T- 34: Challenges

T-34When a person reads that I am going to have a Stem Cell Transplant (SCT), they immediately think about the challenges facing me during the transplant process. Indeed, the process will be a test or more precisely, a series of tests. However, that is not the only set of challenges we face.

Imagine that you are going on a four month vacation. You must ask yourself a whole series of questions. What will I wear? Will the weather change with the seasons? What do I take with me? Will I cook while I am there? Do I need to take my favorite skillet, knives, etc.? If I am cooking, what spices do I want to take with me, or will I buy them as I need them? What electronic gear will I need? Will I need office supplies? Bedding?

These are just a few of the things that we are considering. We also must arrange for: lawn care, house/pet sitting, mail transfer, communications with friends and family, support groups for myself and especially my wife/caregiver. How will Melanie get around in Houston since she does not like driving in traffic and traffic is constantly heavy in Houston? How do we handle problems at home when we are tied down in Texas? We can’t just hop on a jet and come home to take care of things.

Do you get a feel for the challenges we and every other person who is in need of long term medical care away from home face?

We have been planning for this trip for nearly a year. We have lists of things to pack. We have made purchases that we needed to fulfill known needs. We are trying to get our Hot Springs home ready for our long term absence. We have called on family and friends to help do things that must be done. We have put off things that don’t absolutely need to be done. We will leave some necessary things undone.

I suppose this experience could be equated to climbing a mountain. Preparation is a must. Compromise will be essential, but not at the expense of failure. Once the climb begins, teamwork is critical, endurance is necessary, faith is mandatory, and hope is indispensable.

While we journey, we have the secure knowledge that we are not alone. We have family to help. We have friends who encourage us and pray. We have our faith to keep us strong. We have our God to see us through. With a team like this, could we possibly do any less than succeed?

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