Thursday, April 16, 2015

For years, my morning routine has been the following: I wake up early, make myself a steaming double espresso, don my jogging clothes that change depending on sun, rain, snow, etc. Off on my run, I am free from the demands of the world as I escape onto county roads, passing farmhouses and fields lined with grazing cattle or beautiful horses that run with me short distances along their fence-lines.  Looking to the sky, I watch birds sitting on tree branches or see hawks spread their wings as they soar through the sky.  Once the endorphins kick in, I too am flying (rather slowly though, and more so as I age) and my thoughts take over. I pray and thank God for the new day.  I talk with Him about my husband and each of my children and then I start to plan my day.  If I’m about to write a devotional, I ponder what I might relate with you about. If I’m preparing a lesson, this is where the ideas begin to gather and take shape.  If I’ve read material for classes I’m taking and have writing prompts to reply to, the initial development of ideas takes place in my mind while running.

Last Tuesday, April 7, I had a week off from my graduate classes.  I had lined up myriad tasks that I wanted to accomplish during that time. I began with the final project for the Masters TESOL program I’m in.  I have one last class to fulfill, the submission of the portfolio and then, I will have another Masters Degree.  I worked on my portfolio for a few days and then had plans to move onto the next item on my list.  That Tuesday morning, I drove my daughter to high school and then drove further to the Poudre River trail on which I enjoyed a glorious run of over 8 miles.  I felt exhilarated and ready to meet the day.  As I drove home, I mulled over my plans.  I showered, made another frothy espresso, grabbed my Greek yogurt and set down to work.  But the original delight I had been feeling became a fatigue with which I wasn’t familiar.  I lay down to fall back asleep and woke up with a pounding headache, low-grade fever and chills. 

The next few days brought more of the same along with abdominal issues.  I figured I had come up with a bug or some sort of runner’s colitis, but thought that, if I could just wait it out, the un-pleasantries would subside.  Finally, almost a week later, I made an appointment with a Nurse Practitioner at a Gastroenterology clinic.  After answering her detailed questions, I headed off to the lab to get a blood tests run and then drove to have some CT scans of my abdomen performed. This procedure took up an entire day and the pounding head was worse than ever.  I went home, contacted my choir section leader to let her know that I would not be at the dress rehearsal that evening for a Brahm’s Requiem concert I would be singing in this Saturday and Sunday.

I lay down and tried to sleep.  When I woke on the following day, head still pounding--one week from that last glorious run, the phone rang. “Can you come right down to Radiology? We’d like to run another CT Scan of a specific abdominal area.”  “Sure,” I replied.  Without washing my hair, I donned my jeans and shirt, got into the car and drove to the hospital.  During the drive, the Gastroenterology Clinic called to ask if I’d return to the lab after the CT Scan was complete to get another CBC Blood test run. 
Everything went much more quickly that Tuesday morning, April 14 sans the run. After being scanned, the Clinic called a second time, and the kind nurse practitioner told me I would would be admitted to the hospital for a day to receive IV antibiotics to fight off an  infection in my colon. Assuming it was diverticulitis or runner’s colitis, I asked if I might quickly drive home, take a shower and grab a few things. “No,” she replied.  “It’s important we get the antibiotics going and get rid of this infection.”  I complied only to spend the next two hours waiting in frustration for the emergency antibiotics to appear. Instead a young Internist, sat down and started to ask me questions while my husband sat next to me. I hadn’t figured out that this was the hospitalist I was told would visit.  After asking a few questions, he sat down and said, “ We think you have Leukemia.”  I was shocked—wasn’t I told I was there for my abdominal issues?  How did this happen? The next few hours become a blur as a bone marrow biopsy was performed, my now bruising arms were repeatedly poked to gather more blood, my temperature checked, blood pressure taken, brain scan and heart ultrasound completed.  I didn’t have time to think this through and process that I would not be going home for weeks and that my life would turn upside down. I wanted to encourage these dear people who are trying to help me and show my positive side.  It wasn’t until after the first night in the hospital and the second day that it sunk in that I am really sick.

I ask for prayers from you, my friends.  My caring bridge site is:
Christ is my rock and my salvation.

Love in Christ!


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