The Second Time I Abandoned My Family

The Second Time I Abandoned My Family....jpg

I can still see the tear-stained faces of my kids as they dropped me off at the airport on my way back to Poland… for another 4 months apart…

The image of their sad little faces burned itself into my memory with searing Dad guilt.

What’s even worse was the phone call I got 24 hours later when I arrived at my apartment in Warsaw.

“Doug…” said my Dad on the other end… “We’re at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake. Your wife is having a bone marrow biopsy to see if she has Leukemia…"

Not what I wanted to hear just as I left my family for another 4 months to finish my education in Europe.

Here’s the story...


Email #11 of 18

Subject: “We need to test your bone marrow for Leukemia…”

So, the second time my husband abandoned me was actually quite a bit worse than the first time.

We finally had him back. But it was time to let him go again. And we knew what that meant this time.

The day before Doug went back to Poland, I hurt my arm. The trunk of the car slammed down on my upper arm. It was awful and left an enormous bruise.

In fact, the bruise looked unnatural. It covered almost my entire upper arm.

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As we dropped Doug off at the airport, he made me promise that I’d go into the Urgent Care and get it checked out.

When they got my blood results a couple of hours later, the staff at the Urgent Care were super worried. They told me that a healthy blood platelet count was between 150,000 and 500,000. When a cancer patient is having radiation treatment, their platelet counts can get down as low as 10,000.

My count was only 3,000….Hence their concern….

They sent me up to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake to have more tests done.

They told me that I might have Leukemia.

Um, WHAT!?!?

They took a bone marrow biopsy to find out for sure. And let me tell you, having a huge needle driven into your hipbone is excruciating! 

Luckily, I didn’t have Leukemia. I had ITP (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). It’s an autoimmune disease. Basically, my blood was unhealthy.

I had a platelet infusion, but that didn’t fix it. I couldn’t hold onto my platelets. They’d infuse me with like 300,000, and I’d be back down to 50,000 or 30,000 a day or two later.

They began heavy steroid treatments, which normally solve the problem.

But I guess I’m special or something. The steroids didn’t help at all. They made me gain weight, but they didn’t solve my ITP.

“Ms. Pew, we’re going to have to take out your spleen.”

“Can we wait a few months? My husband is in Poland finishing his doctorate. Isn’t there some other treatment we can try until he comes home in May? I can’t have major surgery while he’s away.”

We’ll wrap this up tomorrow…

It’s really where my Norwex journey began, though I didn’t know it yet.

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