Forget all the plans.
Or, as my friend said the other night, “Plans are overrated. God’s got this.” Because CHANGE seems to be the most constant thing going we’ve got goin’ this week!
We arrived at the University of Washington Medical Center Monday morning at 7:30 for the start of a week of IV chemotherapy. Prior to beginning the chemo drip, Corey had to have an echocardiogram and have his Hickman line placed. We got checked in, were shown to the room and waited for the action to begin.
First up was the echocardiogram. Two of the seven chemo drugs he was scheduled to be on this week have heart risks so they do an echo prior to beginning the drugs so they can monitor his heart throughout, making sure things aren’t going south in that department.
After the echo, he was returned to the room and we waited for the Hickman line to be placed. He’s said, pretty much from the beginning, that this was the part he was looking forward to the very least out of the whole transplant process. The thought of having something placed under his skin and into his heart wasn’t at all appealing. Can’t imagine why…
They kind of put you under for this procedure. It’s something called conscious sedation, where they can tell you, “Move this way, turn that way” and you’re responsive enough to do it, yet you can’t feel anything and aren’t really even supposed to remember anything. Of course, Corey being Corey, he was awake enough to chat with the team through the whole procedure.
After the Hickman was placed, Corey was wheeled back up to the room and we waited for the chemo to begin.
And we waited.
And we waited.
And we waited some more.
At about 4 PM (after arriving at 7:30 AM), we received a call from Dr. Shadman, our team oncologist from the SCCA, who informed us that Corey’s echocardiogram had come back borderline so they were having to change up the whole chemo regimen. As I said, two of the seven chemo drugs he was to be on have heart risks and while the echo wasn’t necessarily alarming, it was low enough that they felt they needed to change up the protocol. After this round of chemo, Corey will see a cardiologist at the SCCA to determine if this is just something that’s happening because of the cancer and/or chemo, or if it’s something more general that we’ll have to address once the transplant is over. Anyway, they were changing the plan and the paperwork required for consenting to a chemo protocol isn’t altogether dissimilar to applying for a mortgage, so, you guessed it…
I’ll just jump forward and let you know that Corey finally began to receive the IV chemo Tuesday night about 8 PM (a little north of 36 hours after arriving Monday morning, if you’re keeping track). When we arrived Monday and got settled in our room, it wasn’t easy listening to the sounds coming from the rooms around us. This is a chemo floor so there aren’t exciting baby visits, etc., taking place around us. Everyone here is being treated for one kind of cancer or another. And you could hear, through the closed doors, how they were tolerating their different treatment regimens. It’s safe to say it wasn’t calming Corey’s nerves to hear people getting sick through the walls.
Yet here we are, it’s Thursday morning now, and Corey hasn’t been sick once – and to Corey, this is no small miracle. It is the grace of God on full display, and in big doses. Barring any complications, we’ll be released from here tomorrow afternoon. Corey will begin the growth factor shots Saturday morning at the SCCA and we’ll set up our temporary home at an apartment in Seattle for the duration of the transplant process.
Not a super long post today but so many of you have reached out that I wanted to bring you up to speed. Thank you for your continuous flow of texts, calls, e-mail messages, in-box messages and general awesomeness. We feel every bit of support and love and cheering from each of you. It’s been humbling and beautiful.
I’m kind of obsessed with maps and travel. I would honestly have a new stamp in my passport every month for the rest of my life if I could. And it’s been nothing short of amazing (and curious!) to watch the dots pop up on the map in my admin settings, knowing that people from Jordan, Germany, Brazil, Croatia, Armenia, China, Australia, and on and on are reading this and praying for our little family over here in the Northwest corner of the USA. I love how the family of God works. People I may never meet this side of Heaven are lifting us up because they’re old college buddies, friends of family members, etc. It really is awesome.
I’m kind of pushing for a post-transplant world tour so we can visit each of you in your respective countries and thank you personally. I don’t quite have Corey on board for that one, but I’m workin’ on it…