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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Monday, February 11, 2008

Day + 61 - “I still don’t believe it…”

O.K. On behalf of my defense, I started this blog entry on day +55. Today is day+61. I have never in my entire life been at loss for words. I have sat here at the computer, staring at the screen for hours, trying to put into words some of my experiences from the past 5 months. What I found was there were just too many of them. It really is quite overwhelming to reflect on everything that has happened. I edited and removed half of it because I couldn't find the right words and some it just didn’t make sense (a most definite result of chemo brain--it is real.) Maybe with time, sharing those experiences will get easier. Anyway, this is as far as I got….

Last night(Day +55), I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror (fully dressed), my arms and shoulders hanging down, doing a pretty good job at making myself look as pathetic as possible, when Todd comes in. I say “I still don’t believe it.” “What?” he says. Using both hands, pointing at my head, for a more dramatic effect, I say “This. I am bald. And I don’t have eyebrows or eyelashes. Look at me.” “I am. You’re beautiful,” he says and kisses my bald head. I still don’t believe it. (I love you, Todd.)

Sept. 21st--After I was admitted to the E.R. at Harris Methodist, I was put in a hospital gown, given a mask to wear, taken back to a bed in a curtained area, where nurses monitored vitals, asked for my medical history and worked on getting an I.V. started. I looked at the clock. 2 pm. I turn to Todd and tell him he has to call Melissa (she already had Aidan.) He has to tell her. He has to call one of our best friends and tell her that I have cancer and ask her to take care of our children. School was going to be out soon. I told him he had to ask her to call Cheryl and have her bring Emma home from pre-school to her [Melissa’s] house. I told him to ask her to call the elementary school, tell them that Kylie and Miranda needed to get off the bus with her girls. I told him you have to tell her, you have to ask her. Tears just stream down my face when Todd comes back and tells me that she didn’t hesitate. She would take care of them for as long as we needed and do whatever we needed. And she (and Dan) did. I still don’t believe it.

I still don’t believe it… but apparently, during induction therapy, on the evening (Oct. 15th) my sister Tracy was arriving from Italy to stay with me at the hospital for a week, I was definitely anticipating a visitor. Or I should say visitors. My mom was staying with me when Todd came for the evening to visit. No, it wasn’t Todd that I was waiting for. I asked my mom if it was o.k. to tell Todd who was coming to visit me. She said yes, I could tell him. “Really?! I can tell him?” She just smiled and said “yes.” I turned and looked at Todd and said “Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson are coming here to visit me!” Who?! Where did that come from?!

When Tracy finally arrived, I insisted that she wear a pair of my pajamas (because of course she came all the way from Italy and didn’t bring anything with her) and told her that she could sleep on the top bunk. I don’t believe the hospital had rooms with bunk beds.

Today is Day +61 from the stem cell transplant. The engraftment was successful. Tracy’s donor cells have officially taken over and are producing normal, healthy, leukemia FREE blood cells! My bone marrow biopsy results show that there are no cancer cells detected. I am home with my family. I have been supported and uplifted by family, friends, neighbors and even complete strangers throughout this trial. Each day brings me closer to the time when I can use the word “cured.” I still don’t believe it.


Bryner Family said...

While I am so sad you had to endure all of this, I CAN believe that you're doing so well now. We all believed you were strong enough to beat this and we have all prayed as much as we possibly could for a positive outcome. You are very loved! :)

Emily R said...

i wouldnt be able to believe it either! what an amazing couple months! and just think of it! in a few years, people will meet you and not be able to believe it either! you are SO amazing and so strong! you are also very loved! i giggled with your little stories of funny things you said. i hope you had todd write some more of those down!!! ;)

crys said...

what a beautiful entry. i am so happy for you. how wonderful it is to have the love of your husband and the support of so many people. i can't wait to see "CURED" on your blog!

Amy said...

Courtney.. you write a beautiful blog and don't think anything different:) You have been an inspiration for us all and I am amazed daily by your strength. I can't even imagine the words "you are cured" what a great moment that will be for you and the fam!

Anonymous said...

I loved sleeping on the top bunk in the hospital:) And would do it again and agan and again...not that we need too!!! I love you and miss you more than words can tell. Alex, Paige and Shawn are sending hugs and kisses around the world to you all! Love you,

Anonymous said...

Courtney the knowledge you have gained through this expierence will help and has helped many people you have touched through this blog, t-shirts and prayers. I am so sorry your family has gone through excuse me hell and back but you are STRONG and now you know how strong your family and friends are. When I wear your t-shirt I enjoy telling the story; your story to people when I get done they ask me how I know met you and I explain through your daily blogs I feel like a family friend. Why because most families are to scared to share and yours put it out for the whole entire world to see. What a lesson from God for us all. I am always scared to say out loud the bad and scary things that have happened in my life because I am afraid if you say it out loud it is true. Courtney Thank you for helping me be strong by for my family and friends.

God has made you a teacher and leader

Rhonda, WI

Thank you Courtney

Meredith said...

I love this blog Courtney, and your 'chemo brain' stories that you shared are so cute! Glad you're doing so well, what an amazing story you have!

robinandamelia said...

I am so glad to hear you are doing well. All the best to you, and I hope this always remains in your past.

Melissa said...

Seriously, that phone call from Todd was the worst phone call I've ever gotten. Thank goodness I was with Michelle. I know everyone would do everything the same all over again because we love you so much. Eventually, you can be a motivational speaker and tell people that what comes around goes around:) That you have to be a great friend to have great friends. Part at my house on D+100!

Anonymous said...

We are so happy to hear that everyday is better! Know that you are loved and thought of daily....

Love you,
Norman, Monica and kids


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