Friday, June 20, 2014

My sister on the runway

My sister, Lauren, was diagnosed with leukemia 4.5 years ago. Back when I was preggo with Charlie.

It's hard to think back to those first days when I learned firsthand what cancer felt like when it hit my own immediate family. My own little sister. I go back and forth on whether it's worth remembering the details of such a painful time. But on a night like last night, I want to remember and reflect and grow from it.

I'll never forget her bone pain or nose bleeds on Christmas Day. 
Meeting her at the ER a few days later... trying to comfort her. 
The doctor returning with the blood test results.
Hearing the word leukemia. 
Realizing I didn't know how to correctly spell the word leukemia when it was time to text my other sister and brother and sleeping husband at home. 
The people we called to start praying. 
Learning the difference in T cell and B cells. And ALL (her type) and AML. 
The chemo that was started within 24 hrs. And continued for 2 years. 
Lauren having to spend the night there for the next 30 (or was it more?) days, never leaving. 
Returning to the hospital so many times bc of fevers.
The pneumonia battles. 
The mental battles. 
The faith battles.

My heartbeat is so fast just typing these words. It was torture. I'll be honest. And that was for ME. I can't imagine how my mom felt. Or dad. How Lauren felt. 

Torture going through so many awful AWFUL procedures. Lumbar punctures, intrathecal injections, port placements, triple lumen catheter placements..... Watching a medical  type of cork screw be twisted through my 24 year old sister's back. While she is fully conscious. Holding her hand and praying harder than I've ever prayed in my life.

She's had that same bone marrow biopsy done countless times over the last 4.5 years. She is so so stinking tough. And you have to be when it comes to life threatening cancer like leukemia. No choice. 

Praise my Father in Heaven, after each round of chemo my sister got wonderful test results. It worked. She lost her hair, a  year of PT school, a hip, and will prob need two more joint replacements in the next few years. The pics of those hospital stays and neutropenia are too sad to post. But 4 years later, she is still cancer free. And it brings me so much joy to have her. 

It was one the greatest learning experiences of my life. I could go on forever about what God taught us through this.

Last night we celebrated her survival at the Rock the Runway event. All proceeds went to helping other women fighting cancer at UAMS and the Fighting Fancy foundation. 

Isaac knows a thing or two about tragedy. And he helped our family overcome this experience in a thousand ways. 

Lauren's sweet guy, Andrew :)

Now I can stop crying and be glad that we are on the other side of this story. I remember meeting Dr. Stephanie Mckelvey randomly at someone's house and balling while talking to her. Telling her that if she made it through leukemia in her 20s, that my sister could too. And now she is one of Lauren's doctors. They have both beaten this disease and have lived to tell the story. I admire them big time. 

Thanks, Taylor's, for joining us to support Lauren!!!

It was a great night. Lots of fun for a very dear cause. 

Love you, sis! (The one who reads every blog post first;)

1 comment:

Kendall Jones said...

So proud of Lauren! It's amazing how far she has come. God is so good!