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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day + 100 “The Milestone”

Friday, March 21, 2008 (Late post)

Today marks the 100th day since my bone marrow transplant (December 12, 2007). Today is also exactly six months since I was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (September 21, 2007). Today we celebrate 155 days that I have been in remission (October 19, 2007). And in a few days, once we have the results of the bone marrow biopsy, I’ll be adding to the number of days I’ve been in remission!

The one hundred days post-transplant is significant in several ways. Generally, Acute GVHD, if it is going to act up and cause problems, happens before this time. I personally have been blessed to not have developed the Acute version. I did experience what my doctor believes were mild cases of GVHD, which were treated successfully with steroids.

Reaching the 100 day mark without developing serious problems or infections has been a huge blessing. It shows that my body is slowly recovering and medications are working. It also means that Dr. V will consider slowly reducing the Prograf. This is a medication that helps prevent transplant rejection by suppressing the immune system. Prograf helps prevent the donor cells (Tracy’s cells) from rejecting (attacking) the recipient cells (Me). I also think 100 days just sounds like a great goal and accomplishment. Regarding the significance of 100 days, I read this on a website, “The ‘100 day mark’, which is 100 days post-transplant, is generally considered a milestone - by this time, the [patient] is considered past the worst of the procedure and on the path to recovery. Full recovery is slow, with it taking up to two years for the patient to return to full health.” Ugh, “two years”! It’s actually comforting to know that I’m not behind in the recovery process. I feel like I should be back to full strength by now. I wish I was. But I know that I just have to take it one day at a time. And, eventually, whether it’s six months or eighteen months from now, I’ll be back to my old self. Or new self.

Throughout this journey, “milestones”, have helped me see and understand that I’ve been on the right track, that I’ve been getting better, and that I would make it. Six months later I have made it! But not alone.

I was never alone. From the first moment I heard the words "You have Leukemia" I was not alone. I had my husband, Todd, my mom and dad by my side. Not one single night at the hospital was I alone. Todd, Kelley, Tracy, or Susan were always by my bedside, sleeping on some horribly uncomfortable couch or roll out bed. During the days, I had my mom, dad, Todd, my brother and sisters and even dear friends to keep me company and help me cope. And even in the quiet hours of the night, laying awake in the darkness when fear and doubt would creep into my mind, I was not alone. The sweet peaceful reassurances of the Holy Spirit would calm my heart and quiet my fears and return my thoughts to the Atonement. And I would know that I was not alone in this battle with cancer and did not suffer alone. I knew that my Savior, Jesus Christ had not only suffered for my sins but that He had also taken upon Him my pains and sicknesses. I was not alone.

One of my favorite scriptures, that has helped me remember this is:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. (Alma 7:11-12)

I know that I was united in prayer with countless family, friends and strangers from all over the United States and Abroad, in different languages and in different places of worship. I was not alone. Thank you to you all who have cared for and thought of me and my family throughout during this time.


Amy said...

Love ya Courtney....thanks for sharing those tender moments with us. Your journey has been such a journey of faith and inspiration. I hope you continue to feel our love, support, and prayers. Happy day 100:)

Jenny said...

Congratulations on reaching Day #100! You have truly been blessed beyond measure. What a blessing it's been for my family to be able to help and pray for the well-being of someone who deserves it so much. You have been an inspiration to us with your untouchable faith and courage and for that, we have to thank you!


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