Today I felt good enough to shower and complete multiple sets of laps today. Although far from feeling great, I will take any progression that I can get over total fatigue and not moving out of bed. So, I set out with high goals in mind, making my laps around the unit and marking each lap as I walked by the dry erase board. I proceeded to add another mark to the board when I looked up and saw Stacey, my bone marrow transplant coordinator, standing there with a younger looking man. I don't usually see her unless she is giving a tour of the unit to a new patient, as she did for me before I was admitted.
This time she was standing with a young man and I automatically thought that he was going to be joining our floor soon, as a patient. Stacey introduced us and she told me that she was actually showing him the apheresis room where he will be going to donate his stem cells to help save someone else's life. At that very moment, everything came full circle for me. Perhaps it was just seeing this man in person, knowing that another man, somewhere in the world, did the exact same thing at another Cancer Center to help save my life. I looked at him and couldn't help but tear up and say thank you for saving someone else's life. I told him that he might not be saving my life, but I waited 10 years for someone like you and you are about to give someone the greatest gift that they will EVER receive. Stacey added, "You're a hero;” I agreed. I just wanted him to hear it from a patient that he truly is a hero and his commitment to being a donor is about to give back someone's chance at life.
It was just by chance that I got to meet him before he goes off, saving someone's life, but I won't forget it ever. After I beat this horrible thing called cancer, I want to be a voice for others. I want to share my story so that more people walk into Karmanos as donors rather than as patients. I want people to see someone who never gave up hope, even after a decade of waiting for a match, because miracles DO happen and good things, no scratch that, GOD'S PLAN does reveal itself. The rest is easy; live life and love living it. Find your joy. Take nothing for granted and love with all of your heart and give thanks everyday.