Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2nd BMT Birthday!

So today is my 2-year BMT birthday! I'll share some exciting things that my dear friends have done for me the last few days, but first I'd like to share this picture I took yesterday afternoon. 

I was sitting outside the Goodyear Polymer building, waiting for my friends to pick me up. There was a brisk wind blowing, which was almost cold. It lifted my hair, and blew it into my face. I was just so immensely thankful at that instant. This was my own hair. It's been forever since I've had to wipe hair out of my face. I felt the wind, and all around me I was reminded that spring is nearly here. A new season for living things is about to begin.  The greenery is visible once again.  The sky was so. very. beautifully. blue. 
I remembered back to two-years ago; I could only see this teeny little patch of sky, by craning my neck out of the window.  My world had been reduced to four drab walls.  Eventually, when I moved to Seidman I had a gorgeous view of the sky, and could see the sun setting over Cleveland every night.  But I still didn't feel the wind.  The air was always still, always tainted with the nauseating smells of food, or the metallic odors of the medications.  The only movement was the air forced into the room, from a vent atop my bed.  I remember the day I was discharged; even though it was early May, that day was close to 90°F, which to my struggling body was the perfect temperature.  I remember sitting out on the labyrinth in front of Seidman, and just feeling the gentle warm breeze cover my bald head. 
Yesterday was a perfect day.  I have two huge tests this Friday, so by perfect I do not mean easy.  I still had all my classes, got back a quiz, turned in five different homeworks, and studied for my tests.  I think I just felt so thankful for where I was.  Thankful that I had tests to study for.  Thankful that I was able to complete all that homework.  Thankful I had been able to be in class when the pop quiz was given. 
My friends Annie and Jake invited me to grab some food at our friend Cody's house, before our thermo class.  I'm so glad I went with them, and with our friend Craig.  I had my first green eggs, and delicious green waffles.  After class, Annie, Jake and I paused up on the 5th floor, by the window and looked out on the campus.  In that moment I was so thankful that I was flanked by two amazing friends; I had been so scared for thermo, as it is known to be hard, but even more scared to face it without knowing anyone.  Having Annie and Jake with me in that class has just been the most incredible thing, as we study and work together.   

After thermo I headed to my normal Tuesday evening Bible study. I was surprised to see my friend Ean there early, as he normally doesn't arrive till later. But we were just chatting, till Sharon called. As we spoke, I suddenly saw a big bunch of balloons coming down the long hallway, and I knew it was her. She had driven all the way from med school, bearing cupcakes, balloons, and Reese's, to surprise me for my 2-yr! She had been in communication with Ean, who had also notified the Bible study group. In that moment, I was so surprised and overwhelmed by my friends. Two years ago I was friends with Sharon but not very close. I knew Ean, but we weren't really friends. I would never have dreamed that Sharon would be like a sister to me, or that Ean would become such a good friend, or that I would be blessed to have a whole new group of friends through a Bible study!

 Two years ago I remember being in a hospital room. Probably puking my guts out as usual. The chemo for the week prior to my BMT was incredibly hard. Every day they were trying to wipe my entire system clean, and I felt it. I remember thinking about what would happen if the BMT didn't work. There was only a 50% chance that it would. I've met people for whom it hasn't. It was a Sunday then, and I remember wondering if I would ever again be involved in church; would I ever play an offertory again, or accompany a congregation. I remember the team who came to give me my BMT. My PA Linda, and nurse practioner Kristen, plus my oncology floor nurse, and an extra nurse. While Linda and Kristen concerned themselves with the actual administration of the cells, the nurses assisted me, as I was retching like never before, or since. They had wet washcloths, and tried to make me comfortable. My child life Angela was there, and read to my siblings from a book about BMT, and then took them to get snacks, games, and generally kept them occupied.
Two years later I'm sitting in the computer lab as I write this. I just finished three classes this morning. Next to me is Neil, my best friend Sharon's youngest brother. I was so sad to lose her to med school last fall, but Neil has become a close friend and confidante, as we travel the waters of college together, through both the ups and down, joys and sadness in our lives. I'm halfway thorough my halfway semester of college. I'm overwhelmed by how far God has brought me, and his amazing mercy and grace in preserving my life for Him!

 Pictures Milestones

100 Days!

1-yr BMT

January 2015



  1. Love you, Jen. This made me cry like a baby, and I think they're happy tears. Tears that our God is so amazing. He has and is turning your trial into such an amazing testimony of His grace.

    1. He is so faithful and amazing! Love you so much, thanks for posting. We need to get together sometime!