It's amazing that my wife can on occasion, find a smile...the same smile that melted my heart 39 years ago at a Denny's restaurant The crazy monkey hats have nothing to do with it, right?
Donna is starting to acquire a substantial number of fun hats to wear in the hall of the hospital. Her stay this time is now 9 weeks longs, so anything that can flip a frown upside down is cool with me.
Unfortunately, most of Donna's journey... is a lonely one.
The reality of this blood disease is what the doctors treat it with, a witches brew of some of the most toxic chemicals on earth. All applied with the certainty of flipping a coin, their constant adjustments at times will cause the patient having to fight for their life...but in an imperfect world, the experts with chemicals can, and do make mistakes.
To better inject the poisonous brew, the surgery unit places a Hickman catheter, which allows for multiple IV's to feed the toxins straight to the source...the body.
The once beautiful hands of my wife have been starved to the bone while bruising with the slightest of touch.
The legs aren't immune to the ravages of chemo, radiation, and chemicals either. One quote the doctors seem to agree on is...if you get leukemia, you will die from leukemia...even if it's 20 years after transplant.
There is always hope... but sometimes, even with a loving caregiver to help you on this journey, it still feels like you are on this trip alone, partly because there is no one who really knows the uncertainty, the pain, the hopelessness or the loneliness as that of the patient.
No amount of color, prose or gloss could put any beauty in a dreadful disease as this, courage yes...beauty... no!