Sorry for my silence these last 3 weeks. I have to admit the emotional roller coaster I was on leading up to my 1 year biopsy had me in heavy state of mind. Although my intuition never steers me wrong, I was without a doubt making myself crazy with fear and unfortunately wasting a great deal of energy on unnecessary emotions. This my fellow warriors and followers is life after transplant. More simply stated: Survivorship. One of the most beautiful things life has to offer after being dealt a diagnosis as detrimental as leukemia, is this gift of life once again. I am so blessed and grateful for that, as it is more beautiful than I ever anticipated……but I would be lying if I said it was not challenging at times to keep my emotions in check and quiet the noise inside my head, especially at pinnacle milestones.
The bonne nouvelles is that I am 100% donor cells in marrow and in peripheral blood. Seems those healthy stem cells from my handsome twin brother were just what the Doctor ordered. Can I get a witness? So happy. So blessed. So in awe of every step of this journey. The truth is, this journey is about the destination. And this destination of 1 year was the 1/2 way mark to officially being called “cured.” So much to be thankful for and so much to celebrate…..seriously.
And with that, we did. A few days before I was blessed with the official good news as it came from my one and only Dr Nieder. Candidly I was not quite keen on the idea of a full on celebration but I am so happy my parents pushed me to to party with some really special people who have walked this path with us this last year.
I have to admit I have been on cloud nine ever since May 1, not to mention, my boyfriend upgraded his status to official Fiancé a few days before, so it’s really been all about the “feels” as of late. My fiancé is so “Effing” amazing it is hard for me to not be too forthcoming about our future together but I know for sure the best is yet to come!
On another note, my old friend early, “menopause,” has also been playing tricks on me, making sure I remember to be grateful for everyday and remember this is a journey…..just one emotional breakdown at a time ;). Truth it’s not always about the destination but the stops along the way on the journey, partnered with the lessons we learn. And every milestone a new lesson in menopause has been the motto. 😉 It’s something I must manage as it not only affects my mood but sometimes my overall mental state. (Its best friends with ptsd, they feed off one another) it’s better than cancer and as I age it will continue to become less challenging. I am 33 and the reality is, transplant had its downsides but ridding myself of disease was top of mind so I chose to do whatever it took to rid myself of disease, even though it was a 60/40 chance it would be detrimental to my reproductive health. Unfortunately, I am now learning that early “menopause,” is one of the most painful side effects in young adults after transplant, especially with the mood swings due to managing the hormonal mayhem without putting me at risk for secondary cancers. #estrogenups&downs
En fait, as I write this post I am On my way back to Baltimore to step back into my role with UA and I am overwhelmed with emotions. I know a lot of it is hormonal anxiety but I have to remember I have had so much support surrounding me over the past 15 months that it’s hard to believe that I’ll be by myself, more or less, without my “blood,” by my side (but always in marrow) so a major thanks to Lee, Bob & Barbie who are holding it down in the B, helping me to wake up in Charm City surrounded by some of the best. #blessed
Not much else to mention other than how grateful I am for every single day I get to share my story and help other survivors stay strong and steadfast on their journey back to health! Menopause is just part of the beautiful mess of bone marrow transplant, but truth is I wouldn’t have it any other way as the gift of bone marrow from my twin brother was exactly what I needed to propel me into the best part of my life with my family, fiancé and friends à côté du moi. 🙂
Thanks for following, for praying and for walking along this path to pinnacle health with your hearts.