Image taken from this website.
Last summer I visited my grandmother for a few days before and after a conference I had in Missouri in her neck of the woods. One day we bought a whole bunch of flowers and planted them in various pots and baskets all along her beautiful wrap-around porch. I still remember what joy I found in digging my hands into the soil and dirtying up my fingernails, in finding just the right spot for each pot or basket, and in watering those flowers, hoping they would thrive and provide my GranNomi with just the amount of color and life she needed in her rural hideaway. Every phone call throughout the summer would include the question: "How are the flowers doing?" Her response, every time, was that the red and white geraniums were blossoming the brightest and the best. Even with her extended time in Utah, and throughout the fall, those geraniums plugged along.
When I was diagnosed with leukemia in November, GranNomi emailed me every day. She sent me my dear Grandad's leather-bound hymnbook and sent me a hymn every day, hoping to strengthen my faith and hope. Oh how I felt both of them near me, from both sides of the veil. One day she emailed me with the news that those red and white geraniums were still blooming. And that she found great joy and blessing in the connection to her hope for my red and white blood cells.
Image taken from this website
Well my blood cell counts have risen and fallen dramatically with each injection of chemo and each neupogen shot. I've had a couple of crazy reactions to platelets and red blood cells, and then the neupogen shots, which boost my white blood cells, also cause my bones to ache. And oh how they ache. Two opposing powers.
Today I had another transfusion--two units of blood and platelets. I left for the hospital this morning at 7:30 (after yet another unfortunate barfing incident, this time safely in the bathroom!), and didn't get home until 4:30. It was a long day, with a LOT of Benadryl and steroids to prevent another reaction. So there was some good napping in there. Now my heart is pumping and my new blood is coursing through my veins. And I'm safely home, through the snow storm, watching American Idol.
Here's to hoping that my own bone marrow will start producing my own blood. And like those darn geraniums, blooming away, it will. Believe you me. Until then, I love that friends like Leslie donated blood today. Bless you.