My dear friends and family. I am writing this myself so please don’t expect anything as eloquent as Lindsey has done.
It has been 120 days since my transplant. The doctors have removed the port in my chest which had been used to access my body on a regular basis. Now if blood is needed.... the doctors are gonna have to get it the old fashioned way. There will be many more doctors visits, lots of immunizations, and my favorite ‘butt punches’ that will have to occur semi-annually for several years, but with the removal of the port I feel like I am crossing this finish line! But something has been slowing me down from breaking through the tape in victory.
I believe I need to try to express my gratitude for being given this race to run. Leukemia and the subsequent MDS was devastating to hear the doctor diagnose. Really-really -knock you on your head “I’m not going to survive this… how do I walk out of this room” stuff, but the ramifications of the disease are much more intense. This is what I have learned (if you want to know ... if you don’t - I SOOOO get you! I live by the “what I don’t know won’t hurt me” rule myself and I just thank you for reading thus far and for being part of this).
- God is ALWAYS in control. Things happen for a reason....just believe. There are SO many “burning bush” examples for this truth that I simply would have to create a mind boggling flow chart of things and I don’t think Chemo brain could recover from that train of thought! I learned that I DON’T have to KNOW everything I just know God has it. Sometimes things are difficult and you need Jesus to hold your hand through really bad stuff. I just closed my eyes, talked to Him and the docs will eventually leave you alone and the peace inside is wonderful.
- People are amazing! Gods gifts to individuals cannot be overlooked. Leukemia lifted the curtain off of me to feel the greatness God can do through friends, family, and the brainiac nurses, doctors and researchers.
- Prayer changes everything. Thank you. Thank you to EVERY ONE of you! Family, Friends, congregations, people who are friends of friends who pray for me... someone they don’t even know. Prayer REALLY WORKS! Keep praying. Pray for some people you don’t know too. I guarantee there are individuals shuffling along the halls of OHSU 14K all alone that could use it.
- Don’t stop! (I think I got this from my dad. ) Sometimes you just have to shut up, get up, put your head down and power through. I like to think of this as “pulling a Bob”.
- Be grateful. I am small in so very many ways. I have learned I need to be grateful. An odd statement probably, but when sick in bed I realized how insignificant I really am in this overwhelming world. I really need to focus on remaining grateful for every person, thing, place, detail and situation -no matter how mundane.
Well I’m sure all of this could be stated more eloquently but I feel better for writing it down.
I want to thank everyone who read this caring bridge log. Your comments and love got me through. The cards brightened everyday hanging from my window! Thanks Lindsey for your God given talent of communication and organization and for updating this all the time. Thanks Patrick for praying hard - calling me and sending fun videos to keep my mind elsewhere. To my mom, well sometimes you just need your mom and I’m grateful you are mine. My ugly, older, brother Chris and his family (who are wonderful by the way) thanks for the greasy pork sandwich :) Best sibling ever! Vic and Carolyn your positivity is always such a blessing. Mike, Linda and all of the Christcare group, again, prayers work… thank you for yours. Kellie and Chris.... you are angels God picked out to hover over my family. I will run to God and thank Him for you whenever that is a possibility. Walt -oh Wally my love- we didn’t see this coming did we? But life is what happens when we are making other plans huh? Thank you for LITERALLY never leaving my side. No one spends 30+ nights straight in a hospital recliner unless they are you. I knew I was blessed when we married 30 years ago, but these last 3 years have shown me the depth of this blessing. God knew I would need a warrior and he gave me you.
There it is! My foot is over the finish line. Thank you “Team Tracy” for cheering me on and pulling me through!
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