Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Look Different...

Yesterday I stopped at the local Safeway. The cashier, one whom I had seen many times, particularly before my diagnosis, stared unabashedly at me. "You look different," she said.

"Well, back in November I was diagnosed with leukemia," I said, not able to look her in the face. "In fact, tomorrow I have a spinal tap."

"Oh, everything will come back clear. It's going to be fine." It was nice of her, but I think she really just didn't know what to say.

Meanwhile I walked to my car and cried. Of course I look different. I'm bald (well with slowly growing hair). I don't have that spring in my stop--I move quite slowly so I don't fall down. I'm slow. My life is completely different.

I was buying ingredients to make cookies for the cute nurses and dr giving me my last spinal tap today. I haven't baked since before. It took forever and ever. Cute LuAnn came to visit and helped with the last part. Thank goodness.

Last night I heard the disappointing news that my dear friend Laurel couldn't make it--a security breech and the Salt Lake City Airport prevented her from making a connection in Chicago and making it to DC to hang out with me for this last spinal tap. I had been overwhelmed with her desire and love and devotion to support me.

Thank goodness, Terry picked up and picked me up and sat with me and carried my cookies. It was another throw-upy day. I had Terry pull over twice, and I think twice I still ended up throwing up in her car (I learned my lesson with an empty plastic bag!). Even while throwing up at the hospital, Terry switched out my barf bins and found me a washcloth. The silly thing was that there was just nothing to throw up! They loaded me up with some serious ativan and fentonyl and I don't remember anything after that, between the spinal tap and restitching my PICC line suture.

I do remember waking up when the Dr. Washington came in to say that my spinal fluid had abnormal amounts of white blood cells. It could be an infection, or it could be from poking me so often, week after week.

And I came home and slept and slept and barfed and slept. No wonder I look different!


Kristie said...

Jenny, you don't know me, I'm in the pentagon city relief society, but I am praying for you. You're amazing- thank you for this blog and your beautiful strength.

The Wyler Family said...

oh, jenny, i'm so sorry laurel wasn't able to get there. i know how much you were looking forward to having her there today. it was nice to talk to you yesterday. i wish i could see you more often. i love you all the days!

Carrie Johanson said...

I know it's easy to focus on the outward beauty, just know that you are developing some amazing patience and understanding through this trial that is increasing your overall beauty exponentially. Love you!

Laurel said...

I just barely have let go of my anger at the TSA agent that messed up our day yesterday. The only upside is the potential to try it again and not for just 24 hours next time.

You look different. No doubt. But part of that difference is sacred too, my friend. Don't forget that.

If it's been a while since you've read this gem, read it while you're resting:

Oh, I love you.

Julie said...

I couldn't put my finger on it, but now that you say it!

amy smart said...

Oh, Jenny. I cried for you as I read this post. My sweet friend. I'm so sorry that Laurel couldn't be there.
I love you. Hang in there.

Valerie Atkisson said...

Hard times, Jenny. Hard times. I feel for you, prayers are with you and hope you can enjoy something you truly love soon.

Maureen said...

Jenny I miss you so much and I'm sorry it's been awhile since I was able to come out to visit. I will be in touch soon!

Boyd Family said...

Just remember what 'different' is doing for you! Your ERS quote says it all Ridere!!!TVB