The Last Eight Months
I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy. In Tennessee, we’ve been dealing with the same stuff most of the country has, including going through a couple very destructive tornadoes over the last two months. Fortunately, our home and my family’s homes were spared.
But I know that isn’t what you want to read about. In this post, I’m going to cover a couple events that have changed our lives forever: our first child and a cancer diagnosis. The reason I’m posting this is because there are only so many people I can update over text and this reduces my guilt over not telling some very important people in my life about these events. That, and I’m not a fan of giving away my personal content to the socials. I’d like to think that if you’re reading this post, our paths have crossed and we have fond memories of spending time together.
So, Ladies First
EmilyGrace (my wife of almost eight years!) found out she was pregnant in January. This came with a lot of the typical challenges, but overall, it was a great pregnancy. EmilyGrace had a great OB who took really good care of her and made sure we knew what to expect. We found out our baby was a girl and we fell in love with this blessing from the very beginning. We named her Jubilee Rose Jones and she was born 9/29/19 at a healthy height and weight and has lightened up our world in more ways we can even describe. EmilyGrace has done the vast majority of work around the house with lots of meal prep, baby care, laundry, cleaning, you name it. I can’t be more proud of her and the incredible work she’s done while getting far less sleep than any human should.
Splenatic T-Cell Lymphoma Diagnosis
Knowing I’d been very sick for quite some time (about 10-11 months), things were coming to a head for me. I’d lost my job in January and was on the hunt, but with no luck. Turns out probably to be a good thing because I wouldn’t have stayed anywhere for long. Feeling weak and tired and just not like my “normal” self, I was diagnosed on 10/6/20 with a rare, aggressive form of lymphoma. Not good. One of the hardest parts was that I tried to make it through the entire birth, but a 31 hour birth proved too much for this tired body and exhausted soul. It crushed me not to be there, but it was the best thing.
Shortly after I was diagnosed, they began chemo treatments. Unfortunately, the traditional method and most widely used proved ineffective on me, and my body continued on a downhill path. We switched medication and, miraculously, my body responded. There was a steep learning curve at first, but we figured out the right process and my numbers improved to the point where we could start talking about a transplant. I was almost there; just needed to get over the hump.
In March, I got the word, “bone marrow clear of lymphoma.” We could celebrate, finally.
Prepping for Transplant
The next weeks were filled scrambling for 100 days of post-chemo treatment where I would be tied down at the house with a near-zero white blood count. With the coronavirus and other potential infections lingering, it was important that I have all the protective elements in place to prevent getting sick.
Lo’ and behold, a standard biopsy 7 days prior to transplant revealed what no one had expected – the lymphoma had returned. Eight months of hard work, down the drain. The odds of getting where I was where low enough. How could I possibly do it again? I have no idea. Lots more prayer, more chemo, lots more patience, and lots more love from friends and family.
I’ll keep you in the loop if you want to follow the next eight months or so.