Bubble Girl

Where have I been this past month and a half since my last blog entry?  Well, I’ve been in my own little world, that’s where I’ve been.  I’ve been Bubble Girl.  Yeah, I’ve been stuck in the hospital most of the time with my visitors having to wear masks and gloves and cover gowns but that’s not exactly what I mean.  The weeks leading up to my transplant, I kept asking my doctor questions if I’d be treated like a ‘bubble girl’ during my stay in the hospital.  Little did I know, I would end up turning myself into just that.

Everyone could see me but they couldn’t really see me.  What truly was a joyous occasion on November 16th took a frightening toll on my physical health and consequently on my spirit and emotions.  I stopped writing.  I stopped talking.  I stopped eating.  I spent entire days in bed.  I wouldn’t leave my hospital room.  I would even say there were days when I didn’t smile.  I cried endlessly.  I spent many sleepless nights wondering when it would all be over.  ‘Probably never’, I would think to myself.  I kept everyone at arm’s length, tucking myself away into my own sanitized, little space.  I built my own emotional bubble around myself.  I was Bubble Girl and I didn’t care.

I’m not gonna go into detail of the horror of going through a stem cell transplant just yet.  That’s gonna take a few entries and, frankly, I’m not ready to go there.  I’m still sitting in the hospital as I write this and I need time to sort it all out for myself before I begin to recount all the sordid details for you.  But, believe me.  Its gonna be GOOD.

This blog entry, in particular, is more for my benefit if I really think about it.  It feels good to get some of this off my chest and finally step out of this emotional plastic bubble, good to finally be able to talk to people like a somewhat normal person again.  How did I get rid of my bubble?  Because since my transplant, I’m finally feeling better again.  I’m finally feeling more like myself, like Cristina.  I can finally see that light at the end of this still stretching tunnel.  I can’t say that Bubble Girl won’t be back, but I can say that she has definitely taken a hike.

Its amazing what feeling better physically can do for a person.  Its easy for someone looking in from the outside of someone’s bubble to say the typical:  “Oh, this is only temporary.  You’ll feel better soon.”  Or my favorite, “You’ll look back on this one day and won’t even remember how bad it was.”  When you’re in that position of constant pain and suffering, there is no end in sight.  The struggle itself should never be belittled.  And the struggle is something that you never, ever forget no matter how hard you try.  The constant lingering, tingling sensation in my fingertips from the latest effects of chemo is just one of the things that doesn’t let me forget.

Enough of that for now because its finally time for some good news.  Make it GREAT news.  Today marks Day 43 since my stem cell transplant.  Its been forty-three days since I was given my second chance and I’m almost at the halfway mark of my stay here in Houston.  And, Day 43 now marks the day I first got the best news since my transplant.  After my first PET scan, full CT scan, and bone marrow biopsy post-transplant, my attending doctor told me this morning that there is “no sign of disease”!  He paused so that I could process the news and I did not cry which is a first for me.  I have always gotten emotional when I get any news about my health, be it good or bad, and for me to not have cried is in itself a HUGE victory for me.  Instead I smiled a big, toothy smile and he smiled the same big, toothy smile back at me.  I looked over at my mom’s big, toothy smile.  It was a big, toothy smile-fest and it was perfect.  I don’t have to cry every time I’m happy.  Smiling is perfectly acceptable.  “For real?” I asked.  “Yup!” he replied.  I took a deep breath and said, “Yes!”  And that was it.

I’m glad there wasn’t more fanfare in that moment.  That was exactly what I needed after the over-the-top, emotional roller coaster I’ve been on for the past two years.  Just a quiet moment in time that I could revel in and just be happy.  And to add the cherry on top, I might be discharged from this latest stay in the hospital by tomorrow.  Even if I’m not, Day 43 already has a heart by it in my calendar.

Happy New Year!  Bubble Girl out.

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19 thoughts on “Bubble Girl

  1. Heather says:

    AMEN !!! love and hugs and strength to you. You may not have cried but I did, many happy tears 🙂 – Heather

  2. Sylvia says:

    God is great !!

  3. Terry says:

    Great news Cristina!! God Bless You!!!

  4. Debra Voges-Schneider says:

    Happy, Happy Day, Christina! You are a warrior. Awesome news. Thank you for being honest. You inspire us with your courage.

  5. Gail Hanson says:

    You may not have cried but I did..This is Happy New Year News!!So Amazing Lady!!Huggs to Mom Dad & Hubby!!!

  6. Tammy Conolly says:

    I’m doing enough crying for the both of us! Lol! So happy! Answered prayer. Thank you, Jesus!

  7. Bridget says:

    Brilliant. May you go from strength to strength! Happy New Year

  8. jmgoyder says:

    Wonderful, wonderful news.

  9. Kay D says:

    You so accurately described my experience. I got to the point that I couldn’t make any decisions for myself….what to eat, what to wear, etc. It was just easier to let others make decisions for me. It took a long time to be able to make decisions again. I look back now (6 years) and it seems like a horrible nightmare. I can’t even believe I lived through it. I have NOT forgotten how horrible it was. But it seems unreal now. I will tell you that you will begin to see positive changes in your relationship to God and others. You will never take life for granted. You won’t get as worked up over little inconveniences. Good days are ahead!

  10. Lynn smith says:

    Its so beautiful. I had to go back and read it again, just to get it to really sink in. Congratulations friend!

  11. Deb Yaeger says:

    A big shout of AMEN! Tears over this way! Love ya girl! Keep up the fight!

  12. Tamara Berry says:

    So happy for you! God never lets u forget the journey because it is the strength to help travelors who may follow. I remember Taylors first transplant as if it was yesterday. That was 12 years ago. I have used the hills and valleys many times.

  13. Cha-cha says:

    To God be the Glory! This is wonderful news for the New Year!

  14. Tracy says:

    I’m so pleased to hear your news, great news for an amazing, inspirational lady. Mat 2013 see you go from strength to strength.

  15. Andrew says:

    Rough indeed, your post brought back my own post-transplant experience. Nice to hear you are emerging the other end. Keep it up.

  16. Sandy says:

    that’s fantastic news Cristina….so thankful and happy for you and your family! And, yes, I do cry every time I read anything you share! I love you sweet lady!

  17. Peri :D says:

    “You are Amazing, you are Amazing…. Just the way you are”!! So happy for you “Bubble Girl”….. Now you should be “Hello WORLD GIRL”…. XOXOX ;D

  18. nellycan2 says:

    So happy for your great news.. and you made us all read through all that to get it. Somethings in our lives we will never forget… so that we always remember where we have been to appreciate where we are and where we are going. So when we are stumped again we remember those trying times in our lives. Thank you for sharing.

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