Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 50 - Joys at Halfway

Here we are, halfway between day zero and 100 and things couldn't be better.  We just got home from our weekly clinic visit and it was the smoothest one yet.  The rash is clearing up since the PUVA treatment (basically a tanning bed - Dan wants a lifelong prescription), the energy is coming back, appetite is full-swing, and spirits are high.  We're going out and doing something every day and working hard to keep Dan healthy.  We had a great visit with Patty, Dan's mom. We showed her around the city, the clinic, and enjoyed some good old conversation.  She spoiled us with way too many Christmas presents, but we aren't complaining! We rang in Dan's 32nd birthday at a local Indian restaurant, which also marked his first dining out experience post-transplant.  We were happy to share that milestone with Patty.  The next routine biopsy is next Wednesday, the day after Christmas, so pray results continue to be clear of leukemia and things keep moving in the right direction!
"December 19, 2012 Day +50, halfway there!"

We woke up Friday to the terrible news of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Our hearts broke as the story unfolded and we learned the number of children and adults killed at the hands of a ruthless gunman.  It is impossible to comprehend the pain of the affected families and the incredible loss they must feel.  We, along with millions of Americans, prayed for the families and the souls of the victims at Mass on Sunday.  As I reflected, the popular saying "God only gives you what you can handle" came to mind.  To those who have said this to me, thank you for thinking I am "handling this" well; however, there are so many days I wish I could say "I can't handle this anymore" to make it stop, but I know it's not that easy.

We believe that in difficult times, God gives us the strength to face our fears and our grief through the grace of others - our family, our friends, and many we've never met.  We believe we "handle it" because of the outpouring of love, support and prayer we receive each and every day.  We stay strong and "handle this" because we feel loved and because we have purpose, because we are at the best center for this disease and because we have faith.  The only thing we can do during a difficult time is support each other.  We can pray for strength, cherish our loved ones and celebrate little joys wherever we find them.  A little joy is a thoughtful card in the mail, a pleasant conversation with a stranger, or a casual walk on a nice day.  Sometimes we have to get creative to find joy, but we find it.  And we cherish it. And we celebrate it.  So in a time when so many are getting creative to find little joys, please take a minute and pray that we continue to find ours, those who've lost loved ones can begin to find theirs, and truly appreciate yours, rejoicing in them as we grow ever closer to Christmas day.        

Hope you have a merry Christmas full of JOY,



  1. Hanna,

    You will remain in my prayers through this time. I also wanted to share that your writing is beautiful - thank you for sharing.

    Dan is very blessed to have you by his side. Merry Christmas to you both and Happy New Year!

    Jackie (old co-worker of Pat's at IBM)

  2. Halfway Home! Great to hear you are both hitting this milestone with joy and thankfulness in your hearts. Your situation (and the tragedy at Sandy Hook) certainly put perspective on things that happen in my life. Things that seem difficult suddenly don't seem so difficult anymore. It highlights what is really important in life - the love of God, family, friends and community. I hope you have a relaxing (uneventful) Christmas in Seattle! We'll miss you guys.

  3. Dan and Hanna,
    Merry Chrismas to you! So happy and grateful to hear things are going well with your BMT. This is wonderful news. Best wishes and I look forward to seeing you in 2013 if you are ever back at GUH. Sara Kerai, chaplain.

  4. God bless you both for your faith, grace, optimism and stamina! You are in the prayers of so many ...and LOVED!

  5. Merry Christmas Hanna and Dan!!! I am so happy to hear the updates. You both look wonderful. Sending lots of positive thoughts prayers and love your way!!!
    Anna from GUH