It sure was a bumpy ride through hell.
Melphalan is a type of chemotherapy that is very successful in treating Multiple Myeloma. Two days after it's given side effects take over completely. In Bruce's case his blood counts dropped dramatically and within 4-5 days he hit rock bottom. At one point dipping below zero. He was left without an immune system, and depleted platelets and red blood cells that barely kept him alive. His own stem cells were infused as "rescue therapy" and then we waited and hoped and prayed. I kept thinking about the time I decided to sky dive, a hasty decision of youth. As soon as I was plunging toward earth all I could think was, "Is this right? sure doesn't feel like it" and it held true in this situation, It didn't feel right to watch Bruce get sick to the point of no return, and hope that the rip cord worked.
It did. After 19 days he circled the halls of 3 North for the last time and gave the victory bell an overdue, ambitious ring.
We now rebuild our lives. I've seen Bruce fight these last 5 months harder than many could imagine. Not only does his body need to recover, mentally he will need to embrace life going forward as different. It's a modified view of his past life; more complicated but certainly more enriched. I've headed back to work full time giving Bruce the rest of summer to enjoy time with our girls and they're thrilled at the idea of their dad being able to spend some time with them. After all, he is the fun parent....hmmm we'll see how that one plays out when September rolls around!
I've tried to think of ways to thank our community, family and friends and I've realized it's an unpaid dept. You've done so much for us. I can only promise to help feed, drive, walk dogs and mow a few lawns for each and any of you when you need it. I will also send all the love we've felt to the heavens and pray that it comes back in the form of blessings for you and all of your loved ones.
This chapter closes - it was a twisted way for the universe to teach us a fundamental lesson - we must lean to stand.