7 Year Old Blood
This morning I woke super confused. It was one of those mornings where you crack open your eyes and you don't know where you are or what time it is. I rubbed my eyes and immediately felt regret. Last night I came home from happy hour at Paymasters (the bar that all the Ruby's go to after work) and climbed into bed just to warm up and I ended up falling asleep. It has been so long since I have woken up to full face of smudged makeup and crusted drool on my face. I know this story sounds like I went to bed wasted but I can assure I was very sober. My first ever hangover from being sober hahaha. ANYWAY! While I turned on my current favorite playlist and peeled myself out of bed, I decided to check Facebook. The first post that popped up made me double take. There I was, in one of my 'memories' posts talking about my BMT (bone marrow transplant) Birthday! Today marks SEVEN YEARS since my bone marrow transplant. I know I probably have a post similar like this every year, but every year I am more and more taken by surprise that I made it this far. It doesn't take much to transport me to a time where I would feel accomplished for just taking my medications that day. I have been working through the trauma that I lived through in that time of my life and I'm not going to lie, it has been really difficult. There are so many layers to medical trauma. As much as I've been through, my actual transplant has to be one of the least invasive procedures I have EVER had. 7 years ago today I woke up in my hospital room that I had been prisoner to for over a month. I took my cocktail of drugs, took a shower and climbed into my freshly made bed. All of my nurses came into my room with a banner, birthday presents, and sang to me. Soon after came a gentleman with a little cooler. In that cooler he carried freshly harvested bone marrow cells that had just come off of a plane from a small town in Germany, from the most selfless woman I have ever heard of. My nurse, Andy, read off the labels and confirmed that this little bag, of what looked like a strawberry banana smoothie, was in fact for me. She hooked me up to that little bag of life and I watched as the pink content slowly made its way into my central line. To be honest, the actual procedure of it all was actually extremely anticlimactic. But if you had lived through every complication and side effect from hell that made you question the value of your life, you would understand that absorbing every drop of those cells was the single most important moment of my life. I can say with full confidence that I was given life by two different women. One gave me life by birth. She raised me to be the woman I am today. She held me close when I had nightmares. She wiped my tears and kissed booboos better. She showed me how valuable honesty and integrity are. She massaged my tired body and prayed for my tired soul. She pushed me to fight for my life and never let me give up. The second woman who gave me life, has never met me. One day she decided to sign up through the bone marrow registry in hopes of maybe giving someone another chance at this life. Someone finally called her in, where she was poked and prodded, tested and retested. She had to consent over and over again to finally have a very painful procedure where they would extract her healthy cells and ship them overseas to someone who she had never met or heard of. She would never be told who I was in case I didn't survive. She had to wait two years before she could finally reach out. After those two years she decided to write. And there I was, still in and out of the hospital for several different reasons. But I was alive. I am not proud to say that it took me a really long time to finally make contact. What do you say to someone who single handedly saved your life? To this day I don't think I have properly thanked her for what she has done. We connect through Facebook and Instagram but I don't know how to relay just how thankful I am. Jana, if you are reading this, there is not a day that I don't think of you and your gift to me.
So what am I doing on this fine Saturday, June 9th, 2018? I am sitting at my favorite coffee shop in my favorite city drinking my favorite drink. I am typing while listening to the Killers (awesome choice btw Oracle!). Not sure if I will actually celebrate because I am the brokest of broke but in my heart I know what this day means to me. I will leave you all with the reminder that life is short. Tomorrow is never promised. And don't throw away a life that a lot of people have fought fucking hard to be a part of.