Let's start with the good news: my white cell counts are slowly going up along with my platelets. Also, my fever took a break, all day, for the first time. I was very happy to shower and beat yesterday's laps with a total of 11 today. Unfortunately, I was hit with a new little friend, GVHD. I noticed when I got out of the shower that my forearms looked blotchy and red. This was GVHD saying hello through a minor rash. GVHD can show signs in various ways and one of them is through the skin in the form of a rash. It is my body's natural reaction to rejecting the new cells that are starting to roam about in my body since, hooray, my stem cells have engrafted and are doing what they should be doing, making new cells. This is why it is so important for me to take it, literally, one day at a time, one symptom at a time, one victory at a time, otherwise, I would be a mental wreck. I have more control over my mental strength than I do my physical body at this point, so that is what I need to focus on.
As I type this, I am also spiking a fever once again. I am still celebrating my full day with no fever, so I'm less disappointed that the fever is back. See, it's all mental, and spiritual, of course, too. I will be calling for some meds to reduce the fever after I am done writing and before I get to sleep; it's a big day tomorrow; my birthday!
Speaking of which, I was paid a visit by two Blue Angels today, Jodi and Mike. There is something that I love, almost as much as living life, and that is watches. I love watches. Just like women love purses or shoes, I love watches, and they knew that. So they went to my dear friend, Sako who owns a jewelry store, and asked him what watch I really wanted, knowing he would know since he is a client of mine, but also a close friend. He told showed them what I like and had one in stock for them to buy. So they bought it and ordered two more, one for each of them, and surprised me today with an early birthday surprise, and surprised I was. I opened the little gift bag and immediately recognized the box, since I have only been eyeing this watch for over a year now. I first told them I could not accept such a big gift and then followed that with a scream, out loud. I couldn't contain my excitement. It was the Citizen Blue Angel Titanium watch I had been admiring for a long time and they had it engraved with my name and my transplant date, making it that much more special and personal. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jodi and Mike, you guys really know how to brighten someone's day and I am so very grateful. Plus, since you bought one for yourselves, I have to say that you have great taste in watches. :)
Truth is, I have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of angels around me. I might be the only patient that gets “fan mail” every day and every day I smile because of the kindness and generosity of so many family and friends that I have met throughout the years. Life is so rich when you think outside of monetary terms. Love, friendship, companionship, all of it, makes my life so beautifully rich. I am so lucky and blessed to have this support and encouragement through this time of my life. Here's to a great day tomorrow, regardless of fever, GVHD, or whatever else, it's a day to celebrate life and I can't wait. This is why I love my birthday so much. It's not about getting older, but about celebrating another year that God gave me to love those around me, to take nothing for granted and, now, share this journey with so many.