One year ago today I received my Stem Cell Transplant at the Duke Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic. It was special as it was the day I got my 'clean' stem cells thawed out and reinserted back into my marrow. The prior days and weeks had been difficult with insertion of a Hickman catheter, melphalan chemo treatments and hair loss, but on August 25th, 2010 we started anew with a clean 'reboot' of my bone marrow (a computer term used by us old hardware types describing restarting a PC ).
|2nd of two syringes full of stem cells being injected|
365 days after my SCT and my numbers continue to look very good and the side effects of my Revlimid chemo are minimal. This past year I have graduated from a four wheeled walker, to a three wheeled Winnie-Walker, to a cane, to an optional trekking pole. From a hospital bed to a regular bed. From no hair to hair! I survived a hip pinning operation (to strengthen an area with a 1 inch myeloma lesion), a week long trip to Disney and a Florida wedding for a nephew, multiple trips to Boone and Black mountain, and one trip to Marietta. Whew.
More importantly, this last year has been a year of looking at what I have vs what I don't have. Of recognizing body parts that don't hurt vs those that do. Of thanking God for what I can do vs what I can't. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife who is a loving and patient caregiver. A family who sacrificially gives of their time and unconditional love. It has been a delightful year of a four year old grandson who thinks that grandpa lying on the floor is a time for wrestling and tickling. Of a four year old granddaughter who loves nothing better than climbing up into grandpa's lap for a book or movie time. Of a 18 month old grandson who loves nothing better than to hold grandpa's finger and walk and jabber and walk and wave and walk, or an 18 month old granddaughter who likes to climb on grandpa and put her head down and give me lovin'. Of five kids (2 by marriage) who I could not be more proud of, and a little 5 month old granddaughter who is cute as a button. Of a mother-in-law who moved in to help us and who is a wonderful example of giving of one self for others. Of parents who encourage, love and support me every single day. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family!
I am so thankful for family, friends and a church family who continue to lift me up in prayer on a daily basis. Of a very caring staff of doctors and nurses at the Cancer Center of North Carolina and at the Duke ABMTC who provide me with outstanding advice and treatment for this cancer within.
So this last year has reconfirmed that life is made up of a series of days strung together and with each day we need to focus on what we have, to seek out and enjoy every moment with loved ones, and to thank our Lord for the day that He gives us. We all have a choice each morning of what we are going to make of that day. I choose to celebrate!
|EZ - 8-25-2010|