Life... Health... Reviews...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Birthday Celebration: The Day of my Bone Marrow Transplant

"My how time flies." That's one of the most overused phrases, but it's one that is so very true. The more our society speeds up, has more to do and continues to get more advanced technologically to help make everything faster then the more time flies. It's a vicious, time-warp-like cycle. (Kind of like the time warp that's between the time you grab your keys to leave the house and get in the car. If you're like me then you swear it only took you three to five minutes, but the clock says 10 to 20 minutes.)

With everything passing so quickly we tend to miss a lot.There are some of us who are making a concerted effort to take time for the special moments. It's something I try to do as well. I'm not always successful in acknowledging important occasions hence the reason I missed my birthday.

Not the day of my birth. I missed the chance to celebrate and honor the day I was given the opportunity to begin life again. A healthier life. It's the day I had a bone marrow transplant: December 24, 2014.

The month of December is a little hazy for me because I was packing to move again (the second time in about three months) and the circumstances surrounding the move weren't pleasant. I was resistant to the move and could not get into a place that I wanted. And the last thing I wanted to do was celebrate Christmas, but the children are always extra excited about the holiday so I focused on packing and present purchasing.
Early in 2013

It wasn't until about a month ago when it dawned on me that I didn't acknowledge the day. What would I have done had I taken the time then? More than likely I would have prepared a special meal or taken us out to dinner and definitely had dessert. I would talk with the children about the importance of the day and go around the table asking each of them what is different compared to the same time last year - in 2013 - or even the year prior.

I was lethargic, in severe pain 90 percent of the time, having fibromyalgia and Sjogren's attacks, I was unable to complete household tasks and run errands, and I spent the majority of my time laying, sitting and lounging on the couch. If I didn't keep my legs elevated they would swell uncontrollably and my feet would throb. I couldn't even walk through the grocery store or Walmart without my back or hips giving out and being so out of breath that sitting down was immediately imperative. I was taking 20+ pills each day and going to the doctor several times each week.

Early 2015 - before my hair started growing back. Yup, it's a wig.
Now, 15 months later, I take less than 15 pills each day. That may not seem like a big difference to some, but for someone with chronic illnesses, it's a bright flashlight on a dark path. I can walk through a store - even a big one - most of the time without stopping and that's amazing to me. Thank goodness, my back hasn't given out in many months and my hip rarely gives me any trouble. I sit up more, I do more, I play more, I laugh more... and I live more.

I. Live. More.

I am thankful for the transplant - even though I questioned if it was the right choice - and my medical professionals, especially my oncology team. I am thankful for my massage and physical therapists, psychiatrist and psychologists, the support groups as well as for each and every person who had anything to do with assisting me in my recovery. Special thanks to my caregivers - my daughter Amber, my best friend Frankie and my mommy - all of whom sacrificed their time and money to be with me in Tennessee during my treatment, transplant and recovery.

Mid 2015 - after my hair started growing back.
The difference between now and then is remarkable. I thought I would feel horrible forever. There are a lot of things that I still need to achieve and I'm still in recovery. I'm working on my strength in all areas and I still have physical setbacks after too much exertion. 

Happy Belated Birthday to me. I'm 15 months old. Won't you celebrate with me?


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