Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When It Rains . . . It Pours!

I wish I were writing that everything is ok and I am on the road to recovery but I have seemed to hit a few speed bumps. After I had my second drain removed and the last of my stitches I started to feel really sick. A few hours after dinner I threw up everything. My back was in a lot of pain all night long and by the next morning my temperature was up to 102 degrees. At first we thought I had food poisoning but my rising temperature told us otherwise. By Friday (two days later) my temperature was up to 103 degrees and the pain in my back was getting worse.

I was told I needed to return to UCSF to be checked out so I loaded up on pain killers and hoped in my Dad's SUV. I still have to travel in the back on an air mattress which was nice since I slept the entire way. I was pretty loopy! We arrived and were sent to the 4th floor of Mt Zion. It was pretty empty. The halls seemed deserted and my room was nothing like the one I had on the 13th floor at Parnassus. I was immediately sent in for X-Rays and a CT Scan. It wasn't easy maneuvering me on the machines but I managed. I also had some blood drawn to check for an infection. To top things off we missed the opening ceremonies because we didn't have NBC. My Dad and I were pretty bummed on top of all the pain I was in.

Saturday we found out I had a very severe Kidney infection and a high white blood cell count. I went in for a minor procedure that put three more drains in me. Two are in my back and the third runs from my kidney. It turns out my kidney was blocked and having trouble sending urine to my bladder. There is no telling how long I will have to have this or the other two drains. This time they want to be sure before they pull them out. I was also delirious for the first few days in the hospital because of my high temperature. It got all the way up to 104 degrees. I remember opening my eyes and my Dad was holding my hand while two other doctors were staring at me. They asked me what day it was so I looked at the daily calendar behind my Dad and guessed "Sunday." I was wrong it was Saturday. If it had been Friday I would have been right! They went on to ask me a few other questions that I did get correct but I must tell you I don't remember much before that.

I have been in the hospital for 11 days now. In the mornings I get really nauseous and need medication to help me feel better. I am back on methadone to help with the pain but I still have trouble walking. We are trying to eliminate all of this. I have been on antibiotics through IV form. The doctors informed us that I was septic because the infection went into my blood. This is very serious and has kept me in the hospital for more tests. I will have an Echo Cardio Gram of my heart valves to make sure they are not affected. After this test they will be able to give us more information.

All of this has set us back with chemo. I will not be able to start it in August like we previously planned. I need to get well before I can start the treatments. Hopefully I can get started in September so that I can get on with my recovery. I pray that my body will begin to recover and get stronger because it is very weak right now.

With all that is going on I know things will be ok. My faith is stronger then ever. It was the "Darkest of Times" that helped me see the light. When it rains, it pours . . . Luckily I have God for an umbrella! Something inside me tells me I will be ok!

Powered By God,



Anonymous said...

hdJamie - Hang in there. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hold on to that promise. I know you are, and I know you will.

Believe me on this.. Your testimony will help God turn people's lives around. I believe that with all of my heart. Your struggle through the valley will be something that will impact eternity for many, many, MANY people.

Hang in there, girl.

-Chris and Joy

Lisa said...

Jamie....when your Grandmother first asked for prayers for her granddaughter, I did not know you were a tri-athlete, when I found out you are, I praised God for how He had created you: as a woman who knew how to push through pain that most of us would never willingly endure, a woman with the strength to continue on even when the competition may seem beyond her capabilities and as a woman who gave God the credit with her motto "powered by God". It is a blessing to read your blog, and see how transparent you are, I know others are being blessed and led to God as a result of your faithfulness. I have cried with you, I have rejoiced for you. I have wanted to email you since the blog about Isaiah 40:28-31. That is one of my favorite Scriptures and in conjunction with the song The Power of Your Love, a beautiful picture of God's care is given, one that carried me through some difficult trials. I do not know if you know (many people do not) that when an eaglet is learning to fly...the parent pushes him out of the nest (or perhaps he jumps!) and the eaglet does fine for a time until he begins to fall, that is when the parent eagle flies beneath the eaglet and lifts him up to safety. How great is our God that when we can no longer be powered by our own strengths and not even by the strengths of others we can depend on Him to lift us up to safety. This image has been such a comfort to me in my life. This is the chorus:
hold me close
let Your love surround me
bring me near
draw me to Your side
and as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
and I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
in the power of Your love

keeping you in prayer, lisa

Anonymous said...

