Monday, July 20, 2015


My world came unraveled last week. I spent four days in the hospital after becoming severely neutropenic. The first chemo infusion damaged my bone marrow, and it stopped producing white blood cells. I went from feeling bad to feeling horrid very quickly on Wednesday. It started with body aches and a 101 fever. Within 12 hours, my entire scalp was covered in lesions, and my mouth was full of sores and thrush. 

Seriously, it already felt like a Biblical affliction, and then, "but wait there's more..." 

My IV, which was agonizing to get in place on the first night, stopped working and had to be redone. I honestly can't tell you how many times they tried and how many people it took (5?) to get the job done. The nurse said my veins went flat. And then there was the inability to sleep and the colossal migraine... and waiting hours and hours for Imitrex. 

I was in so much anguish and pain that I couldn't feel God anywhere near me, let alone in me. I knew He was there, but I couldn't feel Him. 

Eight types of antibiotics, two anti-fungals, one bag of magnesium, and four days later, I went home still at great risk. The list of things I can't do or be around is extensive. I've decided all I can really do is stay alive, smile, and let my family take care of me. (Thank God my parents arrived Friday!)

And then today my world unraveled again. But this time I was unraveled in a good way -- in a glorious, beautiful, momentous way. Today, my church shared my God's story -- the story of this blog -- AND my daughter got baptized. It was a day I will never ever forget. God's presence and kindness are palpable again to me now. 

We are so proud of Leah!

I am still very sick and medically fragile. (Ya like my mask?) I got special permission to go to church and take part in the baptism. I begged the doctor, and because I'm equal parts relentless and irresistible, he finally caved. But he warned me about the next few days/weeks until my counts go up. So I guess I'm warning you, too. I may not be able to write much until I get better. God still has so much to say through this blog. The story is not ending here so stay tuned. And pray, pray, pray. 

Specifically for:
  • My bone marrow to recover. 
  • My white blood cell counts to increase.
  • That I can get an appointment and be well enough to get a port. (No more IVs!)
  • That my caregivers are blessed with good sleep and good health.
  • That I can rest and sleep. (I'm still having insomnia.)
  • For peace and a smooth (no pun intended) transition as my hair falls out this week. 
I love you, and I'm so thankful for you. Your prayers are far more powerful than any medication... or cancer.

Until I'm out of the danger zone,

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! - Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)


  1. I am praying for you and your family Emily. Right now I am praying for The Lord to give you rest, so your body can begin to heal, recover, and fight on.💜💛💚💙❤️

  2. Em,

    As you know, I'm not the praying type, but please know you are always in my thoughts. Stay strong. I love you.


    1. I love you just the way you are... praying type or not. Thank you for continuing to read the blog even though it carries a spiritual message and for your thoughts and support. For what it's worth, you made a big donation to my medical fund and THAT is powerful, too! LOL Love you my friend <3

  3. Thank you for sharing your story... It helped me to strenghen my resolve to see that God will bring something great out of my pain and suffering. Pain... Will it ever go away? No... I am in pain everyday. Sometimes I have to force myself to worship, go to work, or even get out of bed. I literally have to pray that God will put my feet on the ground everyday. It really comforted me to hear that my personal circumstances is not evidence of how God feels about me. I already knew that... I just needed to hear it. And I know that God is making my pain and suffering to something special. So I am going to rejoice because I have this opportunity to get even more closer to Him. You see, I constantly have a "flow". I am always in pain even when I am not flowing for a day or two. It really has taken a tole on my marriage and family. I am young and the doctors want to stop it completely with male horomones but I won't take them. I want a histerectomy but they say I am too young for that. But your story gives me right attitude. Thanks again for sharing your story... Emily Santovito

    1. Another Emily giving her pain a purpose. :) It will bring you closer to God as you allow yourself to turn to Him for strength and comfort. It is NOT easy as you know, but He is worth it. I will be praying for you, your marriage, and your family. Chronic pain/illness is so hard. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me!

  4. So humbled by your story and courage. Makes my trivial challenges not worthy of words. Peace and Comfort... To you and all those who love you.

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