Yesterday I started testing at the University of Arkansas Medical Center, UAMS. It was the LONGEST day of my life! First they stuck me and took TWENTY vials of blood…I felt like I was drained dry and I could not get warm for the rest of the day. Then I talked to case managers for a couple of hours, then we get to bone marrow collection. Oh, holy crap. There may come a day that I send out requests for bone marrow donation. Let me tell you this: giving that up voluntarily is such an amazing sacrifice. I’m not sure if the process of donation is the same as getting a sample from me, but you will be my hero and a hero to so many others! I won’t go into details of how much that sucked, or that I MIGHT have cried, but I will tell you these people in Arkansas do it WAY different than at Mercy in OKC. I met a 10 year survivor in the waiting room that had gone through a bone marrow biopsy 30 times! God Bless that woman.
After my bone marrow biopsy, I spoke with a sweetheart of a nurse who gets to be my case nurse. I’m pumped about that. She was a doll face! After meeting with her I went to a pulmonary function test. You would think that huffing and puffing into a tube would be easy. Not so much with a giant growing tumor in your sternum. I literally thought I was going to pass out, but then this crazy pulmonology tech started randomly bashing chiropractors, so I stayed awake only because I was fuming. What a dummy…but I passed my test with flying colors. I SOOO wanted to say, “Hey, listen here, deary. My husbands a chiropractor. Now don’t you feel like a fool!” But, that would have been mean, so I just thanked her and left.
We finally got to leave the campus at that point. It was a little after five, so we grabbed a chic filet salad, went back to the hotel and relaxed for a few hours before we had to go back. How crazy is that???? I was EXHAUSTED and had to go back for a 2 hour full body MRI that started at 8:30pm. What a CRAZY long day! I get to do it again starting at 10:30 this morning. yiippee!
The campus really is amazing, though. I can see why it’s the number one myeloma institute in the world. The technology here, just like the rigorous testing schedule everyone goes through is top notch. The doctors, are top notch as well. From what Jim, our volunteer guide, told us, Dr. Barlogie hand picks his patients. Then the rest of the patients are filtered through his team of doctors. I’m not sure if I should be scared or relieved he picked me. I guess I’ll find out when I meet with him on Friday!
So, here in just a bit we will head back up there for bone scans, lab and an electrocardiogram. There are several other things on the agenda, but I don’t think it will be as grueling as yesterday. Hopefully we will have a little time to go around and shop for another place to stay. Our place we found online is a DUMP. Brown carpet, mustard window shades and orange bedspreads. The last thing I will need after coming home from a day of chemo is to walk into my bedroom and immediately be depressed. It is a seriously depressing place!! I need some color in my life:)
One last thing, and to me, the biggest of all. To my friends and family that continue to pray, continue to send kind words and care packages, THANK YOU. The love I have experienced since only the beginning of January has been life changing to me. I met with a social worker yesterday that kept asking me how I really feel, like he wanted me to break down in his office. I feel GREAT because of the support I have all around me. I cannot do this on my own, and I know that. Without you, I will crumble. Being sick is a bummer, and as much as I wish I didn’t need it, I need all the help I can get. So thank you, I will never be able to thank you enough. I love each one of you!
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” Psalms 118:14-16