Day 100

24 Aug

Day 100 has come and gone, celebrated on Saturday just as lavishly as had Day 100 been the newest spike in a blood- and immune-growing craze. My mom and I exploited the faux freedom of Day 100 immunity and jutted over to Uptown’s Juut Salon for our first-ever facial (thanks, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis colleagues!). I had to make a dent in the thousands of facials I owe her for the permanent facial strain she held for 40 days beside my hospital bed. We left greased and gilded in a relaxation I don’t think either of us has felt in months.

Later I drove south to my dad’s for a typical Langer feast, as if Miss Day 100 was the prodigal daughter and we wanted an excuse for the fattened calf. But that’s how all celebrations are treated under the Langer House, as Feast Days.

Grandma Langer, Grandpa Langer, Aunt Sue, Uncle Jay, Jack, Cindy, Me, Dad Celebrating Day 100

There we were, out on the patio, huddled around my grandpa as he recounted his research on our family tree. He was prepping my Aunt Sue for her upcoming trip to Europe, a trip where she’ll search for the baptismal records and gravestones my grandpa has already uncovered dating back to the 1500s in an area that is part of the Prussia to Germany to Poland rotation. As he recited the 16 Ludwigdorfs that were not the Ludwigdorf we hailed from, the complexities of where one comes from glared at me from the illiteracy of his Polish map. I couldn’t help but think of my donor’s familiar genes. Had her ancestors been my ancestors back then? At one time were our great-great-greats the blood sisters we skipped generations to become today? Or are our matching genes a fluke of evolution? It’s fun to imagine.

Day 100 was less of a pinnacle than what the “Survivorship and Your Bone Marrow Transplant” materials foretold. After all, I had moved on from the Transplant House way early, my Day 100 biopsy was already in my medical records, and my mood-swing-y blood cells haven’t always been on the up and up. But I got to ditch Dorothy and the other “big gun” drugs that have been propping up my immune system. Now we’ll see how I do on my own against those viruses, bacteria and fungi, and if my evolving bone marrow can breed some Day 60-style blood cells again.  I’m becoming more of a believer.


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13 Responses to “Day 100”

  1. Ashlee Suker August 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    I’m just so happy that you’ve gotten over the 100 day hump and are doing so great! Kind of makes me want to cry tears of joy. You’re such a rockstar Jenna.. never cease to amaze me and a gazillion other people I’m sure. You have such a wonderful attitude and know how to keep a smile on your face. Always thinking of you…

  2. Vanessa Beranek August 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    Glad that the good news keeps on coming for you!!!!! As always your bright outlook & great attitude about everything is inspiring 🙂

  3. Julie Descarrega August 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    You look wonderful! Glad you got to relax and have fun! 🙂

  4. Greg Kaiser August 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    I’m a believer too!

  5. Fran Albright August 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Jenna: I am so glad you are dong so well.
    If you cl ick on this tonight, send JAV a Happy birthday greeting from me.

  6. April Nelson August 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Congrats on getting past that 100 day hurdle–and glad you got to share the facial with your mom! Would love to visit sometime–let me know when you are up for it.

  7. Melissa Stewart August 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    What a relief….You are the most amazing writer. You make reading about blood cell counts and immune systems almost exciting 🙂 Miss you tons. Can’t wait to celebrate your amazingness in a couple months with ginger snaps and hot cocoa in the Minnesota snow. Love you.

  8. Rose Forst August 25, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    ahhh, day 100. now you are an oldster. Way to go.

  9. Clare August 25, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Beautiful picture. May all your days be filled with family! Running the half marathon for the Leukemia Society in another week. Mind if I add your name to my shirt?

  10. Megan Tucker August 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Glad you got to enjoy some much earned relaxation time with your mom to celebrate – Your writing has inspired me and am so happy to read good news!

  11. Angie August 26, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Happy day 100, Jenna! Glad you had relaxation and celebration. Lovely family photo 🙂

  12. Judy Sellner August 31, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Keep believing, Jenna!


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