• Amanda Sherrell

Hope


As a little girl my Mom always used to tell me that “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Well, for some that might be the case. But this month my hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary (literally by the grace of God). For which I have to say that, though the years have not been easy. And we have shared our ups and our downs. We have had our heartaches and heart breaks (both personal and non personal). We have even had our health issues and though I suspected that something was wrong with my hubby’s health from the beginning of our marriage, nothing could have prepared me for what happened 2 years ago after my hubby got diagnosed with Sepsis from salmonella poisoning. After which we began to notice some months later that he never could fully recover. So, last January after seeing a barrage of specialists we went and seen a particular specialist in Augusta who was finally able to give us an accurate diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia (or Fanconi’s C), a disorder which he has had from birth and should not have lived passed the age of 25. But how many can give an amen to my God is able? Because he is now 46 years old and has out lived 99% of those who were born with this disorder.


This being said, his situation is so rare that almost no one knew how to treat him (especially in the state of Georgia). So, the specialist in Augusta had us transferred to New York City in late June and we were fully able to transition over in mid-August. It was not easy, but by God’s grace it was done. Though I knew little then of the perils that laid ahead. Anyway, we got to NYC where I did my two weeks of quarantine. During which time my hubby went into the hospital to start the 12 days of Chemo before his transplant. Now for this southern country girl to go to the “Big City”, by which I mean BIG (as in Atlanta pales in comparison, big), and to have to survive in the city without my hubby was a huge shocker. Especially since I had never been one day without my husband in 20 years of marriage.


Now I know that you are probably asking how is this possible? For which I have to say that there are a lot of factors at play here. For one, we share the same faith in our Lord Jesus. There has never been one day since the beginning of our relationship that we have not prayed together (no matter how hard, how hurt, or how angry we were). We have always humbled ourselves before God and forgiven each other, no matter how hard it was. And believe me, in our early years (for this somewhat Scots/Irish tempered girl) it was very difficult at times, but I learned early on to bite my tongue. For which I learned that when it came to nagging or complaining that I was to honor and to respect my husband whether he deserved it or not. I had to learn to allow the Lord to take care of him and to enable me to have the strength and the patience to gain more wisdom on the issues that arose early during our marriage. Secondly, I remember my Granny Aleen. Who was born in 1920 in the Mountains of North Carolina. Her daddy and granddaddy were farmers/bootleggers. Needless to say because of this she had a very tough life and she was never a woman to just come out and say “I love you” because in her generation it just was not done. However, there were 2 very important things that she taught me in my life and that was that the words ”I love you” are valueless unless you are willing to show love by your actions. And two, never allow yourself to be unequally yoked to anyone. In other words, do not settle for someone who does not share your ideas, your beliefs, your desires, do not settle for someone who you think you can change or that will try to change you. Do not settle for someone that you cannot see spending 50 years or more with, because it will not end well. Do not settle for someone who is not willing to go the extra mile with you or is not willing to die for you. For the both of you must first be passionate in your faith and then passionate about each other to make things work.


Anyway, getting back to the topic. This is where I am with my hubby after 20 years. So when he got diagnosed with this condition that caused him to go into complete bone marrow failure. It literally rocked my world. And when the hospital told me that I could not be with him for several days as he was undergoing a part of his procedure and in ICU. Let me just say that God has his saving grace and then he has his keeping grace. And I think that I was under the latter because those days were such a fuzzy blur that I don’t remember much other than I hated being alone. And it felt like an eternity before I was able to rejoin him again once he was out of ICU, even though it was barely a week. Thus, I am more thankful than anyone realizes at this moment for each of your prayers as well as the financial support of friends and family who have made this possible for us. Without them we could not dream of affording to be here at the best hospital in the world getting a rare treatment regimen for my hubby. I am forever grateful.


This being said, my hubby had his transplant on the 3rd of September. And after a few more bumps in the road following those days. I am happy to say that we made it to our 20th wedding anniversary on the 16th. For which the staff here at our hospital in NYC has been absolutely amazing! They have been on top of everything day and night. They even blessed us with one of Dexter’s favorite homemade cuisines, Biscuits & Tomato Gravy along with some strawberries and bubbly. We have wanted for nothing and what we have needed, either God or they have provided throughout this entire experience. And now I am happy to say that as of today we have learned that the Bone Marrow Transplant was a success and that we will shortly be transitioning to our own little apartment, provided by the hospital, for a few months. After which, we will slowly begin to re-emerge to life once more. And I cannot wait for that adventure!






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