Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Reality

One week ago this evening Jenny was being moved from the emergency room to a longer-term room. She and the doctors knew something was wrong, but she did not yet have even a preliminary diagnosis. When we spoke that night, she was concerned but in good spirits. Tonight, Jenny told me, “This has been the longest week of my life.”

Jenny explains that the chemo has now killed everything – her white blood cell count down very low. She is getting blood transfusions frequently as well as getting injections of platelets. In the next few days she expects to receive the results from her bone marrow analysis, which will tell the doctors the specific brand of leukemia. This will allow them to come up with an even more focused plan of attack.

She has become an expert on her unique medication cocktails, knowing how to expect to feel after each dose. Luckily her anti-nausea medication has worked perfectly, but she knows that not long after taking it she will be super light headed”

Last night, Jenny had an allergic reaction to the plantlets she had just received. “I woke up at 2 a.m to go to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and noticed that I had hives all over my chest.” She called the nurse who quickly ordered a round of Benadryl and called her doctor. They decided that the reaction likely came from the preservatives in the bag of platelets, but this is still something that they need to keep their eyes on.

Also last night, Jenny was able to hold a Relief Society presidency meeting in her hospital room. (For those who don't know, Jenny is the Relief Society president of the Shirlington half of the Crystal City Ward) “This was the best thing about last night. It made me feel like there was more to me than just being sick!”

As she reviewed the many developments that have unfolded over the last week, Jenny told me that it has been very up and down emotionally and physically, but after a draining day yesterday, today has been a good day. “I have been more energetic today. I was just given steroids today, no chemo, which seems to have helped.”

Typical of the Reeder attitude we all know and love, Jenny has an inspiring attitude towards the life she is facing. “This is reality for me now – a new reality.”

The first few days, I was in a whirlwind, but this is my life now. I’ll only be here, in the hospital, for three more weeks, but I probably have two more years of chemo ahead of me,” she says. “I go through periods where I’m not ok, but there are times that I think, ‘ok this is my life now.’”

Jenny has been overwhelmed by the huge support network she has had behind her. “I mean, I always knew I had a lot of friends, but the amount of support I’ve received is overwhelming,” she explains. “My friend Debbie, from fifth grade, just drove from Ohio. She brought me a bag full of treats from a bunch of my friends.” Stories like this one seem to be never ending.

To those reading this blog, Jenny would just like to say thank you. “I know that my mission in life isn’t fulfilled yet. I am going to overcome this. I want everyone to know that I know I have a mission in life, and it’s not over. So I think, ‘Well then let’s do it, let’s kick this cancer!”


the girl said...

you couldn't be more of an inspiration my sweetest little leedle! i love you so much and hope one day to be just like you. YOU ARE MY HERO!

my thoughts and prayers daily are for you and your health.

and i can't wait to see how this story unfolds.

love you L to the 3rd.


Arian Goodman Johnson said...

But of course you're holding a meeting from your hospital room! I love it! Your new reality will continue to be led by your "can do" attitude that has always been an inspiration to me. I'm so glad your team there is so attentive. You deserve all the love and blessings and support coming your way!