I am so moved jamie, you are such a woman of God! I believe it too, God is a god of healing and he loves you so much, I cant wait to hear your praise reports soon! Dont crack, keep up that strong pace.


MJ said...

I do not know you, however, I know Cancer and what it does as I am a nurse who has seen Cancer and what it can do.
I am also a triathlete who has fought through to the finish against pain and equipment malfunctions. Strength and preserverance to finish every race strong.
You are an athlete that has met Cancer....Race it, smash it, write it on the wall and know what you are fighting....then like the best competitor run right by it and finish strong.
Cancer is just a bunch of cells that get together and cause destruction, Pray that they fall apart and have equipment malfunctions in their inner cells.
Cancer is not a winner or a champion, it is a DNFer that gets together with other DNFers and decides to stop the race....it has no interest in winning....it loses everytime, it is weak and only is able to cause destruction because it creates more cells like itself....weak little cells that multiply....it can be irradiated and chemically killed, it is weak, it is a loser.

You are a winner, you are God's child, a humble champion, and I say this without even knowing you because I know people that know you and have told me about you and the way that you live your life.
Be strong, win this race, and by all means pray that Cancer continues to lose in all the races that are being run against it across the world.

From the nurse side of me: Ask for a portacath access so that you don't have to be stuck for IV's every time you enter the hospital or need blood drawn. Unless you already have one...sometimes this is a great thing and decreases the pain with every blood draw and IV start.

Praying for your awesome finish to this race every day,


Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gail said...


I am a fellow triathlete, although not of the off road variety......I've tried mtn biking in the past, but my aerobic capacity always overwhelms my complete lack of technical ability and I end up doing something stupid. At 50, broken bones are a thing to be feared.
Anyways, 2008 was supposed to be my year of "world domination" in W50-54......or at least reasonable success. Unfortunately a little back/nerve issue intruded and instead of finding myself on the podium, I found myself in the OR getting a little touch-up work done on my lumbar spine and nerves.
I am now almost 3 weeks post-op and getting up and around pretty well, but wondering if and how I will return to my active life. I'll admit to spending more than a few moments wallowing in self-pity.
I found your blog on Slowtwitch, and while I was familiar with your name and incredible Xterra success, I had no idea of what you had been going through. My heart goes out to you.
I can only say that your optimism and positive spirit inspire me and remind me that my troubles are minor in the big picture of life. Triathlon has been a very important part of my life for many years, and whether I compete again or not, I have benefitted immensely from the experiences I have had, the things I have learned and the people I have met. All of this, plus the inspiration of people like you, are the important things and I will always keep them with me.
I know you will fight the good fight, it's all we know how to do. Lean on your faith and the people who love you.
In the dark times remember that there are many people praying for you and sending positive energy. I am one of them.

Gail - TX

Missy said...

Hi Jamie,

It's been a couple of days I'm hoping you're feeling better. I truely admire your courage in the face of all this.
God works through people you know he does and he is obviously using you right now. I'm going to ask those in my gel group to include you on our prayer list.
Take care,

Anonymous said...


I don't know you, but I can tell from your blog and the comments others have left for and about you that you are an amazing person, with perseverance to get through this.

I'm sure you are very tired and wonder just when will my days look brighter. It is ok to feel that way, but continually think positive thoughts, especially on the tougher days.

You already know the answer and you have already said it. God has a plan for you to show the World what it means to fight, inspire others, and to show everyone out there that ANY obtacle can be overcome.

I am a fellow triathlete with Cerebral Palsy. When I started racing (ok, it was walking) I could not run for more than 20 seconds. That was 8 years ago and now I am competing in Ironman 70.3.

I will be coming to San Francisco to swim the Southend Invitational across the Bay on September 20th. I'd love to meet you. Because of your story, I WILL SWIM FASTER.

Keep that wonderful smile of yours and remember DNF means DID NOT FALL!!!

Lin Dolen
Tampa, FL


Jamie--I can't say any better what others have already said. Know that God has a very special plan for you. He will finish what he has started.

I had a major health scare several years ago, and as an age group triathlete, thought I would never be able to race again. But....He pulled me through and this weekend I'm competing in my first Ironman triathlon in Louisville.

I will be thinking of you and praying for you during the race. When I feel like quitting, I will remember you and what you are fighting, and I know the faith you have will power my faith.

Know that I will be keeping you in my prayers. PTL in all circumstances!