Wow…this post is “untitled” because, well, because I just can’t come up with a title that will do it justice. Before I get into the run down of how this TGIF went, I must give a little background info.
A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend Jenny shared some A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. news with me. She had received a call saying that she was a bone marrow match for someone! What????? I didn’t even know you were on the donor list. When? How? What? You have got to be kidding!?!? Yep, it’s true…she was a perfect match for a 15 year old boy who is fighting leukemia. She was going to have to make a trip to Vandy to have tests, blood work, pre-op stuff, meet with doctor and fill out paperwork. Being the supportive friend I am, I said, “If you need someone to go with you, I am your girl.” Well…today was the day.
As I was getting ready this morning (we had to leave EARLY), I decided to put a small notebook in my purse just in case I decided I wanted to write something down. I am really not a journal keeping kind of person but for whatever reason, I took the notebook. Honestly, I really didn’t expect to write anything in it because I had purchased 3 new magazines to look through while waiting…one being People and I knew after I read through it, I would want to work the crossword puzzle (they are my favorites ). Let me just say…I didn’t even make it through the People magazine. The following is what I wrote in my notebook today…
Friday, May 27th, 2011…
I am sitting in a waiting area at Vanderbilt Clinic in Nashville (of course, you already know that) while Jenny is doing her thing. I am so honored and humbled to be with her today. It absolutely blows my mind that she is willing to give of herself to save a stranger’s life but of course, it is the way you want things to be, the way you designed us to be; willing to help and love others with the love of Christ. I am just blessed beyond words to be a part of her support system. Please continue to show me ways to be Your hands and feet to Jenny and her family as she is being the same to this 15 year old boy and his family. WOW…it really does come full circle; Your perfect circle of love and grace.
So, J has had an EKG, chest xray and has just been called back for blood work in the Hematology Stem Cell Transplant Clinic. A young couple just walked into the waiting room; I assume husband and wife. She has beautiful, shoulder length brown curly hair and a mask over her mouth/nose.
Another woman sitting close by with a cap on her head and a visible port on the right side of her chest. It is obvious she is bald…I assume from treatments to fight off those stinkin’ cancer cells.
Also, another man who looks healthy (compared to those around him) and appears to know all the staff that walks by. He was just greeted with a hug from a nurse who exclaimed, “Look at you!” I imagine he is on the tail end of the fight of his life and the physical transformation from sickness to health is what has sparked such excitement.
Another man ( I say man but he probably wasn’t much older than 20) sitting in a wheelchair, oxygen in his nose, obviously sick and weak…his hands shaking. His mom (at least I imagine it is his mom) by his side.
Another woman told she can’t receive part of her treatment today because some level is too low; she must come back next week.
Lord, I am overwhelmed right now. My heart aches for these precious people; Your precious children. The selfish part of me can’t help but think, “that could have been me” and I thank you with all that I am that it wasn’t (but as crazy as it sounds, I feel somewhat guilty that it wasn’t). I have thought of the “could have beens” so many times but coming face to face with the reality of it makes me want to lay flat on my face and thank you and praise you and ask for HEALING for all of these people.
Holy cow…another couple; this time the wife in a wheelchair…Lord Jesus, be with her.
I don’t even know how to process all of this. I wonder if Jenny even fully comprehends what YOU are doing through her???
Another couple just walked out. Very tall man, a cap covering his baldness and a mask over his face to hopefully keep the germs away. His shoulders slumped exposing the weakness in his body. He doesn’t feel good, you can tell.
Jenny is sitting right outside the waiting room with the donor coordinator, Linda. They are talking about details and going over paperwork. I know J must be overwhelmed so please give her peace and assurance right now.
Yet another couple…older this time…no doubt wonderful parents and grandparents to a lucky family. She is a small, petite woman…her baldness covered by a super cute brown cap. She is holding a mask in her hands along with something yummy from Starbucks. Thank you Father for those simple pleasures.
I continue to fight back tears (I admit that more than a few have streamed down my face). If I allowed myself, I could just sit here and bawl.
Jenny just popped in to tell me they took 14 vials of blood!!! Linda had to step away for a minute and will be right back.
Still a steady stream of people…another woman just came in, somewhat frail but with the prettiest lipstick on. She has brought her favorite pillow (with a burnt orange pillowcase) and is resting her head back on it. Her daughter, who looks to be about the same age as me, is with her; taking care of her…the tables are turned…a child caring for a sick parent. Bless them Father, bless them all.
Jenny just came back in…the doctor she needs to see has been tied up so we have been told to go get a bite to eat. We had a light lunch in the cafe area then returned to the waiting area just in time for Linda to come out. She tells us the dr. can’t get away from the Children’s hospital to come over and meet with Jenny so we are going to him. Linda walks us over to the Vandy Children’s hospital to meet with him.
So, here I sit in the waiting room of the pediatric cancer center (those words just shouldn’t go together). I have only been sitting here about 5 minutes and have already seen 3 young children come out. One little boy, who looked to be about 5 years old, instantly stole my heart. I was watching him and Linda came out to sit by me. I just simply said, “I love him…I just love him.”
Linda shared several stories with me as we sat waiting for Jenny…amazing, heart wrenching stories. She also told me that Rascal Flatts comes to the pediatric cancer center all the time to sing for the kids while they are getting their infusions. I am thinking, I would freak out if they walked around the corner and thankfully, they didn’t because I am not really in a place where it would be appropriate to freak out.
Jenny comes out and Linda walks us back to where the parking garage is. She anticipates no problems and will be in contact. The only thing to wait on now is for this 15 year old boy to get over an infection he has picked up just this week. As soon as he gets the all clear, the transplant date will be set. It was originally set for June 17th but that is on hold. I am hoping it will be sooner than later. Lord, I ask you flush this infection from his system so this can happen.
I am completely blown away and forever changed. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this. I can’t even wrap my head around it but I do know that I am blessed, grateful, humbled, heart broken, excited and full of awe. YOUR greatness is mind blowing!!!! Bless Jenny and her family beyond anything they could imagine. Heal this 15 year old boy and use it all to advance YOUR kingdom. We give YOU all the honor, glory and praise…