It's my first rebirthday anniversary!
Let me translate: It was four years ago today I had my very first bone marrow transplant at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center using stem cells collected from my twin sister, Heather!
I am at least four year old.
Feel free to send presents.
I remember very little, thankfully.
I was infused with the cells on what we call "day Zero" (sounds ominous doesn't it), and proceeded to spend the next two hours vomiting and violently heaving when I could no longer purge anything due to the preservatives in the cells.
These preservatives also make people smell BAD, but I don't remember that at all. That was the least of my worries anyway.
After day 0 I don't remember anything until Day 6, and I only remember day 6 since a tornado touched down only 6 miles from my grandparents home in Lady Lakes or "The Villages" FL, exactly where my mom had taken X to escape from the family chaos of the week.
I think it took about 2 or 3 weeks until I remember anything after that. In between there is total nothingness in my memory banks. It's Probably a dissociative fugue from a trauma that included the entirety of my skin peeling off (you can see the process starting in the picture. The redness is me being burned inside out) and my entire intestinal tract sloughing out.
I try not to remember, except for the occasional flashback which is out of my control.
I think it's worse when my presence or illness gives the nurse tending to me a flashback of my transplant.
Yeah, it was that bad, but luckily, the bottom picture of Heather (forefront) and me was taken after that disaster.
Happy birthday to me.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."