6 Years ago I was at Primary Children's Hospital. One of my parent's was with me (I can't remember which one). If it was my mom she was probably laying with me in my bed watching a funny chick flick. If it was my dad he was probably giving me a foot a rub while we watched either Pranormal Lockdown or Say Yes To The Dress. They would start to make their bed on this little arm chair that would unfold into the hardest most uncomfortable excuse for a bed. I was usually super doped up and as soon as I wanted to sleep I would ask for my 50mg of I.V. benadryl so that I could bypass all the nightmares and just zonk out. This wasn't just a normal night. This was the eve of my bone marrow transplant. As I closed my eyes my new bone marrow was making its flight from germany to the U.S. Just hours before a very selfless and loving woman named Jana had a brutally painful procedure just to give me, a stranger, another chance at life. I can't realy remember how I slept that night. I might have been super nervous and excited or I might have just been completely passed out unconcious. It's a toss up really.
The next morning, early on the 9th of June, my nurse Andi woke me up with my meds and started to prep me for the final moment we were all waiting for. The fact that I had made it to transplant day was a miracle. Just a couple months before I had a lost friend and ICS neighbor before he made it to his transplant. Tanner fell out of remission right before he got the ball rolling for his BMT. I wasn't about to take anything for granted. Before I knew it I had most of the ICS staff in my room singing me happy birthday. They made me a banner and brought me all kinds of goodies. Not only was I finally getting new blood but I would no longer be getting chemo! If I am competely honest the whole thing was kind of anti-climactic. It was like any other blood transfusion except for it looked like a strawberry smoothie instead of blood.
I watched the new cells travel from the bag all the way through the I.V. into my central line. I don't think that I knew how amazing this transplant really was. At the time it was just one more step towards recovery. Even though I had no idea what trials were ahead of me I knew that this was all I needed to get rid of the cancer. I spent the morning with my family and then later with my friends. I could never possibly forget this day even if I wanted to. I value this birthday so much more because this was a birthday that I had to figh so incredibly hard for.
Jana's blood has been rushing through my veins for 6 years and I will never ever be able to find the words to thank her. How do you even begin to thank someone for keeping you alive? How do you thank them for signing up to have an increadibly painful procedure for a random stranger?? She had no idea who I was! I don't know where to even begin.
With that being said. YOU could be that someone who gets the chance to save a person's life. If you feel like you have it in you to help a random mother, uncle, father, sister, brother, cousin, husband, girlfriend, aunt, grandmother, newborn, wife, daughter, son etc. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE register on Be The Match. Registration is super easy! With just one cotton swab of saliva you could be the match for someone like me.
Here's the link!
Thank you to everyone who has held my hand through this journey. Cancer is a beast but with your support I conquered it.
SO MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL!!