Welcome to my Journey

Many of you may be wondering, “what in the world”? I just saw or heard from heather and she seemed fine. That’s sort of what we keep thinking. So I wanted to give you a bit of backstory to this surreal reality. I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis right after Christmas as a result of a couple months of symptoms and testing. However, there were still a few symptoms that persisted that didn’t fit with that diagnosis and I had become increasingly frustrated. Mouth sores and a persistent lump in my throat when I swallowed were two symptoms that just didn’t fit with rheumatoid arthritis. The week before I went to the hospital I got to go on a great vacation to California to see my parents, brother and sister and their families. One day I went on a hike with my mom and sister and had to stop every few feet to catch my breath. That was frustrating but I figured I was out of shape from the rheumatoid. I wasn’t tired or sick. I went to the beach, wine tasting and many great restaurants feeling pretty much normal, though I did notice some bruises on my legs that I couldn’t explain. When I got home that next week I noticed red dots and more bruises and had swollen lymph nodes up my neck. Still, something like leukemia never entered our minds. I had decided to just “let it go a couple weeks” until I met with my friend Wendy that Wednesday, a conversation that I believe saved my life. I was whining about having RA but also told her about my red dots. She said her son had something when he was younger that manifested itself like that and suggested I think about talking to a Hematologist. So this got me researching again and the next day, when I chose not to bring a vacuum upstairs because I knew it would be too much for my heart rate, I decided to call and see my doctor and try to get to the bottom of things. When I called I told them I didn’t want to see a nurse practitioner because I felt something big was going on with me. they told me it would be the following week before I could see him. At the last minute, though, she put me on hold and came back several minutes later to say that because of my shortness of breath he would see me the next day at 10:30. Blake went with me and we had a full blood panel done around 11. By 4 that day they called me and told me on the phone that they had a bed for me at the hospital, that my blood counts were consistent with Leukemia and I should go there right away. When we got there a kind Dr. named Dr. Sana met us and confirmed this diagnosis. He was actually half way home when my main oncologist asked him to turn around and come back to talk to us in person, knowing we were in shock and would have lots of questions. He also told us that my future would have been grim had we not come in this night. Next week might have been too late. I had no immune system at all, my white blood count was 100,000 ( normal is around 4,000). God’s timing was perfect. So, 7 days of chemo and doing pretty good until I got an intestinal infection due to something I was probably born with combined with my high white blood cell count. ICU for 7 days was necessary to help me breath and recover so my body could return to fighting the leukemia. I recovered from this quickly after my honorary doctor husband suggested they give me a nupogin shot. He has told me the story about 10 times but I still can’t explain it. I am however, so grateful. So, that brings us a little more up to date with the blog entries. We truly feel like God has surrounded us with people and prayer and positive doctors who feel they can cure this. Maybe we are naive, but Blake and I both feel confident that this is just a “road block and we’ll get through it” as my lovely nurse Starr said to us over and over the first night we were in the hospital…… God has already done many miracles, and we wait in expectation for what he is going to do in the next few months. We could not have made this journey without all of you praying and feeding us and taking care of our kids. We can’t begin to express how grateful we are. Please know that as there wouldn’t be time to personally thank every one of you for your kindness.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to my Journey

  1. Heather…I was casually looking at Facebook when I saw your these posts and your smiling face. I was in complete shock and am praying so very hard for you!!! It’s been years since we talked, but I always truly enjoyed hanging out with you when our kids were little in Deerfield. You were always such a strong, beautiful person when I knew you, and I have NO DOUBT you will beat this!!!!! Xoxo, Sarah

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