12.11.2012

Healing Hearts


Last week’s story isn’t quite complete without the other side of things. While I was fighting to heal my heart, my dad was fighting for his heart too. Fighting to keep his newly transplanted heart out of rejection and strong enough to go through a terrifying bone marrow transplant and countless rounds of chemotherapy.

My father was diagnosed with Amyloidosis, a rare and fatal disease that is similar to cancer, except that instead of bad cells, you have bad proteins.  These proteins turn on your organs; my dad’s heart was first to be attacked. He miraculously received a heart transplant and a few months later, a month after I moved back home, my dad went off to receive a bone marrow transplant with the hope that this would get rid of his amyloidosis and prevent it from attacking his new heart. It was scary. He got so sick. And then it appeared that it didn’t work. The back-up plan was chemotherapy.

During those months, we’d wait for updates. Is his heart in rejection? What level? What about his amyloidosis count? Is it too high? Is the outlook good? It’s too soon. He’s so young. He can’t die.
And every once in awhile I’d feel so selfish. I was too sad and too worried about myself that I wasn’t allowing enough worry for my dad. It was hard to keep the sorrows fairly balanced.

My dad was at a hospital a few hours away and my mom was by his side through this ordeal. That left me home with my 15 year-old sister who did her best to keep up with her activities, stay on top of her school work, and continue a fairly normal life. It was lonely. And the worry was taxing.

It just so happened that the two hardest things I have ever faced in my young life happened at the same time. But it was truly for the best. When my dad got sick, some families in our church began bringing meals over a couple nights a week so my mom wouldn’t have to worry about dinner. When my parents went off to the hospital, they continued to bring meals to just my sister and me. We weren’t the sick ones, and we could definitely fend for ourselves, but a few nights a week, someone would stop by our house, their arms loaded up with a warm meal, and yummy drink, and an amazing dessert. They’d come in and chat with us, see how we were doing, and sometimes invite us over to their home for a movie night or girls night out.

They didn’t just bring us a meal. They brought us so much more. Love and comfort to two young, scared girls. Many of these people I didn’t know well, as I had been away at college for the past few years. But I felt loved. And I felt cared for. Their meals for a family with a sick dad also provided healing for a girl with a broken heart.

So to those who were there for my family in one of our toughest times, from the bottom of my very healed, very happy, and very grateful heart, thank you.
I know my dad’s strong and healthy heart thanks you too.

10 comments:

  1. This was a beautiful post. So glad that you had a great church community around you to help out when you didn't think you needed it.

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  2. All of our hearts have been changed forever because of this one year of trial.
    "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27

    Love you,
    Mom

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  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog. The design of your is too cute! I'm glad to hear that your dad is doing well and that you all were well-surrounded by love and support. I have definitely been through some tough times in my life and I echo your blog post here that a wonderful support system makes such a huge difference (My hubby is overseas for 2 years. Such is military life)! I think if it wasn't for a great support system I'd do nuts. Praise God for the health of your dad and for your family! :-)

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    Replies
    1. I just peeked at your outfits on Clothed Much... super cute! You have great taste!

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  4. Times like this is when you find out who your true friends are--and sometimes it comes from totally unexpected sources. Hoping the best now for you and your family----you sound like a strong bunch! And I just followed you back via GFC. Keep blogging--it's a great stress reliever!!!

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  5. I will always cherish those sad memories as they remind me of how richly we were blessed. Even though I have tried to alleviate suffering for my entire life, until then, I never really knew what it felt like; a necessary lesson for me.
    I will always love you, Rebecca.
    Dad

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  6. I am so very glad that your father and his heart are well. It must be such a relief for you and the ones you love.

    Aloha,
    Following ya now from the GFC hop. We're riding the wave of life together at Local Sugar Hawaii. I'd so love it if you'd join us.

    xo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following (now following you back). I am so sorry to hear that your father is sick but you are so lucky to be surrounded by so much love and support. Here’s hoping he is on the mend and you will be in my thoughts.

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  8. This was beautifully written, honest, and heartwarming. And its amazing that you have so much support from those around you.

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