In the world of Bone Marrow Transplants, the anniversary of your transplant is considered to be your “New Birthday”. I just turned “One”.
I think I’m supposed to feel elated.
The truth is, all I feel and see are confused flashes of that hospital room.
I can’t remember much of my time as an inpatient. Preparation for a transplant is both physically and mentally demanding. The chemotherapy that I was given in Boston—just days before the actual transplant—was harsher than all of the chemotherapy that I received during cancer treatment. The Total Body Irradiation completely drained me.
I was also higher than a kite on pain meds, dreaming about being trapped in a basement…and something about cave trolls. What I do seem to remember are the challenging moments. My mind has a penchant for that. Don’t ask me to remember happy milestones or joy. I’m not wired to recall pleasant memories, although I wish that I was.
Breathing would be a lot easier if I could focus on positive details such as the pigeon that sat, every day, on my windowsill—as if it were watching over me. Was it an angel? Or just another city bird? I remember naming it, “Bird Butt”, because it always had its tail feathers pressed against my window. I couldn’t take a decent picture of it with my cellphone…so…if it was an angel, I can’t imagine that it was too impressed by me or my “creative” naming abilities.
So much has happened in the year between naming “Bird Butt” and the present day.
The field I admire—the one across the road—has been turned into square bales. I watched a farmer mow the field and bail it. I began to appreciate him as much as I did the field. He walked with a cane and, yet, somehow was able to climb up and down from the tractor’s seat. As someone that once relied on a cane to walk, I know that this was no easy task. This man was determined. A hard-worker. Someone to respect, to emulate.
Do I miss my former view? Yes.
The field, though, has not stopped giving me beautiful moments to ponder. Do I love what it has given me now, even more? The answer: a resounding yes!
Whenever the shadows are long, there is a rather large cat that prowls across the field. It has probably been doing this for longer than we’ve lived here—the tall grass kept it hidden from sight. Now, however, the feline is visible. I can’t tell if s/he wears dark stripes like my Wallace did, or if its coat is entirely sable in color. Either way, its presence gives me joy. Hope. Dare I say, happiness?
So, yes, I ate cake on my “First Birthday”. My fiancé bought it for me and it was rather tasty. There weren’t any candles to blow out, but I made a few wishes anyways.
I wished to become a positive-thinker (I would like to believe that I’ve made some progress in that department).
I wished to help others whenever possible.
And, finally, I wished to stockpile pleasant memories—and actually remember them.
Thank you, Dear Readers, for all of your prayers, kind words, and love over this past year. Please continue to send light. The recovery process has only just begun. I have three to six more months on steroids and my anti-rejection medication. They’re both immunosuppressants, so I will still have to be cautious about what I expose myself to.
The bright side? I’m “One” now…my legs are wobbly…but I’m starting to take my first steps toward health.
With Love & Gratitude,