9.45am yesterday morning i arrive at the 12d blood cancer ward. “SAM, how are you,” rave all the nurses, according to another patient, I am well known at this place. “Alright, I suppose,” I answer in reply to their question. I take a deep swallow to prevent the tears from welling to my eyes in apprehension of the week that is to come.
Yvonne, the Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) takes me into the doctors offices, the only spare room, to take blood from my hickmans line to test whether my blood counts and liver function have returned to “normal” in order to start my next round of chemo. So she pulls the blood and whispers to me that I will be okay. I think she senses the tension coming out of me, the nervousness, the wanting to get out of this place as soon as I can. I try to stop but tears spring to my eyes, “I am so sick of Leukaemia, Yvonne.” “I know, I know.” Her voice, still whispering “They’ve found a donor on the registry for you, the thing is they don’t know if the donor is still available, like whether she is pregnant, or in another state where she is unable donate to you.” My face lights up. She shrivels back. I think she’s told me something she shouldn’t have.
I leave the ward for an hour to wait for me blood results to come. I tell mum and grandma what Yvonne has just said. We pray. I feel sick in the stomach, still with apprehension of the week to come. I fear chemotherapy, I fear sickness, I fear being left in the ward while I try to sleep, I fear hearing more conversation of other patients diagnosis in the beds next to me. I swallow again, put on a brave face and try so hard to smile.
We head back up to the ward an hour or so later, Mum asks Yvonne about what she told me, Yvonne says I’m sorry, I was wrong that donor is unavailable. My doctor walks into the room says to me “I’m so sorry your liver functions still haven’t drops, your counts are not right to continue with chemo today.” A wave of relief runs over me. Thank you Jesus. Usually I would be upset not to continue because the quicker I have the chemo, the quicker leukaemia is over. But now, the tables have turned. I only have chemotherapy until a bone marrow doner is found. And then it is that that will make me sick.
How long will it be until this is over. In January, the doctors said three months. It has now been almost five. How much longer? Please pray for me. Pray for a donor, pray for health, pray for this thing, this undeserved disease to leave my body so that I may be healed, and live to tell my story.