An update for everyone —
I received my stem cell transplant today. It was a rather grueling day: seven straight hours hooked up to various machines getting pumped full of different medicines and eventually, someone else’s blood. But, thankfully, it is over, and procedurally, everything went well. Now we wait to see if my body takes the donor’s cells as my own, which can take anywhere between a few weeks to a year, but hopefully we will begin to see something within a month and a half to two months. For now, I am being watched for the next 48 hours around the clock, and I have daily checkups with my cancer team until further notice.
My case worker said that a lot of patients who receive stem cell transplants view this as a new chance at life, like a rebirth, and some people even celebrate this day as a birthday, which is somewhat fitting seeing as how my actual birthday is tomorrow. Either way, I’m thankful to God for whatever chances He is affording me and for whatever plans He might have for my future. Either way this works out — whether the cells engraft or not — I will forever trust Him.
To my anonymous donor:
What do I even say to you? You who quite literally, might very well have saved my life by choosing to donate your stem cells when you had no reason to. I am grateful for your generous heart, for your willingness to choose to perform an act of selflessness, for being a perfect match based on our HLA markers. Thank you for going through the process of being injected with hormones for days, maybe even weeks, prior to having your cells harvested so that I could have another shot at life. You gain nothing from this transaction, and I stand to potentially gain everything. I don’t know your name or what you look like or anything else about you. The rules say that we have to remain anonymous for two years, and then, if you choose, you can reveal who you are to me. I really hope that you choose to do so, so that I can thank you in person. Words aren’t enough to express my gratitude. Honestly, I don’t even know that meeting you in person would be enough to show you how much I appreciate how much you have done for me, but at least I would be able to put a face and name to the person who I am praying and thanking God for each day.
All my best,