pills, no daily pharmacy, no pain, no suffering, but alas NO Lee.
It's my favorite day and I miss telling Lee "it's HUMP DAY!"....and alas no more hump days. Yeah. I said it.
One of the triggers this week has been my status on documents. The military makes me check the "widow" box. The W4 for the IRS will soon reflect that I am "single" on my paycheck and I am fed up being slapped in a box NOT of my choice. I am perfectly happy in a wife role and don't want to be kicked out of the married box.
Tomorrow I will get up. I will slap on a cute outfit, shoes to match and start out strong. I am determined not to look like a widow. Leah will be dressed cute as well and people passing us would never know our nighttime conundrum. I know this GRIEF "thing" is a beast I can't jump over or fast forward. I get the idea of grieving, but for shit's sakes there has got to be a better way.
I am not mad at God, or even cancer. I get the idea of life, the journey, and the process that we all die. I'm just in the stupide ridiculous stage of NOT liking it. If anything is true of this journal, its that the truth is what helps me.
So, the truth is I miss Lee, I am stumbling, but still determined. Lee used to say, "I love you like a fat kid loves cake".....and "love you long time GI!". He used to say, "this is going to be incredibly hard on you and Bug".....
I am only now realizing the depth of his words...the way he was trying to prepare me....and the hurt I have to experience to get over this stupid ass hurdle.